Spirit Airlines Launches $1 LA-Vegas Fare

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Phillip C, flickr

While airfares have been rising across the country, a good old-fashioned fare war has broken out in Las Vegas, where Spirit Airlines said it plans to launch service from Los Angeles with $1 fares.

Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit said on Tuesday it would begin five daily nonstop flights between Vegas and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) starting May 5, with introductory fares of $9 each way. The carrier then dropped fares to $1 after several rival carriers slashed their own fares in response.

Analysts say this kind of fare war is typical in the European leisure travel, where Ryanair and EasyJet often undercut traditional rivals. Fare wars like this are a little less frequent in the U.S., but Spirit is trying to make a splash in a big destination for gamblers and conventioneers.

"It's hard to break into a new market," Rick Seaney, chief executive and co-founder of FareCompare.com told AOL Travel News. "There's a lot of competition from Vegas to LA."

Spirit said it would offer its cheapest fares for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between May 10 and June 15th.

Rival Southwest Airlines, the dominant airline between LA and Las Vegas responded immediately by dropping fares to $29 each way and Allegiant Air, which is based in Las Vegas and flies to Long Beach, Calif., cut fares to $10, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

JetBlue later matched the airfare with its own discounted seats from Las Vegas to Long Beach. American Airlines and US Airways matched that fare sale with $58 round-trip fares.

The low fares do not include taxes and fees.

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