Free 8000 Spirit Airlines Miles Still Available, and What You Hate Most About Airlines Revealed

Back in July Spirit Airlines launched a promotion that only they could pull off.

You could tell them what you hate about an airline, and they’d give you 8000 free points for it.

Of course, 8000 miles in the Spirit program isn’t 8000 miles as you usually think of them.

  • Spirit’s miles expire after 90 days of inactivity unless you have their co-branded credit card and charge to it every month (although presumably charging somewhat less frequently can meet the 90 day requirement).
  • Some airlines have close-in redemption fees. Spirit’s fees start within 180 days of travel.
  • They do not have redemption partners. The reward for traveling on Spirit is… more travel on Spirit.

About the most valuable thing you can get for them is magazines.

Of course, Spirit Airlines credit card holders can use the points for actual flights. On Spirit.

Two things make mentioning this promotion again timely. First, it appears that you can still get the miles. They said they would give up to a billion miles away. The offer is still there. And based on the report saying they received 28,205 submissions (“vitriolic salvos”), they may be only a quarter of the way there! (Ok, for the rest of you I will do the math — 28,207 x 8000 = 225,656,000 which is 22.6% of one billion.)

Second, Spirit has gone ahead and compiled the results and shared what people say they hate about airlines, at least on Spirit’s web form.

According to Spirit, 20% of people complained about seats. Remember, Spirit not only gives you less legroom their seats are also ‘pre-reclined’ (as in, they don’t move back at all).

Here’s what the other complaints were about:

Remember — they let you choose the airline you want to hate on. So they were encouraging you to speak ill of others. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that people did.

Apparently Spirit was most complained about for fees. But they say Southwest was worst for seats, United for service, and US Airways for delays and also for cancellations — which goes to show this ought to be dismissed out of hand, because harsh winter weather in the Northeast notwithstanding, US Airways’ operation has been relatively quite reliable in recent times.

Sixty percent of complaints were about airlines other than Spirit. But that also means that when customers were invited to complain about any airline they wished, and they still chose to complain about Spirit 40% of the time!

And what did customers say?

  • 914 submissions included the word “suck”
  • 370 included “arse”
  • There were 75 that dropped the “F-bomb”

If nothing else, Spirit has a thick skin. But they’re probably laughing, as most of the points they awarded have probably already expired…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I like this Spirit Airlines promotion and the 8,000 miles ‘freebie’ is great, except some of the earning programs suck. Receiving 45 miles a few times a week, just for watching OTA TV shows and ads and then answering questions is the best. Bother me that I had watched episodes on Hulu/Chrome device and I didn’t share. But, other surveys have me going through a bunch of questions that waste my time, before informing me I don’t qualify. I at least get $.25 for my time at another web site. Finally, a few of those Miles For Thought surveys want too much personnel info and I will either get disqualify ASAP or close out the web page.

  2. The best line of your post, Gary, was the last one. This was a lame Spirit attempt to create a buzz about Spirit. It’s essentially painless for an airline to award a billion miles (or pick ANY number: 2 billion; 5 billion; 10 billion) WHEN THEY’RE GOING TO EXPIRE IN 90 DAYS!!!
    And I’m LOL to read that they couldn’t even give away the miles they offered.
    For the record, although I’m sure neither Delta nor Spirit cares even a little bit, here are my number 1 and number 2 flying principles:
    1. I’ll ONLY fly Delta if there is no better choice, all factors being considered (schedule, cost, routing, equipment), and if I do wind up on Delta (which I have a few times in the past several years) I put any miles I earn into Alaska’s program. SkyMiles is dead to me.
    2. I wouldn’t fly Spirit, period, unless it’s literally the ONLY way to get somewhere I have to go by the time I have to be there (and I’m happy to say that hasn’t happened yet, and hopeful it will never happen).
    As the old saying goes, you can always make a product or service more cheaply, and your customers will be those who don’t care about anything but the initial cost. I’ve got a couple of great airline suggestions for them if they’ve not already discovered them!

  3. “About the most valuable thing you can get for them is magazines”

    Gary, this is an absolutely ridiculous statement. The most valuable thing you can get for Spirit miles is flying them for free and upgrading to the BFS for a few bucks (which is essentially domestic first without food and booze). Who cares how bad their regular seat is!

    Free Spirit Highlights:

    1. The award chart is ridiculously generous–although from some hubs more than others.
    2. One-way travel for 50% miles is allowed.
    3. An upgrade to BFS is about $40-60!
    3. The issue with 90-day expiration gets resolved with putting a reccuring charge on their credit card. And, well, yes, you do need their credit card to get a sensibly-priced award.

    You, of all people, should know that nothing in the loyalty world is black or white.

  4. I flew Spirit this weekend and I loved it! You know why: 1) Seats don’t recline so no bullshit 2) They’ve weeded out all the babies that complain that their pre-takeoff nuts were not warm enough! Everyone gets on, sits down, and no complaining!

  5. All I know is I got like 6 diff magazine subscriptions for very little time, so thanks Spirit, this is the 1st and most likely interaction I’ll ever have with you.

  6. Long wait for take off. From Detroit to Ft Myers. Suppose to take off at 3:55 pm. Its 6:30 and we still have not left. 1/26/2015

  7. By far I got the worst service in San Diego California. He was rude and racist. Charged me for my purse as it was carry on bag.

  8. I have never experienced a problem with Spirit. I love the rates for my trip from Detroit to Fort Myers. I arrive to my destination safely both ways.

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