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What's yellow and black but turns faces red?
Spirit Airlines yesterday unceremoniously unveiled their new aircraft paint job, posting the unflattering image above to Twitter. The bold yellow-and-black scheme is a massive change from their most recent clean look, and it's already being dubbed the "Pikachu plane," although Spirit themselves like to describe it as "unique, bold, fun & clearly identifiable even at 35,000 feet."
It's also ugly, but you know what? Spirit don't care. It's all about making money, which they happen to do at the expense of none-the-wiser budget travelers who think they're getting a good deal, only to be nickel-and-dimed all the way to the destination (and made to drink wine-in-a-can). The new look is so visible, so eye-searing, that no doubt flyers onboard other planes will spot Spirit's birds on the runway and remember that name for future bookings, and that's the whole idea.
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You’re probably pretty familiar with Spirit Airlines at this point. The ultra low cost carrier charges for this, that, and the other thing, and they’re not exactly known for their customer service or putting flyers first. Now things are about to get even worse—or better—as the airline is kind of setting their Twitter presence on autopilot.
Spirit recognizes that keeping up with social media takes some time, and that time is money. That’s why they just announced that they are planning to just rely on automatic responses to feed into their Twitter account. That means that if you’re complaining to them through Twitter or just looking for a little bit of help all you can expect is an automatic reply.
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Once upon a time we wrote that Spirit Airlines seemed set on becoming "the Ryanair of the United States." Then a month laterin the context of raising fees and amid moves to create non-reclining seatsthey declared that they were really proud of being the Ryanair of the United States. True story.
Fast forward to last weekend, when the Daily Mail published a synopsis of fees charged by the airline. They found 70 of them, which the airline imposed in 2011 to the sum of $76 million in profits. Spirit charges for carry-ons. It charges for printing boarding passes at the terminal.
It even charges a $2 fee each way because the Department of Transportation passed some rules that the airline didn't like. Really. The fee is called the "Unintended Consequences of DOT Regulations Fee." It exists. Douchebags.
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
· American Airlines:
They are still waiting on the necessary approvals and paperwork from various government agencies, but when the stamps and seals come through it’ll be good news for American Airlines. They’re thinking about heading down to Brazil, as they look to connect both Los Angeles and Chicago with São Paulo.
If all goes according to plan it’ll be LAX scoring the flights first, as it sounds like they want to get those up and running by the end of this year; however, for fans of Chicago-O’Hare you’ll just have to be patient. Those flights probably won’t hit the skies until later in 2014. At least at that point you’ll probably have the snazzy new livery and logo all over the outside of the plane.
For those snowed in over in the Windy City this week it’s probably a good time to start dreaming—or acting upon—a warm weather escape. JetBlue feels your pain, and they’re getting ready to do something about it. Unfortunately the sun and the sand aren’t arriving immediately, but they are working on getting it to you a little later this year.
The plan is for JetBlue to start nonstop flights between Chicago-O’Hare and San Juan beginning on November 20. The flights will head back and forth each and every day of the week, and if Puerto Rico isn’t your final destination that’s not a problem. JetBlue has plenty of connections to other Caribbean spots right out of San Juan—start stocking up on the sunscreen now.
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· Southwest Airlines:
It’s a big deal when Southwest Airlines picks a new city to serve, as we’re pretty sure people enjoy lower cost flight options and the ability to check a couple bags for free. That’s why citizens of Des Moines, Iowa are excited, as Southwest has just started flying to and from their local airport.
Technically there was AirTran service here before, but now it’s going to be the blue-bellied planes doing the flying. Flights have already started to do their thing and, as of now, it looks like Southwest is connecting Des Moines with a couple flights per day over to Chicago’s Midway Airport. Now all the city needs is some cheap nonstop flights down to Florida during the colder months, and they’ll be all set.
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Usually when JetBlue is planning to arrive in a new city there’s some rumors and news preceding the big announcement, but this week we were kind of caught off guard. JetBlue just announced that Charleston, South Carolina will be their latest destination, and the flying fun will be done to cities like Boston and New York. Flights will head back and forth twice per day between New York, and just once per day to and from Boston. All the new options start up on February 28 of next year, and all the flying fun will be done thanks to a little assistance from some of JetBlue’s Embraer E190s. Oh—and of course—the live television and snacks will be free.
· Spirit Airlines:
Hopefully you weren’t too attached to Spirit Airlines and their service to and from Washington-National Airport, as it looks like the planes and pilots are on the move. Spirit is flying out of town in favor of utilizing the somewhat nearby Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Apparently the airline wasn’t too pleased with the ability to expand and grow at an airport that kind of has rules against growth and expansion. They’re already added a new option over to Dallas/Fort Worth, and that joins Ft. Lauderdale as their other nonstop option. You know the deal when it comes to Spirit Airlines, so just watch those fees!
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· Spirit Airlines:
If you’re looking for cheap flights Spirit Airlines has ‘em, and this week they’ve got four more new routes to help you get away. On October 4 the airline that charges extra for everything—including your carry-on bag—is getting ready to connect Houston-Intercontinental with both Las Vegas and Chicago-O’Hare. There will be daily options available on these new routes, so perfect for both leisure and business travelers.
On the same day they’re also starting a new round trip option between Phoenix-Mesa and Denver. After that the new routes shift to November 4, as that’s the day the daily options begin between Portland—the one in Oregon—and San Diego. Again, just keep an eye on those fees, otherwise your airfare deal might just slip away.
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It’s always exciting when JetBlue has a new route to announce, and this week they’re getting us all hot and bothered with their newest option to and from Bogotá, Colombia. The new flights will start up on May 7 and will do their thing between Fort Lauderdale and Bogotá. Planes are scheduled to leave Florida around 8am, and the flights back to the nifty fifty will depart from Colombia around 11:30am. JetBlue is particular excited about this new route, so they’re even offering initial fares for as low as $99 each way. We can taste the blue chips already.
· Korean Air:
The big bird is on the move, as it sounds like Korean Air is sending one of their Airbus A380s all the way to Atlanta. The carrier is still ironing out all the different details, but the plane could be headed between Seoul and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as soon as January of 2013. The airport is still finalizing a couple bits and pieces of airport infrastructure to welcome the new plane, so hopefully the shiny new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal will be one of the first to welcome the A380 to Atlanta.
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Valentine's Day can be such a stressful time for those without lovers, those who just started having lovers and those who have had lovers for longer than they initially planned. There's always so much pressure to do something for V-day and despite the economy woes, some crazy lovers are still demanding you top last year's efforts. Which is how you inexplicably get sucked into going on vacation with crazy and demanding lover.
Maybe it's because your marriage is failing or maybe it's just because new destinations turn you on. Whatever the reason may be for your getting out of town, there's no need for you to break the bank getting there. Below, we've rounded up Five Air Fare Sales for a Weekend of Love.