THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE WHEN you enter the reception area of the Florida headquarters of Spirit Airlines is that there is no receptionist. Stretched across the wall is a banner with an explanation in bold letters: The self-service reception area allows the company to save 2 cents per customer by not staffing the front desk. That's right, 2 cents. Spirit, which bills itself as an ultra-low-fare carrier, does indeed count every penny. Over the past two yearsroughly since Indigo Partners ...

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