Spirit Airlines launches frequent flyer programme
In the USA, Spirit Airlines has launched a new frequent flyer programme called 'Free Spirit', designed to reward frequent travellers for their loyalty with blackout-free award travel on any flight.
Under the new Free Spirit programme, US domestic awards start at 15,000 miles, and Caribbean awards start at 20,000 miles. Free Spirit is managed entirely online, so members can track their miles, account balance, and status levels through the airline's web site. There are different earning levels depending on the member's status level (tier), and different redemption levels based on the flight's origin and destination zones.
Co-branded credit card In addition to Free Spirit, the airline is also launching a Free Spirit MasterCard, issued by Juniper Bank. Customers earn 1 mile for every US$1 spent when they use the Free Spirit MasterCard. All purchases count toward Free Spirit account status, and cardholders also receive 5,000 bonus miles when they sign up for the card. Free Spirit MasterCard holders have another benefit: their miles never expire, provided that they make at least one purchase per month using the card. All miles earned count toward elite status (whether earned by flying, as bonus miles, special offers, or through spending on the co-branded credit card).
Elite tiers The elite tiers (after graduating from entry-level status) within the Free Spirit programme are:
- Elite This is earned by signing up for the Free Spirit MasterCard and making at least one purchase per month with it. Customers can also reach Elite status by earning 12,000 miles over the preceding 6 months.
- VIP Full VIP status and various soft benefits are earned by members who more than 24,000 miles over the preceding 6 months.
- A-List The top 500 Free Spirit members who have at least 40,000 miles are designated as A-List members each month, based on their preceding 6 months of activity.
- Celebrity The top 10 Free Spirit members, having at least 60,000 miles are designated as Celebrity members each month, based on their preceding 6 months of activity.
- Annual Awards At the end of the membership year, the top ten mile-earning members will be calculated based on all the miles posted to their account. Members ranking 2 to 10 are Celebrities of the Year, and the member in the top spot is the #1 Member. There are special benefits for the top slot each year, including having a plane named after the member, having free limousine service for a year (for trips to and from the airport), free flights and other rewards.
The airline also says it plans to throw a party every year, called the Free Spirit Awards Party, at which the annual awards for top mile-earning members will be announced.