Frontier passengers in Orlando see delays as company announces merger with Spirit

Airlines said merger would serve more than 145 destinations

ORLANDO, Fla. – Patrick Paoletta was like many passengers at the Orlando International Airport — not happy to hear about the possible merger between Frontier and Spirit airlines.

“I’m disappointed to hear that,” Paoletta said. “With less competition, likely the prices will go up.”

However, other passengers said they are all for it.

“More destinations, keep the cost down,” Melanie Dellapina said.

“I’m all for the merger if it’s going to make it better,” Lindsey Seubold said.

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Both airlines said the merger would serve more than 145 destinations and deliver $1 billion in annual consumer savings. They also said it will add more than 10,000 jobs by 2026.

The announcement happened on the same day there were major delays and cancellations with Frontier Airlines at the Orlando International Airport. Frontier said a technical issue, that has now been resolved, was the reason for Monday’s delays.

Daniel Burnham, from Scott’s Cheap Flights, said the merger could mean more flights to international destinations, though, depending on the city, there could also be increased costs because of less competition.

“It’s always tricky when an airline exits the stage. We always find the more airlines we have, the more competition, the more planes in the air,” Burnham said. “Even if you’re not a regular Frontier or Spirit flyer, it’s probably not good news, especially in the Orlando area, when you have a presence of both carriers in the airport.”

No timeline on when the merger will be official or the next steps.

Orlando Mayor Dyer released a statement Monday.

“As the City of Orlando and the Central Florida region continues to be a popular destination for all, we look forward to hearing more about the impacts of this merger for the Orlando International Airport, as it remains a critical resource to our community,” the mayor said.

“Central Florida is one of the nation’s top destinations, so travel options are vital to providing passengers the broadest possible access,” said Tom Draper, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Acting Chief Executive Officer, in a statement. “Orlando International Airport welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with both Spirit and Frontier to offer service that benefits our collective customers.”

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.