January 30, 2004 -- The weather in the Northeast is getting ridiculous. Near our offices in New York, we got 10 inches of snow on Wednesday. This has to stop.
Spirit Airlines (www.spiritair.com) doesn't have mystical powers over the weather, but they do appear to have mystical powers over airfares. If you buy today, you can get flights from Washington, D.C.'s National Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a mere $98 plus tax (a total of $116.70) roundtrip -- about half the price of fares on other airlines, including Southwest. Spirit even has pretty decent flight times with their two flights per day from DC into Fort Lauderdale, letting you leave early, return late, and get the maximum possible amount of sun.
The super-low fare applies for travel any day between now and Feb. 11, and for flights on Tuesdays-Thursdays from Feb. 12 to May 25. You must book your flights on spiritair.com -- these fares won't show up on travel agency sites. And you must book today. This is an amazing fare.
We've reported on Spirit many times in the past. If you haven't flown them, they're an honest and friendly budget carrier that generally delivers on their promises.
If Florida just isn't warm enough, try Spirit's extraordinary fare to San Juan, Puerto Rico. With the same requirements and restrictions as the Fort Lauderdale deal, they're charging $186 roundtrip ($225.90 including tax) for flights from Reagan National into San Juan. (The flights aren't nonstop -- you have to either pause or change planes in Fort Lauderdale.) That's a shocking $100 below the fare on any other airline we could find for February dates.
A little more expensive, yet also cheaper than the competitors' rates is Spirit's sale fare to Cancun, Mexico. With the same restrictions as the fares above, they're sending people to paradise for $298 roundtrip plus tax -- $395 total, or $100 less than anyone else is charging. Once more, you have to change planes in Fort Lauderdale, but you'd still have to change planes with the much more expensive fares being charged by other airlines.
When we spoke to Spirit execs recently, they expressed concern that they don't have a high enough profile in DC. With fares like these into Washington's most convenient airport, DC-area residents shouldn't make the mistake of overlooking their options with Spirit.