Wow: Spirit Airlines Launching Flights To Miami (MIA)

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Spirit Airlines has just announced that it will start flying to Miami. This is great news for consumers, and not so great news for American Airlines, which is increasingly losing market share at its South Florida hub.

Spirit Airlines launching 30 routes from Miami

Spirit Airlines is already the biggest airline at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), and the airline has now taken the first public step towards launching service at Miami International Airport (MIA). The airline states that this new Miami service will supplement existing Fort Lauderdale service, and reflects that demand in South Florida is getting stronger and stronger.

Spirit Airlines has released the 30 routes that it intends to fly, along with when the routes should launch. The procedure for starting new service at MIA requires that the airline make a public filing outlining routes and start dates before being able to obtain gate and counter space at the airport. The final schedule may be adjusted based on the outcome of that process.

Here are the 30 routes that Spirit Airlines plans to operate out of Miami:

  • Atlantic City (ACY) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Atlanta (ATL) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Baltimore (BWI) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Barranquilla (BAQ) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Bogota (BOG) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Boston (BOS) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Cali (CLO) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Chicago (ORD) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Cleveland (CLE) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Denver (DEN) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Detroit (DTW) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Guatemala City (GUA) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Hartford-Bradley (BDL) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Houston (IAH) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Las Vegas (LAS) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Medellin (MDE) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Myrtle Beach (MYR) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • New York (LGA) 2x daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Newark (EWR) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Orlando (MCO) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Philadelphia (PHL) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • Port-au-Prince (PAP) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • San Jose (SJO) 4x weekly as of November 17, 2021
  • San Juan (SJU) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • San Pedro Sula (SAP) daily as of November 17, 2021
  • San Salvador (SAL) 3x weekly as of October 7, 2021
  • Santo Domingo (SDQ) daily as of October 6, 2021
  • St. Thomas (STT) 3x weekly as of November 18, 2021
Spirit Airlines is adding 30 routes out of Miami

Why would Spirit Airlines start flying out of Miami?

Some might find it strange for an airline with a huge hub in Fort Lauderdale to also fly out of Miami. However, as a Miami resident I avoid flying out of Fort Lauderdale Airport whenever possible.

It’s not that it’s that inconvenient, but there’s something nice about driving just 10 minutes to the airport, and avoiding the stretch of I-95 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which I’m convinced has the world’s worst drivers. On top of that, direct public transportation options between Miami and Fort Lauderdale Airport are quite limited.

I’m not alone in feeling this way, and I know plenty of others who never even check routes or fares out of Fort Lauderdale when planning their travel. I would imagine that enough people think this way, or otherwise airlines wouldn’t be expanding to Miami so much.

American Airlines will be facing more competition in Miami

I’m excited about this new competition, but…

Miami Airport is on fire lately, and Spirit Airlines is the fourth major airline that previously focused on Fort Lauderdale to also add Miami service:

That’s not even factoring in that Delta has expanded significantly in Miami, following the Atlanta-based airline buying a 20% stake in LATAM.

I’m thrilled to see the increased competition in Miami, as this should ultimately benefit consumers, with more choices and lower fares. For a long time American faced surprisingly little domestic competition in Miami, since many airlines viewed Fort Lauderdale as being an acceptable alternative.

That being said, there’s the other side of the equation here, which is that the airport will see a significant uptick in passenger numbers. That potentially means more traffic to the airport, longer security lines, and more crowded terminals.

JetBlue also recently expanded to Miami

Bottom line

Spirit Airlines will be expanding in Miami, and the airline sure plans to make a splash, with a total of 30 routes. This follows similar growth in Miami from both JetBlue and Southwest, which also realized that Fort Lauderdale didn’t quite do the trick for those in Miami.

I’m looking forward to the lower fares and increased competition, though am not necessarily looking forward to Miami Airport getting even more crowded.

What do you make of Spirit Airlines’ expansion in Miami?

Conversations (22)
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  1. Sharon

    Wow, huge announcement.

    Spirit is going to need at least 3 gates if not more. The MIA will be sooo busy next year.

    Between JetBlue,Spirit, Southwest, Frontier, there’s now a lot more competition on routes.

    I’m sure American is nervous for sure now.

  2. Steve

    With all the fights that break out on their planes and at the gates of Spirit this is like throwing fuel on a fire. ***eating popcorn***

  3. fatty380

    MIA better hire additional security personnel to react on spirit’s daily WWE matches at gates.

  4. Diksha

    Wow, this is a significant announcement. Spirit will require at least three gates, if not more. Next year, the MIA will be quite active. There is now a lot more competition on routes thanks to JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, and Frontier. I'm sure the Americans are frightened right now.

