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All Things Travel: Spirit Airlines Announces Boston To Chicago Service

By Bob Weiss
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Spirit Airlines announced new service from Logan Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport with two daily flights starting on August 18th.

Spirit is an ultra-low-cost airline with selected seats on the new route available for as little as $9 each way.

Looking at their web site for a departure from Boston on August 20th, the fare to Chicago was quoted at $53.54 plus about $20 or more in taxes and fuel surcharges.

Still, the Spirit announcement is making news and will undercut the cost of tickets on low cost carrier JetBlue and Southwest Airlines which also offer service to Chicago.

After the summer season, Sprit is expected to reduce its new service to one flight a day.

Nevertheless, the announcement is not good news for legacy carriers American and United that both have hubs at O’Hare and find their fares under pressure from their low-cost rivals. AA and United cater to the business traveler that uses corporate discounts and collects frequent flyer miles.

The news continues a hot streak for Logan airport, which continues to attract low cost carriers. Logan had an 11.3 percent gain in total passengers using the airport in the month of May. The figure of arriving and departing passengers was 2,612,859 for May.

Spirit operates from Terminal B at Logan and also has service to Atlantic City, Ft. Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The airline continues to make news by charging fees for every service, but keeps its published fares low. Its latest fee, also announced this week, is to charge $1 to have an agent print out a boarding card at the airport counter. It hopes to have the majority of its customers print their boarding information before they reach the airport.

Airline fees are big business that totaled $21.5 billion worldwide last year.

In a study released last year, The Consumer Travel Alliance found that so called “hidden fees” could account to 25% to 50% in addition to the price of the ticket. Spirit Airlines was the first U.S. carrier to charge a fee for checked bags,

Bob Weiss” All Things Travel” Reports can be heard on WBZ Radio

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