Travelers in Pittsburgh will soon fly to major destinations all over the country on the cheap with Spirit Airlines.
The discount airline announced plans to add Pittsburgh to its network of cities across the US, Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting on May 25, locals can take advantage of Spirit’s nonstop service to several large metropolitan areas, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Myrtle Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Las Vegas, Houston and Los Angeles (which is useful, since American Airlines recently dropped its L.A. flight). The airline currently offers flights from the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, PA.
Flights to all cities will depart from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) once daily, except for those to Fort Lauderdale, which will depart three times a week starting on June 15.
The company touts fares that, on average, cost around 40 percent less than other airlines. They also have Bare Fare and Frill Control, two packages that allow fliers to pay for the options they choose, including bags, seat assignments and refreshments. The former even cuts out all the extras to the point where customers are only paying for a seat and one personal item.
In a statement, Mark Kopczak, vice president of network planning for Spirit Airlines, said Bare Fare and Frill Control sets them apart from other airlines because it gives customers “the most control over their travel budget.”
For a one-time fee of $59.95, guests can also join the $9 Fare Club, a perk that promises to save members tons of money per booking.
The airline also defines its Fit Fleet as “one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient in the US.”
“We’re proud that the airport has seen an 80 percent increase in nonstop destinations in the past two years,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a statement. “Its growth matches the renaissance of our region and we’re delighted to have Spirit join us in those gains.”
Since it launched in 2009, the company has garnered bad press from publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic and Pittsburgh’s own Very Smart Brothas, who cite everything from poor customer service to hidden fees to a rigid no-refund policy. There’s even a Twitter account where angry customers can air their grievances in 140 characters or less. Granted, finding reasons to complain about any airline is an easy task, but Spirit has managed to be one of the internet’s favorite punching bags—whether deserved or not.
If you’re lured by the possibility of nabbing flights for as low as $9, tickets out of Pittsburgh are available for purchase now.