Spirit Airlines Debuts in MSP with Mile Giveaway

The airline began service at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday and gave away 40 million frequent flyer miles to promote the launch.

Spirit Airlines has kicked off service in the Twin Cities by giving away 40 million frequent flyer miles to local residents.

The Miramar, Florida-based airline gave away 1,000 certificates worth 20,000 miles each at the Mall of America on Tuesday and another 1,000 at the Minneapolis office of travel agency Travel One, Inc., on Thursday. The certificates were handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson told Twin Cities Business that 20,000 miles is just enough for a free round-trip ticket from Minneapolis to Chicago.

Spirit began service at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday, offering three daily non-stop flights to Chicago and one daily non-stop flight to Las Vegas. In February, the airline announced plans to launch in the Twin Cities.

Spirit bills itself as a discount airline and is known for an a-la-carte approach to air fares, with low base ticket prices but added fees for services. For example, it charges a $30 fee for carry-on bags, according to the company’s website.

The airline offers flights to Denver, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., among other destinations. In the Twin Cities, Spirit will fly out of Terminal 2 (formerly the Humphrey Terminal), which is dominated by locally based Sun Country Airlines.

Learn more about Spirit’s business model and how its fares compare with other airlines by reading a story in the May issue of Twin Cities Business.