Soaring Savings: Why is Spirit Airlines so Cheap?

Why is Spirit Airlines so Cheap

It’s the question on everyone’s lips, especially those with a penchant for budget travel: Why is Spirit Airlines so Cheap? Air travel, often viewed as a luxury service, can sometimes be an expensive proposition. However, Spirit Airlines has managed to carve out a niche in the budget travel market by offering remarkably low-priced tickets. How does it accomplish this without compromising on safety or service quality? Read on to learn more.

Understanding the Bare Fare

Services Spirit Airlines (Bare Fare Model) Full-Service Airline
Base Fare Includes
Seat and personal item under the seat
Seat, carry-on, checked bag, meals, and drinks
Checked Bag
Additional cost
Usually included
Carry-on Bag
Additional cost
Usually included
In-Flight Meals
Available for purchase
Usually included
Seat Selection
Additional cost
May be included or available for an additional fee
Aircraft Type
Single type (Airbus A320)
Multiple types
Sales Model
Direct sales primarily through the website
Direct and indirect (brokers, travel agencies)
Aircraft Utilization
High utilization rate
In-Flight Entertainment
Available for purchase
Usually included

Its unique Bare Fare pricing model sets Spirit Airlines apart from its competitors. But what exactly is a Bare Fare? In essence, it’s a stripped-down, basic fare that only includes the essential elements of air travel: your seat and a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you. By offering a bare-bones ticket price, Spirit can significantly undercut traditional airline fares. This leads us to wonder, how does Spirit make money?

Profiting from Ancillary Fees

Spirit’s Bare Fare is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you’ve bought your ticket, any extras – like checked luggage, in-flight refreshments, or even overhead cabin space – come at an additional cost. These are known as ancillary fees, and they form a significant portion of Spirit’s revenue. While these costs may add up, travellers have the freedom to choose what extras they pay for. This a-la-carte pricing model allows customers to tailor their flying experience to their specific needs and budget.

Operating a Single Aircraft Type

Streamlining Operations

Another reason behind Spirit’s cheap fares is its operation of a single aircraft type: the Airbus A320. By using only one type of aircraft, Spirit simplifies many aspects of its operations, including maintenance, staff training, and inventory management. This results in significant savings, which are passed on to the customer in the form of lower fares.

Maximizing Seating Capacity

Spirit Airlines maximizes its revenue by squeezing more seats into its planes. Their Airbus A320s are fitted with 178 seats, which is more than what you’d find in most traditional airline configurations. While this may result in a slightly less spacious flying experience, it allows Spirit to spread its costs over a larger number of paying passengers, leading to lower ticket prices.

Why is Spirit Airlines so Cheap?

High Aircraft Utilization Rate

Have you ever wondered, Why is Spirit Airlines so cheap? The answer lies in their high aircraft utilization rate. This means Spirit’s planes spend more time in the air and less time on the ground compared to other airlines. By operating more flights per day with each aircraft, Spirit can serve more passengers and generate more revenue.

Direct Sales Strategy

Spirit Airlines also saves money by selling tickets directly to customers, mostly through their website. This eliminates the need for middlemen or brokers, thereby reducing commission costs. The savings from this direct sales strategy are reflected in Spirit’s low ticket prices.


Spirit Airlines employs a business model that separates the core air transportation service from other amenities. This allows them to offer lower base fares, with additional fees for extra services.

No, safety is a top priority for Spirit Airlines, like any other airline. They follow all safety regulations and guidelines set by aviation authorities.

Spirit’s business model revolves around the Bare Fare, high aircraft utilization, operating a single aircraft type, and direct sales. All these factors allow the airline to keep its costs down and pass the savings on to customers.

Spirit Airlines provides a basic level of service, with additional amenities available for an extra fee. This allows passengers to customize their travel experience based on their needs and budget.

The Bare Fare only includes a personal item that fits under the seat. Carry-on and checked bags come at an additional cost.

Spirit’s fares are transparent, with the Bare Fare being the base cost. Any additional fees for optional services are clearly communicated to the customers.


Why is Spirit Airlines so cheap? is a question with multiple answers, all of which are tied to the company’s strategic choices and business model. By stripping down its fares to the basics, operating a single aircraft type, maximizing seat capacity, and utilizing its aircraft effectively, Spirit Airlines has redefined affordable air travel.


Understanding how Spirit operates can help customers make informed decisions and possibly find some great travel deals. Despite the debate surrounding low-cost airlines, Spirit’s success indicates a strong market demand for their affordable, a-la-carte travel experience.


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