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8,000 Free FreeSpirit Miles for Nothing

by on July 9, 2014 · 13 comments

in Free Miles/ Points, Low Cost Carriers, Spirit, Virgin America

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“Speaking of eating, I’d rather eat broken glass than deal with @SpiritAirlines ever again. Worse customer service imaginable.”

This is just one of the many “hate” tweets Spirit Airlines recently received during their ongoing “Unleash the Hate” Campaign,which encourages Spirit passengers to, how shall we say, voice their dissatisfaction, and in exchange Spirit offers 8,000 frequent flyer miles. 

Want to hate (or love) on Spirit Airlines? Go for it!

Want to hate on Spirit Airlines! Go for it!

Spirit explains:

“Let’s clear the air. Hate on us – or any airline of your choosing – and we’ll send you 8,000 FREE SPIRIT miles. You’ll be well on your way to earning an award flight with us. We think that once you understand how we fly-how our total price is, on average, 40% lower than other airlines-you just might learn to love us.”

It may sound crazy, but it could be clever stroke of marketing (if it doesn’t backfire). The airline explains that many people aren’t aware of its policies, such as their restrictive (and costly) baggage requirements. Spirit realizes it hasn’t done a good job educating customers on their rules, and they’re aware that when people book cheap tickets expecting the same service they get on other airlines, it can be extremely frustrating.

For example, customers may book a cheap ticket through a third party site like Expedia and are later angry when they realize they have to pay extra to store their bag in the overhead bins. The idea is to educate and make customers aware of Spirit’s policies, and why they’re so cheap compared to other airlines. Spirit assumes that if they award free miles and better explain their policies, customers will learn Spirit’s rules and requirements, and those who continue to fly will end up less grumpy.

This lady is ready to unleash the hate at Spirit Airlines. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

This lady is ready to unleash the hate at Spirit Airlines (image courtesy of Shutterstock).

Spirit Airlines is clearly aware that people are unhappy with them–in fact–they also note that “Airlines mess up, but at least Spirit is willing to admit it”. And people are indeed displeased. According to customer reports from 2013, Spirit was ranked worst airline in America, with Virgin Airline ranked the highest and Southwest second.

The ironic part about the campaign is that Spirit will award you 8,000 miles not only for complaining about Spirit, but also for complaining about other airlines as well. You can select your “unpreferred” airline from a drop-down list, hash out your misgivings, and voila, within 10 days, 8,000 Spirit miles will be posted to your account. If you don’t have a Spirit account, you can sign up for one and then complain. Considering that standard award tickets on Spirit start at 10,000 miles one-way, they’re certainly not just giving out token amounts. On the downside, you’d have to use those miles on Spirit. This is a boon to the poor souls who are compelled to fly Spirit for one reason or another, but it’s not enough to pique my interest.

Apart from hating on Spirit Airlines, those looking to top up their Free Spirit miles should also consider the Spirit Airlines World Mastercard, which offers 15,000 miles after first purchase and waives the annual fee for the first year. The card also gives you access to heavily discounted off-peak awards, which start as low as 5,000 miles round-trip. If you know how to navigate Spirit’s minefield of fees, that’s a very good deal.

The promotion ends ends July 31, or when Spirit gives out a total of 1 billion miles, so if you feel like doing a little hating, I’d get on it asap, because I sense they’re going to run out quickly.

Spirit’s Policies

Spirit has offered a short video that informs customers why their fares are low, and what passengers should know before flying. They explain that the Bare Fare comes with a seat and pretty much nothing else (except a small personal item, NOT a carry-on). The video also shares that in lieu of things like WiFi, Spirit has chosen to add more seats to the plane. (Less legroom? Yes. Cheaper fare? Yes.) On Spirit, you pay for what you want, a bare bones policy known as “Frill Control”. In order to bring a carry-on, you must pay between $26-$35 if you book it ahead of time, BEFORE online check-in. If not, you pay between $36-$45 if you reserve your carry-on at online check-in, or a whopping $100 at the gate. For a list of full fees including check-in baggage, click here.

