Low-cost carrier Spirit announced today the creation of its new frequent flyer program, "Free Spirit." (For those keeping score at home, that pun rated about a "C-" in the unofficial SmarterTravel.com pun grading system.)
I'm still not sure how I'd grade the actual program itself. Spirit says award travel will be available on every flight with no blackout dates, with awards starting as low as 15,000 miles for domestic travel and 20,000 miles for Caribbean flights. All miles will also count toward frequent flyer status, regardless of how they are earned (e.g. bonus miles, special offers, credit card spending).
And then there's the kicker: The top mile earner after a year will get a plane named after him or her, not to mention free limo rides to and from the airport. This part is more for buzz than anything else, but it's indicative of the sort of anything-goes attitude of an airline that routinely offers $9 flights to the Caribbean.
I'll keep an eye on the program over the next few months with an interest in seeing if the "no blackout dates" and other positive features turn out to be reality or just smoke and mirrors. I'd also love to hear from Spirit flyers with their experiences, so don't be shy.