Spirit Airlines News
Posted May 14, 2013 by SmarterTravel.com
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Posted February 20, 2009 by Katie Blais
Spirit Airlines—you know, that super tasteful and refined airline that brought us such understated promotions as the MILF sale and Hunt for Hoffa—is at it again. This time, the carrier is trying to turn its flight attendants into walking billboards for Budweiser and other alcoholic beverages.
Flight attendants, who are already a little put off by Spirit’s rather crude marketing efforts, were further taken aback when they found out their uniforms are going to resemble a cocktail waitress at a sports bar (I thought Hooters already tried their hand at an airline) rather than a safety professional.
Who is to say that Spirit will stop at advertising a cold beer, with the airline industry looking for anyway to get an extra buck these days? What else might Spirit try to sell on their employees' aprons? Hamburgers, Viagra, toothpaste, oh the possibilities are endless. What if they slap “Spirit” in rhinestones on their backsides just like those horrible velour sweat suits? Oh, I shudder at the thought.
What I really want to know is what happened to the snappy suits and hot get-ups of the flight attendants of yesteryear? I would seriously consider a career move if they still upheld the kind of class only the 70s made possible.
Posted December 2, 2008 by Zak Patten
We learn a lot from the places we work. And that can serve us well throughout our careers. But we can also pick up some of the stranger aspects of our workplaces. Which is why I'm curious about ProFlight Training Academy, the new flight school started by Ron Jung, who, according to The Jackson Citizen Patriot, has "spent a decade as a pilot for Spirit Airlines." Will Jung's new venture employ the locker-room-style advertising and hyperactive marketing Spirit has championed? Will the school offer ridiculously cheap courses to match Spirit's penny-pinching fares? More to the point, can you take the pilot out of Spirit Airlines without taking the Spirit Airlines out of the pilot?
As for ads, I wonder how a flight school could work some of Spirit's fare sale names like "M.I.L.F." and "Threesome" into its pitches. Perhaps the latter could be a special deal&mash;you and a fellow student and your flight instructor could take to the skies together. Just one of you would be flying the plane, but at least you'd be up there, and maybe Jung would you give the non-pilot a discount. I'm not crazy about the idea of handing over the controls in midair, and I hope Jung wouldn't be either.
Spirit made a bit of a splash in the fall when it introduced advertising "on seat backs, window shades, overhead bins, tray tables, and drink carts." How might this translate for the ProFlight Academy? Well, while you're up there learning how to keep yourself up there, Jung could decide it was a good time to tell you about the benefits of a new car from a local dealership or why you should really consider Lipitor. I'd prefer he focus more on actually teaching you to fly, but if the "Spirit" of marketing saturation compels him, you are a captive audience and he might feel like bringing in just a bit more revenue on that particular flight.
No doubt some vulgar ads and lots of sales pitches would be in keeping with Spirit's ways, but nothing would call to mind Jung's airline employer more than if he goes rock-bottom on prices. Spirit's deals are certainly eye-catching, with their one-cent fares and the like. I even recall Spirit <em>paying you</em> to fly, though you were still responsible for taxes and fees. To live up to this obsession with price points, Jung should rename his ProFlight Training Academy the "CheapFlight Saving Academy." That would get some attention. As would cut-rate classes. Instead of charging the $160 per hour (his current rate), Jung might slash that to 160 <em>cents</em> per hour. Who doesn't want to learn to fly for less than the price of a Starbucks latte?
Only time will tell if ProFlight is to become the Spirit Airlines of flight schools. But if Ron Jung has learned anything from his old bosses (besides how to fly a plane), expect something a little shocking.
(Photo: ProFlight Training Academy)
Posted November 4, 2008 by Carl Unger
Well folks, we made it: It's election day. A year (two years, really) of mudslinging, name-calling, mavericky-ness, "change," hockey moms, ACORN, Bill Ayers, and $150,000 wardrobes is finally coming to an end. With all we've seen and heard during this long and arduous campaign, you'd think the candidates and their surrogates couldn't have left anything out. But they did. And fortunately for us, we have Spirit Airlines to pick up the slack.
So what, pray tell, could Spirit offer that neither Barack Obama nor John McCain, Joe Biden nor Sarah Palin could provide? Puns. Lots and lots of horrible puns. Read:
"Spirit, a Maverick in airline sales, brings you Ochobama! He's built his platform around bringing you low fares, from only $8* each way for $9 Fare Club** members. We're also offering many more great fares for everyone. We've been Biden our time to bring you this sale. Check out the low fares and save big today! All other sales Palin comparison. But hurry, the polls close on the best fares on November 4, 2008 at 11:59 PM ET! All fares are based on roundtrip purchase and taxes, fees & restrictions apply."
This comes from the airline's "Ochobama" sale, which features fares starting at $8 one-way (hence the "ocho," get it?). Now, if you're not familiar with Spirit's advertising schemes, you should know the airline tends to make up characters to represent its sale, and writes a blurb that is somehow thematically linked to its character. In this case, the ad came with a number eight adorned with a set of large, Obama-esque ears and a red tie.
Sometimes Spirit's ads are just plain silly and corny and sometimes they're downright offensive. This one obviously falls in the corny category. My guess here is that Spirit's ad folks, like the rest of us, are borderline delirious after months upon months of intense campaign coverage.
Posted September 25, 2008 by Heather Gilbert
OK, the whole airline isn’t for sale. But advertising space on seat backs, window shades, overhead bins, tray tables, and drink carts is.
