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…
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