    Source: https://tractorguru.in/eicher-tractors

  5. Eskimo

    Readers here seem to associate Spirit with Fight Club.
    I'm still waiting for NK to monetize these fights and make it more official. Maybe they need Jerry Springer to be on the board or in management.
    Funny enough, I might actually consider paying for a ticket if NK can guarantee me a live amateur UFC bouts. Exit rows are not Octagon but should be more than enough. I'm probably going to buy beers...

    Readers here seem to associate Spirit with Fight Club.
    I'm still waiting for NK to monetize these fights and make it more official. Maybe they need Jerry Springer to be on the board or in management.
    Funny enough, I might actually consider paying for a ticket if NK can guarantee me a live amateur UFC bouts. Exit rows are not Octagon but should be more than enough. I'm probably going to buy beers too. Win-Win.

    Back to NK in MIA. In my opinion.
    Short term, we're going to get even cheaper fares out of MIA on AA.
    Long term, half of these routes would get cut when NK realize for them MIA isn't much different from FLL but more expensive.
    If their customers are willing to pay in total as much as legacy but thinking they're cheaper because the base fare is only $9, then going to FLL over MIA is not a problem for them.

    1. Steve

      Big front seat + buzzballs & party drink packs + amateur MMA fights is much better than any lay-flat seat!

    2. Steve

      Every 20-30 year old with an instagram has spent the last 6months-1yr seeing every "influencer" on earth go to miami. Its the #1 destination right now for the core spirit customer. Of course NK is flying there now. Most of their customers probably dont even know what or where Fort Lauderdale is.

    3. Eskimo

      Unless earth means America, there is still an entry restrictions for many countries.
      But sadly you might be right, those 20-30 year old probably don't even know what or where Fort Lauderdale is.

      But we should meet up sometime when NK makes it happen. PPV these days are more expensive than Spirit flights, I'd rather enjoy it in the air.

  6. Tim Dunn

    MIA clearly decided that they cannot afford to be reliant on AA which for years has had a nearly complete US monopoly to Latin America and the vast majority of domestic service as well. NK’s move is just the latest in a massive influx of low cost carriers into MIA that will destabilize AA’s MIA hub even as it tries to rebuild post pandemic. MIA missed the list of AA’s most profitable hubs of DCA,...

    MIA clearly decided that they cannot afford to be reliant on AA which for years has had a nearly complete US monopoly to Latin America and the vast majority of domestic service as well. NK’s move is just the latest in a massive influx of low cost carriers into MIA that will destabilize AA’s MIA hub even as it tries to rebuild post pandemic. MIA missed the list of AA’s most profitable hubs of DCA, CLT and DFW per its execs and DOT data shows that fares to the Caribbean and northern Latin America have been under pressure for years because of the FLL ops of B6, NK and WN. NK’s buildup is half international, mostly to VFR and leisure markets with low frequency domestic routes. AA does fly most of those int’l markets multiple times per day but not near as often as many domestic routes. The sheer number of markets which have seen new low cost carrier growth from MIA is certain to make it near impossible for AA not to lose enormous share and for fares to be permanently lowered. The fact that NK and other carriers say they are not walking away from their positions at FLL will make it even harder for AA to hold onto its position in S. Florida which will fall just as it has in NYC and the west coast. Considering all of the competitive challenges AA faces, they have some enormous strategic decisions to make about what parts of their network they want to defend since they still haven’t totally cut any hubs post-merger

  7. Saint82

    Indeed I-95 between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami is truly frightening. I live in Ft. Lauderdale but frequently go to Miami for the arts and other reason.

    Every time I go, there are multiple serious accidents and people drive like high speed acrobats. It seems like they would put 1+1 together, and realize the cause effect here. But I have lived here nine years and it gets steadily worse. I used to live in NYC,...

    Indeed I-95 between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami is truly frightening. I live in Ft. Lauderdale but frequently go to Miami for the arts and other reason.

    Every time I go, there are multiple serious accidents and people drive like high speed acrobats. It seems like they would put 1+1 together, and realize the cause effect here. But I have lived here nine years and it gets steadily worse. I used to live in NYC, and while it was aggressive driving, it wasn’t flat out crazy like here. Our friend, the Republican governor, spends almost no money on any kind of police presence down here according to the reliable Sun Sentinel newspaper.

    I have started drastically cutting my driving to Miami because of all this. And, of course, I vastly prefer flying out of Ft. Lauderdale because of this.

  8. Evan

    The competition is great for consumers, and AA seems to be taking it from all sides. However, I live near PHL, and I can report that their dominance is very much intact here. I have been surprised at how slowly SWA and other LLCs have expanded in PHL, all while AA has continued to treat PHL as a second-class hub. (Compared to CLT, the routes and frequencies are much more limited.) AA has a near-total...

