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Low-cost airlines differ significantly from other carriers that offer a comprehensive network of services. The notable differences include the prices charged over the same distance and the kind of products and services they offer. The Spirit Airlines is a low-cost airline in the United States while American Airlines is a comprehensive network carrier. This paper is a comparison of Spirit Airlines and American Airlines in terms of their prices and products and their effects on passengers.
Comparison between Spirit Airlines and American Airlines
According to the Spirit Airlines (2014) website, the lowest fare price for a round-trip from New York to Atlanta is $321.59 if reservations are made three days earlier via the online check-in system. If the reservation is made a month prior to the travel, then the fare for one individual is between $ 171.59 and $271.59. These prices are based on the Spirit Airlines’ product-BARE FARE.
According to the American Airways (2014) website, the lowest fare price for travels booked three days prior to the travel date for a round-trip from New York to Atlanta is between $609 and $902. These costs depend on whether the passengers choose to travel onboard the main cabin, business class or the first class. Tickets purchased one month prior to the date of travel cost between $289 and $687 for the same round trip journey from New York to Atlanta.
One can argue that the different pricing structures and products offered by various airlines are for competition purposes. Low-cost airlines offer low prices, but they compromise on the comfort of flight, such as a small leg space. On the other hand, comprehensive network carriers offer comfortable services, but at higher prices.
Complex Air pricing and the implications
Passengers onboard the same coach class can pay different prices, depending on how many bags one has and the kind of services one needs to be given. Those with more than one bag may be required to pay more for the extra bags. A passenger who requires a special meal will be needed to pay extra than the standard fare price. These pricing structures are adopted to maximize profits while at the same time accommodate passengers with different economic capabilities.
However, pricing structures are sometimes guided by demand. Passengers who have specific needs, such as special meals, are given the services, but at an increased price. The level of services offered by different airlines differs. For instance, low-cost airlines normally do not have enough space for the legs. Free drinks are also not provided by cheap carriers. On the other hand, comprehensive network carriers, such as the American Airways, offer ample leg spaces and free drinks.
Different airlines use various methods to price their journeys. Low-cost airlines adopt the approach of tagging their prices lower in exchange for the common services that other passengers in comprehensive network carriers enjoy. Spirit Airlines, for example, will charge low fares to accommodate many passengers. However, low-cost airlines have adopted certain measures to recover their income. For example, the Spirit Airlines only allows one small bag per passenger and charges subsequent bags. On the other hand, comprehensive network carriers, such as the American Airways, do not charge extra fees for the first three bags for passengers who board business and first-class coaches. Air pricing is a useful tool to achieve marketing goals.
American Airways. (2014). Web.
Spirit Airlines. (2014). Web.