On Friday, before Memorial Day, travelers check in at Orlando International Airport for a Spirit Airlines flight.
Paul Hennessy | Lightrocket | Getty Images
JetBlue’s surprise for Spirit is threatening plans to merge with Behmouth, a discount airline with a $ 3.6 billion cash bid frontier. It also threatens one of the comedians’ favorite sources of material
“It’s kind of annoying for me. If there are no more spirits, who are we going to have fun with?” Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday released his “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Monologue “Look, Alliant. You’re calling.”
The New York-based JetBlue seeks to exploit the spirit of Florida-headquartered and twist the bright-yellow planes of the spirit, whose seats do not lean, matching JetBlue’s jets, which offer room seating, seatback screens and free snacks.
Spirit’s Rock-Bottom has provided food for comedians year after year for everything from airfare and seat selection and carry-on bags, and has become a reference for disrespect to air travel. Major airlines have taken a signal from discounts, including basic economy fares, which do not include advance seat selection and passengers are forced to board at the end.
Spirits among U.S. Airlines passengers were just under 5% last year. Yet it was mentioned 40 times on the late-night talk show in 2021, representing 20% of the total airline mentioned in these programs, according to an analysis conducted for the airline, which was viewed by CNBC.
Kimmel said Wednesday that it wants to buy the JetBlue Spirit for $ 3.6 billion and an additional $ 55 for portable luggage.
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon also quoted JetBlue’s proposal in Wednesday’s monologue. “At the moment the spirit is, ‘Friends, we have opened a bank account. I think the time has come.’
‘You have to have thick skin’
No airline escaped the spotlight of the late night show. Spirit’s analysis found that Americans made 77 mentions last year, up from 50 in the Southwest and 34 in the Delta. There are also countless standup clips and memes fun on airlines and air travel.
“Every airline has a story at some point that turns into a joke on some shows,” said Ross Feinstein, a former spokesman for American Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration. “You have to have thick skin to work in the airline industry.”
Following the news that a man was kicked off a JetBlue flight in late 2019 for trying to get a pose on board, “Saturday Night Live” co-host Colin Jost said in the “Weekend Update” section: “If you need an oxygen mask while on Spirit Airlines What falls. “
“Unlike the deep night narrative, our airline is focused on providing guests with a great experience, with affordable fares that allow them to discover more than ever before,” Spirit said.
It said it had arrived at the show before and had no luck with any response.
Spirit said it understands that the airlines have a goal “because air-travel-related jokes are consistently laughed at” and added: “We promise never to pop out of the bulkhead.”
Spirit has made progress in improving punctuality in recent years, and last year ranked sixth among U.S. airlines, above JetBlue’s ninth, according to the Department of Transportation. The rate of complaints has also decreased in the years before the epidemic. It has hired staff at the Disney Institute to improve customer service.
In 2019, Spirit unveiled new curved seats that it says were designed to give passengers more private space, but still couldn’t escape ridicule from late night hosts.
“Congratulations, Spirit. We’ve done a lot of isolation on their show, but it’s a big improvement over their old seats, which was a dirty couch they found on the street,” Trevor Noah said in a December 2019 episode of The Daily. “
Representatives of Kimmel, Fallon, Noah and “Saturday Night Live” did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The epidemic was not easy. Staff shortages and technical problems forced Spirit to cancel more than 2,800 flights in late July and early August 2021, a disaster that cost about $ 50 million. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines faced similar problems in the fall.
Problems have led passengers to complain about spirits to the Department of Transportation at 11.45 per 100,000 passengers, mostly U.S. airlines, while DOT 6.38 about JetBlue and 5.78 about Frontier.
Spirit says it is evaluating JetBlue’s “unsolicited” offer. An agreement, such as the planned merger of Frontier and Spirit, would require regulators to meet at a time when President Joe Biden has tasked his administration with verifying competition. Frontier and Spirit said earlier this year that they had not decided which airline’s branding would last.
This has not stopped the comedians from digging their souls yet.
JetBlue “has a real bathroom instead of a bucket that everyone is walking around,” Kimmel said Wednesday.
Spirit told CNBC that it welcomes any late night host and their family to fly the airline.
“Roots may even tend to write a love song about us after the spirit has flown!” The airline wrote about the house band for “The Tonight Show”.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal broadcasts “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live”.