The title says it all, today my family got 100,000 frequent flier miles for free. No credit card sign-up. No spending requirements. No hula hoops to twist around your neck while standing on your head. All you had to do was show up, wait in a brief line, and then head on your merry way with a voucher for 20,000 miles. The only “downside” is that they are Spirit Airlines miles. Spirit Airlines is the airline that everyone loves to hate since it is the one that charges you for virtually everything – from seat assignments, to carry-on bags, to on-board sodas, to printing boarding passes at the airport. That is completely annoying if you aren’t prepared for it, but with a little advance planning, those fees can really be dramatically minimized. Just print your boarding pass at home, pack in a backpack, get a drink in the airport, etc.

For the last two days Spirit Airlines has been celebrating their new Houston routes by handing out 20,000 mile vouchers at three different locations. You were only supposed to go through the line once at each location, but this afternoon they were actually encouraging people who wanted another voucher to come to the next location that evening. The terms on the certificate say that only one can be credited to each account. You had to be 18+ to get a voucher, so even though my whole family was going to get vouchers together we would still be short one for Little C. So, I did what any reasonable parent would do, and went to a second location by myself to get a voucher to use for her.

As can be expected when stuff is handed out for free there was an interesting assortment of many different folks in line. It was great people watching! From what I gather, the certificates lasted over an hour at each location. While each location was well attended, there was no need to get there ahead of time and camp out in line or anything like that. I never spent more than 5-10 minutes in line, so the time commitment once you got to the location was very minimal.

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The certificates must be registered within 7 days to your Spirit Airlines account, and then the miles will be deposited within 45 days. They are then valid for the typical 90 days with Spirit. If you have additional activity the miles will remain active longer, but I don’t forsee my family having additional activity in our Spirit account in the next three months. You must book a reward flight with the miles within the 90-day window, but the flight can be for as far out as their schedule extends. Again, the 90-day deadline may be a huge shock if you aren’t aware of it, but as long as you plan accordingly it shouldn’t be a big issue in our case.

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I find it entertaining that some folks online say that we wasted our time today getting these 100,000 free miles since Spirit miles are virtually worthless. They certainly are not my favorite type of mile, but 20,000 Spirit miles is enough to go round trip from Houston to Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, Tampa, etc. Essentially, it is enough miles for a round trip that is 1249 miles or less each way. Spirit miles can also be used to book one-ways. I have found plenty of availability at the 10,000 mile level for several destinations. That isn’t to say that all destinations have fantastic availability, but if you have relatively flexible travel plans, it should not be very difficult to put these miles to good use.

I shouldn’t be surprised that some say they wouldn’t fly Spirit even if it were free, but I guess it does still surprise me a little that some would say that a few minutes in line isn’t worth it for a free round trip flight. I by no means want to fly Spirit all the time. I like my United elite status, my United Club access, my expedited security, etc…but I also really like free. I am proud of my family (Grandma, Grandpa, The Man, Little C, and myself) for the 100,000 miles we collected today, and I am looking forward to putting the miles to good use, even if that means packing in a backpack!  Don’t all families pose for family photos with their free miles?

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What would you have done if Spirit were handing out miles in your town? Are there only certain types of miles you would line up to receive? Or would you never consider lining up for any miles or points?

Posted by mommypoints | 45 Comments

45 Responses to “Today My Family Got 100,000 Miles for Free”

  1. Robert says:

    I used 50k Free Spirit miles to fly to Florida for Christmas last year…so no, I wouldn’t call those miles worthless!

  2. Kay says:

    Good for you! I can’t wait for your Spirit flight review. I’ve been thinking of trying them out for a quick getaway to Florida during the brutal Northeast winter. The fares are great, but I’ve been hesitant to try Spirit because of the scathing reviews the airline gets.
    Kay

  3. Michael H.(oldfox) says:

    Thanks Mommy Points for alerting us about the free Spirit miles a few days ago. I created a Spirit account and then went to get my voucher yesterday at the Harwin Street site. I waited for only 45 minutes and then at noon the line moved very quickly. In 10 minutes I had the voucher. I entered the promo code online at home and am waiting for the points to post. It was so easy! I’ve got 500,000 miles in various accounts, and I never would turn down “easy” points like those I got yesterday. On short flights with Spirit I think I can deal with “economy” status. Look forward to flying Sprit for the first time………… especially since the 20,000 points only cost me a couple of hours of time. Thanks again!!!

