‘They’re wiping out the competition’: JetBlue-Spirit merger takes flight

Travelers are speaking out after JetBlue agreed to buy Spirit airlines for $3.8 billion.

The announcement was made on Thursday, and this merger will create the fifth largest airline in the United States, if closed.


Action News Jax spoke with Paul Manchester, who is a frequent JetBlue traveler.

“They’re wiping out the competition,” Manchester said. “If it’s reduced rates -- it’s reduced rates. It’ll give me another chance to book different flights.”

Manchester was on his way to Long Island and told me another reason why he chooses to fly with JetBlue.

RELATED: JetBlue to buy Spirit Airlines for $3.8B

“It’s about having that little TV,” Manchester said. “It really is. JetBlue normally makes things easy with the TV, so I don’t have to talk to everybody around.”

JetBlue said this deal challenges the dominant Big Four airlines.

The announcement comes as just a day ago, Spirit and Frontier agreed to terminate their merger proposal.


After closing, the new JetBlue-Spirit will offer more than 1,700 daily flights to more than 125 destinations.

Tumeca Anthony and her family traveled on JetBlue for the first time.

“No changes for us,” Anthony said. “It’s just going to be more travel. It’s OK with us. We’re all for it.”

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Anthony explained how she chooses an airline to fly with.

“It just depends on where we’re going and what’s out there,” Anthony said. “We’ll talk to friends and see what costs they’re using.”

Others say the deal won’t change how they travel.

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Teresa and Perry Waddington were on their way to St. Louis from Jacksonville.

“We have no reason to consider it,” Teresa Waddington said.

“They don’t fly to St. Louis, and we’re moving from there,” Perry Waddington added. “We’ve lived there for years. We don’t even think about them.

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For the Waddingtons, this is what’s most important to them: “nonstop service”

Keep in mind, the deal is not finalized.

Right now, JetBlue and Spirit remain independent airlines.

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You won’t notice any changes to your travel plans from Thursday’s announcement by airline leaders.

“Take your trip,” Anthony said. “Take the time and go out of town somewhere. It’s very rejuvenating.”

Right now, JetBlue operates out of Jacksonville International Airport, but Spirit does not.

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