Spirit isn’t the only airline to offer bare bones service when it comes to baggage and seating rules. Many low cost airlines in Asia and Europe have been charging extra for anything and everything for years. Even Frontier Airlines recently changed their policy to charge for carry on bags, as Allegiant does .

I’ve never flown Spirit, but I think there’s a niche in the world for the service offered by budget carriers, so long as all fees and restrictions are spelled out clearly in advance. If you know what you’re getting into, you can have an easy and cheap flying experience. If you do decide to fly Spirit, make sure you’re well-versed in their rules and regulations BEFORE you fly to save yourself unnecessary costs and hassle (the same goes for any low cost airline).

Will you be taking advantage of this policy and complaining for free miles? What do you think about Spirit’s “Unleash the Hate” campaign? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Justin

    You can also use the miles for magazines at the magsformiles.com site.

  • Danny

    This is great. I would never care about getting spirit miles, but I’ll definitely take the Economist for free.

  • ps81bx

    So they charge you for checked bags. And they charge you for carry on bags. Most people who take the plane are staying somewhere overnight, and need to bring some things and a change of clothes. Sounds like a rip off.

  • Sean Hall

    The only allowed 140 characters. That was not enough to get out my hate. I hate that they didn’t give me enough characters to hate.

  • http://www.comediandan.com/ Dan Nainan

    I flew them one time because I had no other choice. A more luxurious seat in the front row, with no middle seat, was only $25. I thought it was fantastic.

    Justin, brilliant, thank you kindly for the tip, 8000 points will get me a number of wonderful magazines including yes, the Economist!

  • asdf

    If you Google “flying Spirit without paying fees” there is a lengthy and helpful Wall Street Journal article that explains the rules and the experience of regular Spirit flyers. For example, pack light in a small soft-sided non-rolling bag (16x14x12) that qualifies as a personal item. It’s doable, and there’s no fee.

  • Matt Diggs

    So annoying the expectation you deserve bags for free AND a lower fare. Learn to play their game, and don’t complain if you don’t play it well. I can take 24 hour mini-vacations to Vegas with a backpack for under $100 round trip playing with their rules – and no one else can even do that. It’s opened up a whole new world of travel to me.

  • Terry

    Get the mastercard mentioned by TPG – 15,000 miles after first purchase, add the 8,000 free miles on offer that totals 23,000 miles. For mastercard holders that’s enough for 9 one way off-peak awards on some routings. Just travelled one way ORD==>MCO for 2500 miles plus $15 tax. Brand new airplane too – on time service, no complaints from me. One cup of coffee purchased with the mastercard each month keeps your miles active. As Matt says – learn their rules and play the game. Thanks TPG – 8000 free miles for me and for my wife too!

  • Scott

    I’ve flown Spirit many times and never enjoyed it. It’s best for weekend getaways when all you need is a small travel bag that fits under the seat. I have to say they’ve always gotten me to my destination safely and usually on time. But now that I have the Southwest companion pass I don’t think I can ever go back.

  • Ria

    Never Fly Spirit. It is the absolute worst. On my first flight with them, they wouldn’t even serve water because they forgot the credit card swiper to charge the passengers for it. I will never fly with them again.

  • Avery

    I wrote in 10 days ago and no miles. Although I opt out spirit on every flight search, that still says something about my obsession about “miles” and the level of deception Spirit holds.

  • SpiritSucks

    F spirit

  • Ivan A Young

    Just hated hope to get the 8k. Not the greatest airline but after flying them once SFO-DFW $168 RT nonstop this May, they exceeded my low expectations. The seats weren’t bad ( a little recline), the FA’s were above average and the flight was on-time. The bad part s were I had to walk over a half mile to and from the gates at DFW and the plane carpet was gross. I love Virgin for this route but will fly Spirit if I can save over $150 RT.

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