Palm Beach International Airport travelers say cost not only consideration when choosing airline

Travelers speak to WPTV about JetBlue-Spirit merger lawsuit
plane prepares to land at Palm Beach International Airport in February 2023
Posted at 7:23 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 19:24:22-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Cost is a factor for customers when choosing an airline.

But it's not the only factor.

Just ask Reese Hart, who was flying back to Connecticut from Palm Beach International Airport on Tuesday after attending the Okeechobee Music Festival.

Hart's considerations when picking a flight include leg room and space.

He chose JetBlue for the flight to Florida.

"Me, personally, flying out of JetBlue, service was phenomenal," he told WPTV.

Reese Hart speaks to WPTV's Michelle Quesada at Palm Beach International Airport about JetBlue-Spirit merger lawsuit, March 7, 2023
Reese Hart tells WPTV's Michelle Quesada that he had a "phenomenal" experience flying to Palm Beach International Airport via JetBlue. He wasn't aware of the Department of Justice lawsuit seeking to block a proposed JetBlue-Spirit Airlines merger.

He's also "expecting the same level of service on the way back," he said.

Hart had been unaware about the proposed JetBlue-Spirit Airlines merger or that the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block the deal.

"By merging JetBlue and Spirit, what the Department of Justice believes will happen is that there will be less choices for consumers," attorney David Weinstein said. "As a result, JetBlue will control that marketplace for those particular routes and prices for consumers will go up rather than going down."

The former state and federal prosecutor said the role of the DOJ's antitrust division is to ensure there are competitive marketplaces – especially at a time when airline fares are 25% higher than one year ago.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes and Spirit CEO Ted Christie released separate statements about the lawsuit, with Hayes saying the DOJ "has got it wrong" and "misses the point that the merger will create a national low-fare, high-quality competitor."

Amy Sulger speaks to WPTV at Palm Beach International Airport about JetBlue-Spirit merger lawsuit, March 7, 2023
Amy Sulger tells WPTV during an interview at Palm Beach International Airport that price isn't as big of a concern to her as finding the best flight that will get her where she needs to go.

Some travelers are already open to the possibilities.

"For me, it's just finding the best flight," Amy Sulger told WPTV at PBIA. "Yes, prices come into play, but I'm really looking at what's going to be the best flight to get me where I need to be as quickly as possible."