1,000 Free Miles? No Thanks; and Did Spirit Airlines Quietly Remove 600,000,000 Miles From Its Giveaway?

Inspired by the recent record lottery jackpot of $1.6 billion dollars, Spirit Airlines is once again having a promotion which has garnered plenty of publicity — yes, I have become complicit in this juggernaut — where you could get 1,000 FREE SPIRIT miles good towards a flight by simply registering your first name, last name and Free Spirit frequent flier loyalty program membership number for this promotion.

Did Spirit Airlines Quietly Remove 600,000,000 Miles From Its Giveaway?

I first found out about this promotion from this article posted yesterday at Michael W Travels… where 1.6 billion Free Spirit miles were supposedly being offered — but now it seems that the promotion is now for only one billion miles.

Spirit Airlines 1.6 Billion Miles promotion

Source: Spirit Airlines.

Take a look a the graphic above and compare it to the graphic at the top of this article.

1,000 Free Miles? No Thanks

So I can easily get 1,000 Free Spirit frequent flier loyalty program miles in seconds.

No thank you.

Don’t get me wrong — it is a promotion where up to one billion miles are being given away; and besides — who does not want free miles?

Me. Here are the reasons why…

Short Expiration of Three Months

…first — unless you plan to fly as a passenger on Spirit Airlines in the future, which I do not — the miles are virtually useless as “FREE SPIRIT Miles will expire when an account becomes inactive for a period of 3 months or more”, according to the terms and conditions of the Free Spirit frequent flier loyalty program. “An “inactive” account is one that has no miles credited to it from any source during the preceding 3 months. Accounts will become inactive during the month end reporting process, which will be reported to the member on the second business day of each month.”

You need a minimum of 10,000 Free Spirit miles for a one-way flight purchased with a credit card or debit card — with the exception of a Spirit World MasterCard credit card: if you possess one, the minimum amount of miles required for a one-way flight is only 2,500 miles plus taxes and fees from $5.60 each way for off-peak travel.

Spirit Airlines award chart

This chart shows the options for redeeming Free Spirit miles for award travel. Click on the chart for its source. Source: Spirit Airlines.

Subscribe to a Publication for Free

You can redeem those free miles for newspaper and magazine subscriptions for as few as 600 Free Spirit miles. If you are into receiving a free subscription to a publication without paying any money, then this can be a good deal — but it is not for me.

I cannot remember the last time I subscribed to a magazine or newspaper. Perhaps it was Consumer Reports — but I canceled that subscription years ago for reasons I will not delve into here. Besides, my office here is currently a huge mess which needs my attention. I do not need even more paper in there; but I will eventually fulfill my new year’s resolution from 2008 and clean it out — someday…

…and before those dollar signs appear in your eyes from the prospect of all of the money you will potentially save on said magazine and newspaper subscriptions for which you would have otherwise had to pay, you may actually have problems receiving those miles in the first place, as related by the experience of FlyerTalk member RustyC: “Well, I hate to point this out, but one thing Spirit has been bad about has been properly crediting miles from sources other than flights to accounts. I’m still waiting on a small number of car rental miles, and with paper vouchers they have a way of claiming you can only have one credited even if they are from different offers. Though that was maybe 3 years ago.”

Bizarre Promotions — and Profitability

I never thought I would say “no, thanks” to 1,000 free miles — but I also said “no, thanks” to 8,000 Free Spirit miles in this article back on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 when Spirit Airlines had a promotion where you could “unleash your hate” and earn your share of free miles from a similar giveaway of one billion miles.

Spirit Airlines has been one of the most profitable airlines in the United States but has experienced a financial downturn during the past year — significant enough to possibly warrant a merger with another commercial airline — which resulted in the abrupt recent dismissal of Ben Baldanza, who was chief executive officer of the airline.

There was also The Weiner Sale — with “fares too HARD to resist” — back in 2011, which referred to the “sexting” scandal of Anthony Weiner, who eventually resigned from his position as a representative of the ninth congressional district in New York.

In my opinion, if Spirit Airlines really wanted to change its image, a better promotion would be to give away one-way flights free of charge for a limited time. After all, many of the people who would take advantage of that promotion would have to return sometime. That is similar to promotions occasionally offered by WOW Air; but that airline offers one-way flights from the United States to Iceland for only $99.00 — with the catch that you eventually have to return by paying a higher minimum airfare…

…not to mention being charged ancillary fees for just about anything associated with your flight — which is one of the seven reasons why cheap airfares are not always a bargain.

Not Averse to Ultra-Low-Cost Carriers

If you think I am some sort of a snob for not flying as a passenger on Spirit Airlines think again: here are trip reports of my first flight and my second flight as a passenger aboard an airplane operated on Ryanair; and I also rode as a passenger on Megabus for the first time and this subsequent time which had its issues. No caviar and champagne here.


Although I wrote in this article back on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 that you can never have too many frequent flier loyalty program accounts, I have decided to once again make an exception here; and besides, it is just not worth the trouble to me.

If you plan to participate, do it as soon as possible, as this promotion is expected to end when the supply of one billion miles is exhausted.

Source: Spirit Airlines.

6 thoughts on “1,000 Free Miles? No Thanks; and Did Spirit Airlines Quietly Remove 600,000,000 Miles From Its Giveaway?”

  1. Rich says:

    Big numbers can get confusing … They seem to have removed 600,000,000 (six hundred million) miles, not 600,000 (six hundred thousand) miles, from their giveaway! (1.6 billion miles is 600,000,000 more than one billion miles.)

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Wow — what a sophomoric error on my part.

      I have corrected that, Rich. Thank you.

  2. DaninMCI says:

    Miles in every airline aren’t for everyone. That being said in the past year or so I’ve gotten over 10,000 Free Spirit miles. They are easy to keep alive with shopping through the portal, doing surveys, etc. Or getting the credit card (with more free miles and from BofA which is good) and putting some spend on it every couple months. Plus the credit card unlocks the elite tier which gives you a major discount on the award flights.
    Are there better airlines and programs, sure. Doesn’t mean all things Spirit are bad unless you believe the hype.
    Oh and +1 on the 600,000 versus 600,000,000. I think it’s actually a contest of sorts where you can win more than the 1,000 minimum.
    Oh and you can still do the Bare Fare questionnaire for another 1,500 if you haven’t yet.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for the information about the extra 1,500 miles, DaninMCI — and you are correct: miles in every airline are not for everyone.

  3. Frank the Tank says:

    Your first reason for not participating is actually the entire reason to sign up and receive the 1,000 miles. Many of us have earned free miles from the 8,000 mile giveaway, dining program sign up and others. This is an easy way to show activity and keep the miles.

    Yes, they are not worth much, but 10,000 free miles collected over the past year are a cheap option if I need to travel LGA-FLL and don’t want to use more valuable miles or to keep my Economist subscription ($100+ per year) for free.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Excellent, Frank the Tank — I would much rather hear from readers such as you who can benefit from articles such as this one…

      …which is the main reason why I posted it — despite not planning on participating in this promotion.

      Thank you for pointing out reasons why someone should consider participating in this promotion.

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