Starting last week, if you’ve got the dough, Spirit Airlines ' Mile High Media wants to hear from you. Touting itself primarily as advertising your audience can’t get away from, Mile High Media is debuting with a campaign from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
What might I see aboard my next flight on Spirit? Signage on my seat back? Beats looking at old pilly fabric. Flip-flop decals on the overhead bins? I only see them as I shove my now-oversized-to-avoid-checking-it roll aboard in there. And on the window shade? I’ve only pulled that down to try and get some shuteye, so go ahead.
As long as Spirit doesn’t plan on using the space for its own tasteless ad campaigns, it’s fine with me. I certainly don’t want to spend my whole flight thinking about threesomes and MILFs, thank you very much. And besides, they’re not the first low-cost carrier to go this route. Ryanair practically invented onboard advertising. And if by some teeny chance this lowers my fare by offsetting fuel costs, well they can put ads on my suitcase if they want. Wait a minute here … hey Spirit, wanna buy ad space on my suitcase? Let’s talk!
(Photo: Spirit Airlines)
Posted July 23, 2008 by Zak Patten
In this age of distraction, when new entertainment options are but a mouse click or remote button away, marketers will try anything to capture the limited attention span of potential customers. Sometimes they walk a fine line between what's edgy and what should have never made it out of the marketing manager’s head. Sometimes, as in the case of Spirit Airlines, the line of taste is so far behind them they can't even remember what it looks like.
Spirit, the ultra-low-cost carrier, has its own particular style. We here at BookingBuddy thought it would be fun and educational (but not for kids!) to take a stroll down memory lane with the little airline that could (offend). So without further ado, let's count down the top five most tasteless Spirit airfare sales:
This one got Spirit into some hot water, and I don’t mean of the Jacuzzi variety, though that does conjure up the kind of image Spirit would probably endorse. Ostensibly, the airline was promoting the idea of Many Islands, Low Fares with its latest sale acronym. But just as AA stands for both American Airlines and Alcoholics Anonymous, some critics suggested the M.I.L.F. sale was a cheap ploy to gain market share with the Maxim crowd, who might think it was a different, more suggestive acronym.
2. Hunt for Hoffa
Somehow Spirit’s “Hunt for Hoffa” sale, (actually a game that involved digging for long-missing labor leader Jimmy Hoffa’s body by clicking online boxes) went over even worse than the M.I.L.F sale. It seems there was still some love out there for Hoffa, who disappeared in 1975. Hit almost immediately by a deluge of customer complaints, Spirit buried Hoffa and renamed the promotion “Happy Sale.” Eventually, the marketing stunt did prove successful, by at least one measure: It came in eighth on CNN Money’s 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.
3. Threesome Sale
Chalk up another one for overgrown frat-boy humor. Earlier this year, Spirit sent out an email that announced: "We're having a threesome. Join us in the fun." While some recipients of the message took it as a reference to the practice of, well, menage a trois, apparently Spirit was really trying to promote "three sales in one." The misperception was likely amplified by the repeated use of the word “threesome” in the accompanying marketing copy.
Favored by bloggers, instant messengers, and mobile-phone users everywhere, “WTF?” is used to quickly express outrage and disbelief. Typically understood as a vulgar expression of incredulity, Spirit Airlines claims the more family-friendly “World Traveler Fares” as its intended meaning. This sale proved to be a great way for the airline to showcase the international destinations in its route network, if not its sophisticated wit. Seriously, what were they thinking?
5. Oil Falls to Just $9 a Barrel*
Not tasteless in a sexual or morbid way like some of the above, but more along the lines of a cruel hoax, the latest Spirit sale to grace the Internet was an attention-grabbing headline, particularly in these times of four-dollar gasoline. With the nation, not to mention the airline industry, reeling from the effects of astronomical fuel prices, Spirit opted for a phony headline and accompanying fake press release to grab the eyeballs of its potential passengers. Reporting that the oil markets had experienced the “largest one-day drop in history,” and full of quotes from “experts” such as Caut Offguard, Bubbles R. Burstinfast, and Shud A. Nown, the release was clearly a parody, though the nature of the topic may induce a chillier reaction on the part of the nation’s drivers. When it comes to humor (and especially oil-related comedy), Spirit may have proven that it’s best not to go to the well too often.
These may be the bottom five, but Spirit has had many other low points in its sales over the past couple of years. Who could forget the Mullet sale, with that airline/hairline reference to “business in the front, party in the back”? And of course, there was the spinoff D.I.L.F. sale, which celebrated Father’s Day with its “Dad I'll Love Forever” message, though the more cynical among us might claim that D.I.L.F. was actually a lewd double entendre best not expressed in polite company.
Posted February 22, 2008 by Carl Unger
Those of us who pay close attention to the airline industry
don’t often have much to feel good about. So when an airline debuts a new logo, we get excited, because it’s
likely the new logo will be fun and cool, and won’t make us dread our next
flight. Hey, at least it’s not another
fuel surcharge, right?
However, when we saw Spirit’s new logo, the words “fun” and
“exciting” didn’t exactly leap to mind. Instead, words like “time machine” and “disco” were thrown around,
because frankly, Spirit’s new logo just screams 1970s.
It’s hard to determine exactly why. Is it the bicentennial-era color scheme? The rampant use of italics (hip then, a bit,
well, outdated now)? Is it because the
logo reminds us of those darlings of the late 70s, the Montreal Expos?
Whatever it is, Spirit expects it to work, or has no idea
what they’re doing. Let’s assume the
former. Retro is in, so why not try
it? What we want to know, however, and
what we fear perhaps more than anything, is this: Are polyester seats next?