q Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Spirit Comes Up Short, Frontier Adds a Perfect 10 – Cranky Flier

Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Spirit Comes Up Short, Frontier Adds a Perfect 10

Cranky Weekly Review

Spirit Ends Tumultuous Year in the Red

Spirit Airlines’s 2023 Earnings Report revealed that 2023 ended with a loss as the carrier reported a $215 million deficit for Q4, capping a year that saw a loss of nearly $500 million. Despite this, and the likely end of its merger with JetBlue, the carrier expects to return to profitability in ’24. CEO Ted Christie said it expects a significant improvement in TRASM going into the first three months of this year which — combined with Spirit’s new $199 fee it is charging customers who have ever flown JetBlue before — will return Spirit to the black.

Spirit reported a completion factor of 99.2% in the Q4, with the .8% representing flights where a majority of passengers refused to pool their cash together to pay Spirit’s landing fee. The airline says it earned about $10 million in incremental revenue during December thanks to its strong operational performance, a feat that’s continued into January and the new year. Total revenue for Spirit in Q4 was $1.3 billion, a 5% decrease from a year ago, while revenue per passenger segment dropped 15% to $115.

It finished the year with $865 million in cash and cash equivalents, a significant drop from the $1.3 billion it ended 2022 with. The airline attributed the drop to legal fees dealing with the merger and the cost of repainting all of its planes back to yellow after having painted them blue.

Frontier Adds 10 from Philadelphia

Frontier announced 10 new nonstop destinations from its growing operation in Philadelphia, now giving the carrier 39 unique destinations from Philly, and an average of 44 daily departures this summer.

All of the 10 new frontiers will launch this May in time for the summer travel season. The destinations are:

  • Chicago/O’Hare (daily)
  • Columbus (3x weekly)
  • Detroit (daily)
  • Indianapolis (3x weekly)
  • Kansas City (3x weekly)
  • Knoxville (3x weekly)
  • Milwaukee (3x weekly)
  • Pensacola (3x weekly)
  • Portland (ME) (3x weekly)
  • St Louis (4x weekly)

It will compete with American, Delta, and Spirit on the daily flight to Detroit and with both American and United to Chicago/O’Hare.

Frontier says it has intro fares of just $19 in all 10 markets, which surely is easy to find, will be available when you want to fly, and won’t end up costing $200 after adding in all the extras.

Delta Announce Details of Fancy New Lounges, SkyClub Expansions

Delta Air Lines revealed renderings of its three new premium lounges set to open later this year. As of now, it’s planning one each in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York/JFK, with JFK expected to open this summer and the other two by the end of the year.

The lounges will be primarily for passengers in the carrier’s Delta One cabin on long-haul international routes and a limited number of premium domestic routes like, oh, say, Los Angeles to Oakland. Delta said it hasn’t fully determined what the access requirements will be for the lounges, which means it’s likely awaiting its marching orders from American Express.

The JFK lounge will be nearly 40,000 square-feet and will including an outdoor terrace, full-service restaurant brasserie, and dedicated wellness areas designed to help customers cope when they realize how many SkyMiles it took to get that D1 ticket with access to the new lounge. LAX’s lounge will be about 10,000 square-feet and will have direct elevator access from the D1 check-in area while the Boston lounge will be located in a closet about four miles from the airport.

The carrier also announced SkyClub expansions at locations including Charlotte, Miami, New York/LGA, and Seattle.

Denver Finally Opens West Security Checkpoint

Denver International Airport opened its West Security Checkpoint this week, adding 17 new screening lanes for passengers at the airport that’s often derided for having some of the longest security lines in the country.

The new checkpoint is the first of two planned to open at the airport — which handled nearly 78 million passengers in 2023 — its busiest year ever. The new checkpoint offers standard security, along with TSA PreCheck and CLEAR, and also has a water-filled pit with hungry sharks that Basic Economy passengers must walk over with a one in ten chance the floor will be pulled out from under them.

The second new checkpoint is scheduled to open next year, with construction on the shark pit beginning later this year.

Emirates Plans to Keep a Closer Eye on Boeing

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark plans to send its own engineers to peer over the shoulder of Boeing’s production lines in a move that will surely thaw the frosty relations between the two.

Clark went on the record to say he’s concerned about a “progressive decline” in Boeing’s performance, a statement that comes at a poor time as he just committed about $50 billion of his airline’s money to the manufacturer to purchase 95 widebody aircraft.

Exact details of the oversight program are being worked out now, but its expected that Emirates observers will be prohibited from blowing in the ear of Boeing’s front-line staff and will be required to pop a mint in their mouth before being allowed on the floor.

  • Air Canada‘s troubles with passengers with disabilities continues.
  • Alaska and Hawaiian received a request for additional information from the DOJ. Our sources tell us the government asked for a quart of POG juice.
  • Allegiant says your guess as to when it’ll receive its for B737 MAX is a good as anyone’s.
  • ANA expects to debut its B787-10 on domestic flights by next month.
  • Austrian is adding 11 Dreamliners.
  • Avelo is adding four new destinations from New Haven: Atlanta, Charlotte Concord, Destin, and Knoxville.
  • BA is returning to Tel Aviv on April 1, but with a stop in Cyprus.
  • Condor is headed to both Bangkok and Phuket.
  • Copa wants to be compensated by Boeing for the MAX 9 grounding. Sources inside the carrier say it won’t be satisfied unless Boeing makes an offer that blows the doors off of their expecations.
  • Delta is considering a cabin refresh rebranding.
  • El Al is ending service to both Dublin and Marrakech after finding the bagel and lox offerings in both cities to be subpar.
  • Emirates is returning to Adelaide. Daily flights begin on October 28 using a B777-200LR. Emirates is also now the worldwide global airline partner of the NBA with the league’s bizarre and confusing in-season tournament renamed the Emirates NBA Cup.
  • Finnair wants to know what you weigh. 
  • Hawaiian has free wifi now.
  • Icelandair had a great year for the bottom line.
  • oneworld named now-former Alaska exec Nathaniel Pieper as its new CEO.
  • PLAY canceled an LOI to purchase two airplanes, choosing to purchase a giant Monopoly board instead.
  • Qantas will reveal its A220 to the world on February 22.
  • Qatar will begin 4x weekly, summer-only service to Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • Ryanair won in court.
  • SAS hopes to bring the A350 back into the mix.
  • Southwest revealed its new cabin interiors to mixed reviews.
  • TAROM sold two slots to Virgin Atlantic at London/Heathrow. Or not.
  • Thai ordered 45 Dreamliners.
  • United is going to have a Super Bowl commercial on Sunday.

Did you hear about the fishing hook that was oversensitive? It was a defensive tackle.

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