Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 9, 2014

GLYNN: Spirit's stock soars on NYSE

Niagara Gazette — Talk to anyone who’s ever flown Spirit Airlines and you’re bound to hear the same complaints that passengers on other low-budget carriers always convey. The seats aren’t exactly comfortable. The airlines has irked countless passengers with its fees for things like carry-on bags, assigned seats and printed boarding passes.

Regardless of the wide-ranging complaints, Spirit’s stock performance continues to soar, according to Wall Street Journal columnist Justin Lahart.

At present, Spirit operates flights out of the Niagara Falls International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Myrtle Beach. S.C. According to C. Douglas Hartmayer, public affairs director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Canadians comprise a significant portion of the passenger volumes. In fact, a recent survey showed that 88 percent of the vehicles in the Falls airport parking had Ontario license plates. Myrtle Beach, especially, has been a favorite winter haven for Canadians.

The airline’s passenger count for outbound flights from the Falls airport totaled 4,219 in January 2014, compared with 2,527 in January 2013, a 67 percent increase. At the same time, it increased its flights from 22 to 31 in the same span.

Despite what some grumpy travelers may contend, Spirit officials look on the brighter side of the business while hoping the customer service will improve as well. Passengers upset with those extra charges can join the $9 Fare Club which costs $59.95 per year that mostly offsets that with the special low fares and deals on baggage fees.

The airlines now operates some 250 flights to 50 destinations in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, It’s also one of the few airlines offering service from the United States to the expanding markets in Panama and Columbia.

ON THE BLOCK: Brennan’s Irish Pub, a once-popular tavern and restaurant in Youngstown, will be up for auction March 29. Described as a turnkey business opportunity, the bidding is set for 1 p.m. at the restaurant, 418 Main St. The property includes a 2,000-square-foot dining room, a 2,400-square-foot sports bar, and  1,400-square-foot banquet hall. The previous owner had the endless challenge of trying to cope with the inevitable downturn in business during the off season.

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