Want to tell Spirit Airlines how much you hate flying Spirit? Go ahead, the airline says, and they'll give you 8,000 miles for doing so.
Or do you have a gripe about one of Spirit's competitors? Spirit will give you 8,000 miles for that too.
All you need to do is to have a "FREE SPIRIT" frequent-flier number and go to www.HateThousandMiles.com and enter your airline complaint.
Under a tagline saying "UNLEASH THAT HATE," Spirit gives visitors a dropdown list of airlines to "hate on." The menu includes everyone from Aeromexico and Air Canada to United and US Airways. Visitors just have to keep complaints to a Twitter-friendly 140 characters or less.
"Or maybe you're one of our fans -- feel free to share some love, too," Spirit adds.
USA TODAY: Spirit hopes to win over fliers with brand overhaul (May 7, 2014)
GET YOUR 8,000 MILES: Spirit Airlines' gripe site
What's the catch? The gimmick is part of a brand overhaul effort the carrier launched in May. As part of that effort, Spirit wants to educate customers about what they'll get — and what they won't — when they book a ticket on the carrier.
"Let's not let anybody be surprised about Spirit," CEO Ben Baldanza told USA TODAY about the effort when it launched May 7. "Let them know exactly who we are."
The goal is to address complaints about the ultra-low-cost carrier head on. Spirit says it figures the more people know up-front about how the airline operates, then the less likely it is they'll complain if they still choose to fly the airline.
"If you book a flight on Spirit because of our low price, and you're expecting the same all-inclusive service you receive on other airlines, it can be frustrating," Spirit says in a statement e-mailed to Today in the Sky. "Most people who book our flights on Spirit.com get it, because our low fares, and optional pricing is pretty transparent. "
"But if you book on Expedia, Priceline, or any other third-party site, you will choose us because of our lowest price, but you don't have access to the information that explains how different we are," Spirit adds. "So we see this as an opportunity to education consumers about the differences of Spirit, and in return for their hate, we'll give them a little bit of love in the form of free miles."
Spirit's award tickets begin at 10,000 miles one-way, though holders of the Spirit-branded credit card can redeem miles at lower thresholds.
As for the fine print, Spirit says customers who "submit their feedback" through its micro-site will get 8,000 of its FREE SPIRIT frequent-flier miles. The promotion ends July 31, or when the carrier gives out a total of 1 billion miles. Participants must have – or create – a FREE SPIRIT account to enter. For those who jump through the hoops, Spirit says the miles will credit within 10 days of submission.
And for those who submit a gripe, Spirit gives this confirmation: "We're glad you got that out. From now on, we'll be better about spreading the word on how we fly - because we want everyone to know about our Bare Fares, how you only pay for what you use, and how Spirit saves you money."