  4. Mark The Shark says:

    One more issue to consider is that in my experience and that of many of my friends, Spirit doesn’t have partnerships with other airlines, so if they cancel a flight, or you miss your flight…. they will book you on the next available SPIRIT flight which could be 3 days out based on availability. I know a number of people who have been stranded in this situation, and were told they could get a refund of their $9 fare or wait 3 days for the next available Spirit flight.

  5. Mark The Shark says:

    That’s besides all of the fees that they charge for EVERYTHING, and the fact that their customer service is non existent. To add insult to injury, their publicity stunt of refusing a dying vet’s refund since he couldn’t travel due to his illness as that would be unfair to those that purchased travel insurance was not a great publicity stunt (google for more info)!

  6. Acker says:

    Maybe you’ll be the exception that proves the rule? I’m still waiting for one postive thing about flying Spirit. Before flying them, everyone loves them and their pricing. After flying them, it’s another story.

  7. Delta Points says:

    I have to tell you, after what my friends have been through with Spirt, even if they gave me 100,000 points, I would not fly them. Same with RyanAir. Never. Ever.

  8. Absolutely! I’ve paid to fly Spirit (granted it was $40 round trip DCA-FLL) but got from point a to point b without issue. Isn’t that the point?

  9. EggSS4 says:

    Agreed with the posters above; some things in life just aren’t worth the money. I’ll save a bunch of money on airfare-related tricks in dozens of other ways that don’t involve having to fly Spirit.

  10. Marilyn says:

    Thanks for posting about this. Visiting my parents in Houston and my dad has started to get really excited about miles and points now. I think this was the hook that got him started. Yay! My dad want to use the points to run away to Vegas with mom for a weekend :)

  11. Sam says:

    I have 100K free miles from Spirit. But I cant add them to the same account. Any ideas on what I can do?

  12. Anthony says:

    I probably wouldn’t fly Spirit if it was free. I’d rather have a “guaranteed” good experience & keep building my miles & status with my regular carrier. Then again, I don’t have a family to fly around, which can get expensive. I wish you no “hiccups” with your flight/flights!!! Thank you for opening this discussion up…

  13. JohnnieD says:

    Spirit Airline, LOL , they call Niagara Falls, NY ‘Niagara Falls/Toronto’…. except if are flying to Toronto one needs to drive about 1hr 45mins to get to Toronto (One might need to add 30-60 mins to cross the border)

  14. mommypoints says:

    -I’ve certainly heard some of the Spirit “horror stories”, too, but truthfully I have heard those type of stories on every US airline. I’m looking forward to trying it for myself to see what I think.
    -Marilyn, yay! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help him on his miles and points journey!
    -Sam, they said one per account, so I would just add them to a different account? ;)

  15. Ozaer N. says:

    They did this in PDX too…but I skipped….mainly cuz its Spirit..heheh….but congrats to you MP!

  16. christine says:

    We have found it just impossible to use the points – my husband has around 90k. Online doesn’t have availability, CS is not helpful. I love free but it is just a hassle. But good luck! Maybe you’ll find a better way.

  17. tassojunior says:

    OK if the flight actually leaves (often doesn’t), they don’t charge you for fuel (which is more than many tickets), and you don’t mind paying for every carry on.

    Some (few) times Spirit is worth it.

  18. BostonDealLover says:

    again, I wouldn’t fly spirit even if it’s free. Oh, sorry, I take it back, I wouldn’t fly spirit even if they pay me. Period.

  19. G says:

    Can you exchange Spirit points at all (i.e. points.com) or are those miles that you have to use with Spirit?

  20. Lively says:

    You are amazing! Happy traveling!

  21. Matt says:

    Agree with you on the Spirit miles. Yeah, the bag fees stink, but when they still run hundreds of dollars cheaper than the alternative, Spirit is worth considering IMHO. My 1 round-trip flight with them was really not that bad. I did feel like I was in the twilight zone when the entire plane applauded the safe landing, but other than that…

    And that photo is just too much! Adorable family!

  22. Travis says:

    I’m one of the few that would be excited to fly them, just to see what all the fuss is about. I flew RyanAir in Europe, and had no issues. Now flying with a young child, I might pay the extra to actually get seats assigned to us, though. :)

  23. Bob J says:

    My theory is: I only leave my home for vacation if I will have an equal or better experience than staying home during the time I am on vacation. I don’t consider flying Spirit an equal or better experience. Thus, I prefer to stay home.

  24. Maxim says:

    I actually disagree with most posters.

    Spirit Airlines might not be my first choice to fly (more likely closer to the bottom of the list somewhere between Iceland Express and Aerosvit), but 100,000 free miles is a FREE option in case you need to exercise it in the future.

