John Wayne Airport

Spirit Airlines Flying to Las Vegas, Oakland out of John Wayne Airport Starting in November

Spirit Airlines will be offering direct flights to Oakland and Las Vegas.

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A new airline is about to take off from John Wayne Airport -- the first to be added in three years.

The announcement to bring Spirit Airlines was made on Tuesday as passenger activity has dropped nearly 70 percent since the pandemic began.

On its website, Spirit Air advertises one-way fares as low as $25, but there are up-charges, for example, a front-row seat will cost as much as $175 more.

The Miami-based airline will add direct flights from John Wayne Airport to Oakland and Las Vegas as well as connecting flights.

Dennis Spencer is the definition of a frequent flyer. He flies 75,000 miles a year, even now, to get to work sites. He believes given the state of the travel industry, Spirit Air won't add much.

"They're just taking the travelers from somebody else right now. United is pricey, Spirit is not," said Spencer.

Officials at John Wayne Airport say when the pandemic hit they lost 97 percent of the traveling public.


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Lorelei Acuña is flying for the first time since March.

"I just put on two masks...have sanitizer...I'll be OK," Acuña said.

In the meantime, Spirit Airlines is banking on finding new travelers ready to get back in the sky. Airport officials say there are three kinds of travelers now -- those who must, those who can, and those who will.

Spirit Airlines is set to begin service in November 2020.

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