    The competition is great for consumers, and AA seems to be taking it from all sides. However, I live near PHL, and I can report that their dominance is very much intact here. I have been surprised at how slowly SWA and other LLCs have expanded in PHL, all while AA has continued to treat PHL as a second-class hub. (Compared to CLT, the routes and frequencies are much more limited.) AA has a near-total monopoly on Caribbean routes and little competition outside Oneworld to Europe.

  9. Stuart

    Let's not forget Delta's increased presence to feed LATAM. I honestly have no idea how the airport is going to handle this growth. Security lines, even at TSA PRE, are chaos as it is in the winter. It's going to be messy.

    1. Matt

      Did DL really scale up? There was a lot of talk about building Miami and they launched Orlando and Tampa which got cut within weeks.

      I just think that was a bad strategic move for both airlines.

  10. Mike

    Spirit must have been watching all the MIA fight videos circulating lately and wanted to get in on the action.

  11. GBOAC

    I'm curious whether the LCC airlines starting service to MIA will end up adding a lot of new service to South FL or ending up just moving a lot of the their FLL flights to MIA.
    I pose this as this is what happened at OAK when several airlines (I'm looking at you jetBlue) serving OAK started to also serve SFO.

    1. Eskimo

      Well no offence, but OAK is just like EWR.
      Serves a small group well, but hated by most people.

      Will they move, I personally don't think so. I would think South FL can handle the supply for both airports.
      Let's face it OAK (or EWR) isn't as interchangeable as MIA/FLL. For me comparing OAK and SFO is more MIA and PBI.

  12. Javi

    What about service to Panama?

    Copa could absolutely “use” the competition (wink, wink)!

    American too.

    We need lower fares to that busy Panamanian airport!

  13. Lucas

    Maybe should mention that Frontier has been opening new routes in MIA. I would think that's the main motivation for Spirit.

  14. KK13

    "..avoiding the stretch of I-95 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which I’m convinced has the world’s worst drivers." -- I can attest to that. In fact, in general FL drivers are the worst IMO.

    For me, I'd so prefer to fly from MCO to MIA instead of driving.

  15. ChadMC

    In an ideal world, I'd love to see American Airlines take the lead with a superior product, strong AAdvantage program, and a stellar route network that may actually be worth paying a bit more for. With excellent seats, outstanding wi-fi, inflight services/meals/beverages, inflight entertainment, all backed by a strong AAdvantage member base willing to pay a bit more to fly on this excellent product.

    Unfortunately, this is the America West crew running the show....

    In an ideal world, I'd love to see American Airlines take the lead with a superior product, strong AAdvantage program, and a stellar route network that may actually be worth paying a bit more for. With excellent seats, outstanding wi-fi, inflight services/meals/beverages, inflight entertainment, all backed by a strong AAdvantage member base willing to pay a bit more to fly on this excellent product.

    Unfortunately, this is the America West crew running the show. They will cut the already basic (and non-premium) product even further wondering why they cannot command a premium price and have little reason for AAdvantage members to be loyal. I really would love it if AA would be higher priced, but a far superior product, but it is highly unlikely they will do that and instead just focus exclusively on price. They'll likely bleed money in MIA as they will match all the LCC's prices where they have competition. That's bad news for routes with no competition as those prices will soar yet keep the basic/low cost product.

  16. Vasiliy

    There is no way I am flying on Spirit from SEA to MIA if they will use those Airbus planes. Last flight I took to LAS on Airbus 3** was horrible! The seats felt like you are sitting on a garden bench. For 3 hours! Forget it! I am not flying Spirit economy seats. I would rather pay more for Delta and fly in their nice Boeing planes with plush seats.

    1. Matt

      Nothing to do with Airbus... its the seats choose to outfit them. Fly a Ryanair Boeing and tell me that it is an amazing experience. Or try a Q-suite on an Airbus 350 and tell me its rubbish.

Featured Comments Load all 22 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Steve

Every 20-30 year old with an instagram has spent the last 6months-1yr seeing every "influencer" on earth go to miami. Its the #1 destination right now for the core spirit customer. Of course NK is flying there now. Most of their customers probably dont even know what or where Fort Lauderdale is.

fatty380

MIA better hire additional security personnel to react on spirit’s daily WWE matches at gates.

Evan

The competition is great for consumers, and AA seems to be taking it from all sides. However, I live near PHL, and I can report that their dominance is very much intact here. I have been surprised at how slowly SWA and other LLCs have expanded in PHL, all while AA has continued to treat PHL as a second-class hub. (Compared to CLT, the routes and frequencies are much more limited.) AA has a near-total monopoly on Caribbean routes and little competition outside Oneworld to Europe.

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