  25. tassojunior says:

    “Free” and “Spirit Airlines” are words that never last long together.

  26. Tim says:

    How do you plan on booking a single award seat for your 2yo? Spirit’s site wont let you. I know the legacies have workarounds via phone, but I’d be curious how Spirit would handle it, and whether they’d waive the phone fees. Otherwise your free ticket starts at $45.

  27. Nick says:

    One shouldn’t support (ie use) Spirit airlines unless you want every airline experience to be like this.

  28. Jimgotkp says:

    I’d be lining up everyday since I have nothing else to do! If I could fly somewhere free that is close by even if it’s on Spirit then fine with me.

  29. Smuggy says:

    Wow..i thought it was for a real airline…yawn

  30. Sam says:

    any idea when do the free miles expire? Also can I book a ticket for my dad from my account using the free miles?

  31. mommypoints says:

    @Sam, once they are deposited they are valid for 3 months without any other activity.

  32. Mitty says:

    Awesome! Even though your comments section is littered with Spirit horror stories and the “I wouldn’t fly w/ Spirit even if it was free” comments, I still think free miles are free miles and worth your time if you know what to do with them. :) If I lived in Houston, I would have been in that line too! hahah.

    Anyway, sounds like you’ve got your bags ready and your trips planned. Your family must think you’re the best mom in the world w/ all these free trips. :)

  33. I would gladly accept 20K free miles, even from Spirit.
    I don’t discriminate, free is free! If this offer was within an hour drive I would make an effort to go for it!

    Enjoy your free flights!

  34. MSPDeltaDude says:

    Can you book tickets in someelses name? I don’t think you can….

  35. DaninSTL says:

    i would go wait in line to get free miles on any airline. Free is Free and these would be great for some short haul trips or to get me to the West Coast for those cheap Hawaii fares. Downside is that I’m in STL so not as useful for me locally.

  36. DJ says:

    I flew Spirit last January from DFW to LAS for $79 RT. yes flight was delayed, yes service wasn’t top notch (not any different from AA), but it was cheap and got me to Vegas. So yes, I would take 100K miles on them for FREE.

  37. Mike says:

    Spirit is actually what got my wife and I into point collecting. We’ve taken dozen of winter weekend getaways to Ft. Lauderdale from DTW utilizing their $9 fare. Flew them to Las Vegas a few times and to Cancun for our honeymoon on points. Had one issue with a canceled flight, that was luckily on our way out of town, and subsequently had to eat the hotel cancel fee. Always treated well, but I guess when we could fly to Florida for less than I’d cost us to park at a bar downtown, we really weren’t expecting anyone to roll out a red carpet.

  38. AlohaDaveKennedy says:

    I gotta ask – did Spirit charge you for waiting in line? :)

  39. mommypoints says:

    @ADK, ha ha. Line waiting is complimentary. ;)

  40. Tomt says:

    I totally miss this , the location was too far from my work.

  41. El Jefe says:

    Spirit is fine if you measure your carry-on up front and make sure it fits the specified size, if not you pay to carry it on and they measure it at the gate. If it is too big, pay for the carry on fee up front as it is cheaper, same goes for checked luggage, pay up front not at the airport. You need to do as much as possible before you arrive at the airport as they charge you for everything except air. Also do not plan on arriving at your destination on time, all flights arrive and depart late. Additionally bring a roll of quarters so you can get access to the on board restrooms without having to beg for change. :-)

  42. Jonathan says:

    I know it hasn’t been 45 days yet, but has anyone seen the miles post yet?

  43. Jonathan says:

    Looks like ours posted on Tuesday.

  44. [...] We waited in the quick moving lines, and indeed we all received our 25,000 mile vouchers.  You can read all about that process here.  My travel schedule got too busy to use the miles myself, but I do have four friends in Vegas as [...]

  45. OLIVIA says:

    WHY DOES SPIRIT MAKE IT SO HARD TO SPEAK TO A LIVE PERSON. EVERY PHONE CALL IS ANSWERED BY A AUTOMATED ANNOUNCEMENT THAT GIVES YOU ANOTHER PHONE NUMBER.TO CALL. THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED . IT BECOMES SO FRUSTRATING. . HAD ONE OPERATOR HANG UP ON ME BECAUSE I ASKED A QUESTION NOT RELATED TO ACTUALLY BUYING A TICKET RIGHT AWAY . HE NEVER GAVE ME A CHANCE

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