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(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: August 2012- Spirit Airlines isn't afraid to launch controversial ad campaigns, giving alternate meaning to commonly known acronyms such as WTF and MILF, reinterpreted as World Traveler Fares and Many Islands Low Fares, as well as such gems as The Weiner Sale: Fares Too Hard to Resist. Compared to the airline's flashy advertisements, the FREE SPIRIT web pages have no spirit. There are no graphics and the main page includes a brief, three bullet list of the main benefits of membership with an online enrollment form front and center on the page.
There is a FREE SPIRIT tab located on the main navigation menu at the top of the page but there are no dropdown menus and it isn't clear how to find specific information about the program. The only link is to the Frequently Asked Questions page. There are no menus with links to standard FFP topics such as how to earn miles, redeem miles and other basic information.
Even logging in to your FREE SPIRIT account won't help you easily find more information about the program. From your FREE SPIRIT member account page, you can view your mileage, reservations, update your email subscriptions and personal information and request missing mileage credit. You won't find links to award reservations, terms and conditions or award charts, but there is a link to Spirit's $9 Fare Club. Members of the Fare Club can pay $59.95 a year to receive member-only low fares, discounts on travel services and bag fee discounts.
How does one find out about the nuts and bolts of FREE SPIRIT? You can access information by clicking on the FAQ link from the main page or click the Help tab from the menu at the top of the page and scroll down to FREE SPIRIT Frequent Flyer Program. We eventually found a link to the FREE SPIRIT Awards Tool from the FAQ list. The mileage required for an award ticket is fairly complicated and the tool makes it easy to see how many miles are needed for a flight based on your originating city. The tool will only display the miles needed--to actually book the flight and check availability, you will need to call FREE SPIRIT reservations.
Spirit Airlines has a lot of add-on fees and it may take a while to find the fee page, but it's comprehensive and lists every fee, which is helpful. FREE SPIRIT charges $110 to change an award or cancel an award and redeposit the miles.
The best way to navigate through the FREE SPIRIT site seems to be to type in questions via the FAQ pages--and click Keep Searching if the response doesn't answer your question. It's similar to how one navigates the Internet by entering terms into a search box. The problem is that the FREE SPIRIT program isn't nearly so large and complicated as the Internet to require continuous searching. A well-organized site with clear menus works just fine for frequent flyer programs. The site also lacks online award booking, which is a required feature in our opinion.
The one thing the site does exceedingly well is to advertise the Spirit MasterCard with annoying pop-ups.