Spirit adds Mexico City, Detroit, and San Diego from DFW

San Diego From Coronado Ferry Dock - bigstockphoto

Spirit Airlines Expands at Dallas/Fort Worth

Spirit Airlines is preparing to celebrate one year of its low cost service at the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport.   Spirit will add flights to quadruple the number of destinations they currently fly to from the Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW).

Beginning June 21, 2012, Spirit will start flights between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Toluca/Mexico City (TLC), Detroit (DTW), and Sunny San Diego (SAN).

On the Mexico City route, it’s worth noting the Toluca (TLC) Airport, Lic. Adolfo Lopez Mateos Int’l Airport, Toluca, Estado de Mexico, is just outside of Mexico City. Spirit Airlines already operates to Toluca from their Fort Lauderdale (FLL) base and United Express competes via their Houston Hub.

Spirit Airlines initially entered the Dallas/Fort Worth market on May 5, 2011, with flights to:

  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Chicago (ORD) — plus additional non-stop routes to:
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • New York LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Phoenix/Mesa (IWA)

Aside from Toluca/Mexico City (TLC), Detroit (DTW), and San Diego (SAN), Spirit will launch Denver (DEN) on May 3, 2012, along with three weekly flights to Myrtle Beach (MYR).  The following day, May 4, 2012, Spirit will further ramp up its DFW operations with four weekly flights to Tampa (TPA).

American Airlines is the dominant carrier at Dallas/Fort Worth Intl and Spirit’s low competition, as a low cost carrier, helps to keep the prices in check.  Hub airports like DFW often have higher airfares as one carrier controls most nonstop routes.

Spirit’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Barry Biffle, said, “As we approach our one-year anniversary at DFW, we are proud to liberate even more customers from high fares and continue to grow the number of cities we serve from the Metroplex —- We look forward to giving even more consumers the opportunity to save money on travel with our ultra low fares, and our optional services for a fee allow customers the freedom to choose only the extras they value.”

Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport is encouraged by Spirit’s growth along with their new Toluca, Mexico route.  Fegan, said, “Spirit Airlines is clearly gaining a lot of traction in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, with new flights to San Diego, Detroit and Toluca, Mexico.”

Airport operators in San Diego, Detroit, and Toluca, Mexico, are pleased to see Spirit offer the new routes.

Spirit Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — Toluca/Mexico City (TLC) Schedule





Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) To Toluca/Mexico City (TLC)


1:45am +1


Toluca/Mexico City (TLC) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)




Spirit Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Detroit-Metro (DTW) Schedule





Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Detroit-Metro (DTW)




Detroit-Metro (DTW) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)




Spirit Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to San Diego Lindbergh Field (SAN) Schedule





Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to San Diego (SAN)




San Diego (SAN) — Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)




Spirit A La Carte Pricing and Controversy

Spirit Airlines is an ultra low-cost carrier. When you purchase your ticket, you are just buying a seat. If you want anything additional, be it an assigned seat, checked baggage, or the ability to carry-on a bag, each attracts an additional charge as everything is sold in an a-la-carte manner.

Many people like this, while others feel they’re starting to go too far with the a-la-carte pricing.

Spirit also has a $9 fare club, but passengers must pay an annual fee to sign up for and to join this club. The benefit is $9 base fares (before any taxes/fees) on certain flights, but one must still purchase add-on’s in an a-la-carte manner.

Spirit and the US Department of Transportation Clash Heads

The United States Department of Transportation has passed new rules which require airlines to disclose the exact fare up-front with all taxes and fees included. Secondly, the US DOT now requires airlines to provide a 24 hour period where customers can cancel their flights if they find something better or simply decide, not to travel.

Spirit has been at the center of controversy against these new rules and has made claims this will allow the government to secretly increase taxes. In all fairness, Spirit exists to make profits for their shareholders, but the only “fee’s” we’ve seen going up are fees that Spirit keeps.

The most controversial being the “Passenger Usage Fee” which Spirit collects and allocates in the “taxes and fees” category when displaying the total to the consumer. The “Passenger Usage Fee” is not a tax, but a fee which has quietly doubled over the past year on many tickets. All funds collected with the Passenger Usage Fee go straight to Spirit’s coffers. However, one can avoid the “passenger usage fee” by schlepping out to the airport to purchase tickets at the ticket counter.

The $2 UC ‘unintended consequences’ DOT FEE

In a crusade to make customers believe the 24 hour hold is anti-business and hurts the airline, Spirit is now charging a $2 UC DOT FEE, otherwise known as the DOT unintended consequences fee. Spirit additionally argued it would make it more difficult to fill airplanes.

The irony in this is the legacy carriers have always allowed tickets to be cancelled within 24 hours. When it comes to filling airplanes, Spirit — like all other carriers – engage in a practice called overbooking. More seats are sold than seats on the aircraft in anticipation of no-shows. Many believe it’s questionable the ability to cancel a ticket within 24 hours will have any impact on their bottom line as Spirit has argued.

At the end of the day, Spirit is a low cost carrier and provides competitive fares as well as a large route network across the US and Latin America.  Some passengers prefer the Spirit A La Carte model while others aren’t as keen on the model.

Spirit was the first to initiate a fee for carry-on luggage and Allegiant, another low cost operator, is following Spirit’s lead in charging for carry-on luggage. It should be noted, small personal items can still be brought on-board free.

On a final note, Spirit has one of the newest fleets in the US and Latin America and operates new aircraft from the Airbus A320 family.

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2 Responses


Has anyone flown Spirit Airlines? I am looking for feedback please.

Spirit is the cheapest from DFW to San Diego that is one trip we’re looking at, plus they are cheaper on DFW to Phoenix-Mesa AZA?

I take it Phoenix-Mesa AZA is not the main Phoenix “Sky Harbor” airport by Tempe. How is using Phoenix-Mesa airport?

We plan to travel light and will take our own food and stuff to the airport and maybe one big suitcase for everyone that we can check ? Thanks!


Spriri can be really hit or miss. Interesting airline tho

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