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MINNEAPOLIS - There will soon be a departure from the norm at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

On Thursday, the first Spirit Airlines flight arrives at Terminal 2. Experts say the arrival marks the beginning of another budget era in the local travel industry.

"When you look at their basic transportation, it's probably going to be the cheapest in town from point A to point B," said Terry Trippler with terrytrippler.com.

Trippler says travelers should welcome another key competitor to a market dominated by Delta Airlines. Spirit Airlines will be offering direct flights to Chicago and Las Vegas.

"It will create a situation to Chicago where we will see more sales or we will see a lowering of fares," Trippler said.

But it all depends on what you "buy" among your options. For example, Spirit Airlines charges for checked and carry-on bags and for seat selection, so its prices can quickly catch up tothat of the competition.

KARE 11 tested out that possibility by considering a July 9 through July 13 trip from MSP to Chicago. We found that the Spirit Airlines flight cost $257.58, while the American, Delta and Southwest flights all cost $217.60. United came in at $218.00.

But Spirit representatives say it's all up to the passengers and their desire to save some money.

"It's all up to you as the consumer. You can pick and choose, and if you want to save that money, you can have an even cheaper flight experience," said Misty Pinson, director of corporate communications with Spirit Airlines.

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