I'm writing a story Thursday morning for Aviation Week, so I wanted to use this time to ask all of you a question.
Do you think super discount airlines - think Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines - are poised to start carrying a lot more passengers?
I ask because all three airlines are bullish on their chances for growth. Spirit executives are particularly adamant that more U.S. customers will start flocking to what are called ultra low cost carriers. CEO Ben Baldanza says more Americans soon will become familiar with the value proposition - fares are cheap, but all extras cost money - and begin flying Spirit.
"If you look in Europe, 20 percent of the traffic travels on an airline that looks like Spirit and in the U.S., it's a couple of percent," Baldanza said last week on Spirit's second quarter earnings call.
What do you think? Will 20 percent of American travelers someday fly on an airline like Spirit? Or is the U.S market different?
I'll point out one thing. U.S consumers are generally taking longer flights -- many of the largest cities in Europe are relatively close to each other -- so American customers may be less inclined to fly on an uncomfortable airplane.