This is either one of the most brilliant PR ploys in the history of marketing, or one of the dumbest moves an airline has ever made. Ultra-unbundled (you pay extra for virtually everything save the seat) Spirit Airlines is “embracing real hate from travelers,” and urging them to tell the carrier what bothers them. In return, Spirit is doling out Free Spirit Miles in what it calls Hate Thousand Miles Giveaway. Dispirited flyers can get 8,000 miles by submitting their gripes of up to 140 characters at HateThousandMiles.com. In all, the airline says it will keep shoveling out miles till it reaches the one billion mark.
None of this is altruistic. “We want to change the way people think about air travel,” says Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza. “We’re going to hug the haters.” Baldanza says the idea is to “educate them about the Spirit way of traveling.”
Critics of the low-fare airline say that “Sprit way” means cramped seating, and a dizzying array of gradated add-on fees. Spirit says it equates to ultra-economical air travel. Citing United States Department of Transportation data that’s been adjusted for length of haul, Spirit contends its “total price, including all the charges for optional services, is about 40 per cent lower than other airlines on average.”
See the video here that Spirit is using to promote its Hate Thousand Miles campaign:
Spirit’s all-Airbus fleet flies more than 270 daily flights to 55 destinations in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.