rolled out the yellow carpet for the start of
' service on Thursday.
"We want Spirit Airlines to feel welcome here in Cleveland," said Airport Director Ricky Smith. "Cleveland showed their support today and showed Spirit why we're a great city to be a part of."
The airport held a "Fun in the Sun" pep rally for passengers on the inaugural flight to Orlando at Gate A-6. Passengers were treated to the high school band, The St. Ed's Trash Talkers, to celebrate the first flight. Departing passengers also received yellow and black pom-poms and 10,000 FREE Spirit Miles to anywhere they fly. Afterwards, two lucky passengers were crowned king and queen of Spirit. When it was time to board, passengers ran through a paper banner – much like a high school pep rally – as they boarded the aircraft.
"We are excited to bring lower fares to Cleveland," said Mark Kopczak, Spirit's vice president of network planning. "With Spirit's 'Bare Fare' and 'Frill Control,' our new customers in the Cleveland area can travel to many great destinations and have more money in their pocket once they get there."
Last September, Spirit Airlines announced it would begin operating from Hopkins with eight new routes:
-Tampa (3 days/week)
-Seasonal service to Fort Myers (4 days/week)
-Fort Myers (seasonal/winter)
-Tampa service increasing to daily service
-Fort Worth (daily)
-Las Vegas (daily)
Eileen Campo says she and her family of six saved about $1,200 on tickets to Florida.
"I am willing to bring my own snack and drink on the plane to get a good deal," says Campo.
Todd Payne, an administrator at the airport, says Thursday's announcement benefits the travelers, airline, airport and economy.
"There are so many reasons to be optimistic about northeast Ohio and the economy," he says.
Spirit Airlines prides itself on offering low, nonstop fares to warm places, such as Florida, where Clevelanders like to visit.
On April 16, not only will they add daily service to Los Angeles and Myrtle Beach (seasonal/summer), but also add daily service to Boston, which was announced on Jan. 7 before Spirit Airlines began operating from Hopkins.