The Airline Everyone Loves to Hate Is America's Most Profitable


Whether it's the hidden fees, cranky flight attendants, or childish promotions, there's plenty to hate about Spirit Airlines. Even Spirit knows it.

Yet, it turns out, America's most hated airline is also the country's most profitable. According to a 24/7 Wall St. report, ​the low-cost carrier earns the highest profit margin of any domestic carrier at 11.7%, proving a sucker flies every minute. People keep buying the seemingly cheap tickets that then tack on fees and taxes. Spirit doesn't make the most money overall, as other airlines are a LOT bigger. But it squeezes the most out of its fleet.

Spirit stole the title from Alaska Airlines, which is currently the second-best earning airline, taking in an 11.3% profit.

And despite having the lowest amount of total shares at $5.63 billion, Spirit still beats out the likes of other budget airlines like JetBlue, which is making a 6.9% profit, and Southwest Airlines, which collects a mere 6.1%. Even larger carriers like American Airlines (which makes a 6.8% profit), United Airlines (2.9%), and Delta Air Lines (2.9%) are making less of a return on their services. But, it's Spirit. You practically have to pay for the air you breathe.

Ahead of Spirit announcing its first quarter earnings on Tuesday, financial experts who've likely never flown Spirit estimate the company's earnings will total $494.92 million. Spirit's CEO will be rolling around in $100 dollar bills and complaint letters this week.

TL; DR: Even though everyone says they hate Spirit, their dollars say otherwise.