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Spirit adds Charleston to its network in 3-route expansion

Dec. 14, 2022
3 min read
Spirit adds Charleston to its network in 3-route expansion
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Spirit Airlines is touching down in Charleston, South Carolina, early next year.

The Miramar, Florida-based carrier announced on Wednesday that it's adding South Carolina's most populous city to its route map on April 5, 2023. Spirit will fly three daily routes from Charleston International Airport (CHS) to:

  • Fort Lauderdale.
  • Newark.
  • Philadelphia.

Charleston will become Spirit's second route-map pin in South Carolina, joining service to Myrtle Beach that's operated for more than 25 years.

SPIRIT AIRLINES

"We're excited to connect the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, with three of the biggest metro areas on the East Coast," said John Kirby, Spirit's vice president of network planning in a statement.

Spirit is marketing the new flights as being great for locals and visitors alike. The airline will offer plenty of one-stop connections from Charleston to popular cities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean via its gateway in Fort Lauderdale. Meanwhile, service to Philly and the New York City area will help locals get more access to major cities in the Northeast.

Plus, "the Northeast and Florida have consistently been top areas of origin for visitors," said Helen Hill, chair of Charleston's aviation authority, meaning that Spirit can likely tap into a robust market of those looking to visit Charleston from key cities along the East Coast.

Charleston has grown in popularity in recent years as a destination, especially among leisure travelers looking for outdoor-focused adventures. The city and its nearby coastline, golf courses and other attractions have led to an influx of visitors.

Perhaps the most interesting route is the one from Newark. That's where Spirit recently won some hotly contested slots that were abandoned after Southwest Airlines left the airport in 2019. The Department of Transportation awarded these takeoff and landing permissions to Spirit in the hopes of increasing competition at the airport, especially against United Airlines' leading position there.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Historically, United has been the only carrier flying between Newark and Charleston, so Spirit's service will go head-to-head against the incumbent.

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In Philadelphia, Spirit will go up against American Airlines and soon-to-relaunch service from ultra-low-cost rival Frontier Airlines, which will commence seasonal service from Philly to Charleston on March 9, 2023, Cirium schedules show.

Spirit will face quite a bit of competition in Fort Lauderdale, where JetBlue Airways and Silver Airways already fly between Charleston and South Florida.

In addition to Spirit, CHS has recently been in the news for winning a new airline service from startup Breeze Airways, which counts the city as one of its bases. In its 18 months of operation, Breeze has already expanded from Charleston multiple times.

Another startup carrier, Avelo Airlines, also recently began flying to Charleston from its base in New Haven, Connecticut. That service operates roughly twice a week.

Either way, Spirit is hoping to make a (yellow) splash into the new market with attractive introductory fares, starting at $39 for one-way travel to and from Philadelphia and at $49 for one-way travel to and from Fort Lauderdale and Newark.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees