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Airline gives free flights on Sept. 11
August 7, 2002 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Airline gives free flights on Sept. 11 Spirit Airlines will give away seats on every one of its flights for the one-year anniversary. Is this a good idea? Will anyone, anywhere want to fly that day, even for free?
posted by ice_cream_motor (54 comments total)

 
I'd take that deal in a heartbeat, if it didn't interfere so much with my schedule. At least it gets their name out there. It's a pretty clever marketing ploy, at least.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:30 AM on August 7, 2002


I think a better question is: Would any reasonable person, anywhere, be too scared to fly that day?
posted by Doug at 9:31 AM on August 7, 2002


I think it's a fine idea... if that's what they want to do. If I were in a position to take advantage of such a deal, I would... no question.
posted by Witty at 9:39 AM on August 7, 2002


Right on Doug!
For free? I would even toast the hiccupping pilot!
posted by bmxGirl at 9:41 AM on August 7, 2002


Not surprisingly, their website seems to be having some problems, and the phone number has been busy for the last five minutes or so.
posted by Samsonov14 at 9:42 AM on August 7, 2002


I think people would sit in vats of snakes (as they sometimes do on Fox) to get a free flight any day. Is anybody really scared to fly? The only thing that frightens me about airline travel is having to step foot in US airports....!
posted by sic at 9:44 AM on August 7, 2002


Since I can't seem to get any information on their web site, where does Spirit fly? Just a Florida to Puerto Rico thing?
posted by geoff. at 9:45 AM on August 7, 2002


I would gladly take the tickets; my wife, though, is not too crazy about the idea. I suspect it will be the safest flying day ever.
posted by TskTsk at 9:49 AM on August 7, 2002


I agree with TskTsk, it will probably will be one of the safest flying days.
posted by DailyBread at 9:53 AM on August 7, 2002


I don't care about flying on Septemeber 11th, but can you imagine how invasiive security will probably be on that day? I'm up for the free flight. I'm just down on what could possibly be a very very slow security process.
posted by substrate at 9:59 AM on August 7, 2002


Yeah, it was eight years between the 1993 WTC bombing and 9/11. I'm sorry, but the terrorist types are not complete idiots. They apparently know when security is tight. Kinda hurts to admit this, but the next (inevitable?) attack may also catch us off guard.
posted by jaronson at 10:01 AM on August 7, 2002


Y'all are nuts. I'm staying home on Sept 11th. I might curl up with a book, watch some tv, you get the idea.

Even if nothing happens, they're probably going to do body-cavity searches on everyone at the airport. Well okay, that may be taking it a bit far, but still...

If I were a terrorist (and I am not), it would be well-nigh irresistable to do something nasty on the one-year anniversary.

And if that happens, or if a credible threat is made about aircraft, watch 'em all get shut down for a day.

And on preview: if I were a terrorist, even if I were too afraid or unable to actually mount an attack that day, I'd still mess with their heads and try to gum up the works as much as possible, just to freak 'em out. I mean, the terrorists aren't stupid, but they seem pretty pissed off and willing to use all kinds of drastic means to cause damage (rather part of the definition of a terrorist, methinks).
posted by beth at 10:06 AM on August 7, 2002


How tacky is it that they're commemorating hijackings with free airplane flights? It would be like U-Haul marking the anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing with free truck rentals.
posted by turaho at 10:12 AM on August 7, 2002


they're probably going to do body-cavity searches on everyone at the airport.

Well that settles it. I'm flying for sure.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:14 AM on August 7, 2002


I'd take those tickets in a heartbeat if they actually flew anywhere near where I live. I think it is an incredible way to mark the anniversary.

I still don't understand why people are afraid to fly, because statistically, even when counting the death toll of September 11th, you have a better chance of dying in a car accident than you do in an airplane. I don't see people avoiding their cars after there has been a major pileup on a local freeway -- why avoid the air?

Everyone is going to die somewhere, sometime. Deal with it.
posted by illusionaire at 10:19 AM on August 7, 2002


And they'll lose so much money on all those full price one way return tickets. Such a generous commemoration. I'm touched.
posted by ferociouskitty at 10:25 AM on August 7, 2002


turaho: Right on. How about free Kool Aid on Nov 18, free Nike's on March 26, and free electricity on April 26?
posted by Fabulon7 at 10:25 AM on August 7, 2002


How tacky is it that they're commemorating hijackings with free airplane flights?

Yea, I'm sure that the board members were sitting at the round table trying to think of the best way to "commemorate the hijackings". I guess in your eyes, the Vietnam War Memorial commemorates the killing of American soldiers and the U.S.S. Arizona commemorates the sneak attack of the Japanese air force.
posted by Witty at 10:27 AM on August 7, 2002


Free German babies on April 20th? Since we're spouting absurdities...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:27 AM on August 7, 2002


Okay, two things. First, Spirit has some of the worst customer service and internal communications I've ever seen. Last time I took them we were delayed for five hours with no explanation, no apology, no estimated flight time. One couple who'd already been stuck for eight hours by the time i got there was actually given an incorrect flight number by Spirit personnel, and was needlessly stranded for an additional four hours. No apology or offer for a refund.

Secondly, Spirit somehow managed to keep the lid on the fact that they carted various terrorists with fake ID's from Fort Lauderdale to DC in order to execute 9/11 plans (i'm looking for a link to verify that now, but I distinctly remember seeing the news on CNN) a ferw days previously. I'm sure there was no small degree of guilt inside Spirit, and a sudden realization that they should improve their internal communications to ensure that never happens again.
posted by patricking at 10:28 AM on August 7, 2002


My g/f is getting jumpy 'bout me flying SF to London on Sept 7th!

[I'm getting jumpy at the thought of hearing the latex gloves go *sschnaap* at the security checks...]
posted by i_cola at 10:30 AM on August 7, 2002


Witty: I should have said "commemorating a day marked by hijackings." I thought my point was clear.
posted by turaho at 10:42 AM on August 7, 2002


Some of my officemates are flying to a conference that day. The four of them are hoping to have the plane (and the liquor stash) to themselves. heh.
posted by whatnot at 10:43 AM on August 7, 2002


even when counting the death toll of September 11th, you have a better chance of dying in a car accident than you do in an airplane

phobia. i've never flown. before or after, last September didn't matter.


but you were probably talking only about 'fraidy cats of a different strain than the ones like me.
posted by tolkhan at 10:45 AM on August 7, 2002


Personally, I never sail on cruise liners on April 15th. After all, an anniversary MUST mean it's going to happen again, right?
posted by briank at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2002


turaho: I understand your point to... a point. But most days of commemoration and memorials in general, are marked by some kind of disaster, death, or destruction. It just amazes me that no one can seem to do right when it comes to "doing their part" to bring some good to an otherwise painful event. Seems like no one can win. Everyone would sooner shoot their efforts down than look for any kind of positive.
posted by Witty at 10:56 AM on August 7, 2002


The Google cache of their site seems to indicate they fly to and from Atlantic City, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, New York, Oakland, Orlando, San Juan, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.

Patricking: you'll note DC isn't on that list at all. Even if it was, why would the fact that the terrorists got past Spirit make Spirit a Bad Guy? The terrorists got past everybody in the country.

If DC *was* on the list, I'd be all over these free tickets. To my mind, avoiding flying on Sept. 11 is little more than superstition. Unless you're a "swarthy male", in which case, it's probably more of a primal survival instinct. Anyone who gets the crew's or the passengers' wind up while flying on Sept. 11, 2002 is probably going to have to be carried off the plane on a stretcher.
posted by Sapphireblue at 11:18 AM on August 7, 2002


patricking / Sapphireblue: they flew from Fort Lauderdale to Newark (though Newark is not in the google-cached list - perhaps they no longer fly there).
posted by madprops at 11:30 AM on August 7, 2002


They're not commemorating Sept. 11, really -- they're trying to fill planes that are going to fly that day, anyway. It makes business sense to do that. And, of course, they'll charge for tickets on the other end of the trip (whether going or returning). There's certainly nothing wrong with that. They're not being crass or opportunistic. They're simply operating a business as they see fit, and people who get free tickets will benefit. More power to 'em.
posted by Holden at 11:31 AM on August 7, 2002


The four of them are hoping to have the plane (and the liquor stash) to themselves. heh.

They are probably trying to make sure the planes don't fly nearly empty and thus more susceptible to hijacking.
posted by zavyman at 11:33 AM on August 7, 2002


I never used to be afraid of flying, but I am now, and not because of September 11. I was nervous about flying the first time I flew after the attacks, but that went away after seeing the security and experiencing a smooth takeoff. Then we almost crashed due to severe cross-winds while landing in Pittsburgh for a layover. Once of the hardest things I've ever had to do was get on the next plane to continue the flight. Even without terrorists, the planes can still just crash. I know about the odds and understand them rationally, but the nervousness is an emotional reaction.

As far as the promotion goes, I think it's pretty tacky, because I think most people will think about the great deals they got, and not about the people who died in the attacks. (Obviously my intelligent, thoughtful MetaFilter compadres are the exception.)

And, of course, they'll charge for tickets on the other end of the trip (whether going or returning).

The way I read the article, round trips that occur completely on September 11 will be free.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:39 AM on August 7, 2002


I'm still afraid to fly. If that makes me an idiot, so be it. I'm a safe, live idiot.
posted by internook at 11:40 AM on August 7, 2002


I'd be more than happy to fly for free on september 11th, or any other day of the year for that matter.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:41 AM on August 7, 2002


Hell, I got a great deal on a flight out of the country on sept 10th. I'm not gonna complain.
posted by Hackworth at 11:55 AM on August 7, 2002


Bah... fitting memorial or publicity stunt... it still means it's a freaking free plane trip. Too bad they don't fly out of Texas.

Quick survey--of those not afraid to fly, how many are male, how many are female. And how many people are more afraid of a loved one flying than flying themselves? Personally, my wife would probably fly, but would freak out the whole way if I was on the plane. Eh, whaddaya do?
posted by psychotic_venom at 11:55 AM on August 7, 2002


Female, not afraid to fly here. Not afraid to let a loved one fly either, but I think everyone needs to balance the risks and rewards for themselves.

Too bad the dang site is still down...
posted by JoanArkham at 12:04 PM on August 7, 2002


kirkaracha said: As far as the promotion goes, I think it's pretty tacky, because I think most people will think about the great deals they got, and not about the people who died in the attacks.

I doubt that seriously. Only a real tool would have a mind so closed as to not even consider the memories of that day. And how do the reactions of the people who take advantage of this deal make the intentions of this whole thing "tacky"?
posted by Witty at 12:09 PM on August 7, 2002


I was discussing this same issue with a few friends last night.

People cannot seem to move on. They forcefully believe that any symbols that remind them of that day should be removed, eradicated and annihilated.

illusionaire put it quite nicely.

Just because a terrible tragedy happened that day, the public now wants images of the towers removed from movies(i.e. Spider-Man) and others delayed(i.e. Collateral Damage).

Death is inevitable, focus on the future and stop dwelling in the past.

With that said, if I had somewhere to go on September 11th, I would definitely jump at the chance.
posted by spidre at 12:22 PM on August 7, 2002


Count me among the Fearless Amazon Warrior Women of MetaFilter. (my next calendar project...)

Only a real tool would have a mind so closed as to not even consider the memories of that day.

To elaborate: a tool with no access to the outside world, whatsoever. It's gonna be nothing but memorializing and moments of silence all day long, and while I commend the instinct and I'm sure will be walking around with plenty of weighty, troubled thoughts of my own that day (the weather here in DC was almost autumn-like yesterday and even being outside in that was enough to send me back to last fall, this ominous scared edgy feeling in my gut that I would just as soon forget forever) ... I'm also pretty sure that I'm going to be tempted to throw a television through my window by lunchtime, the day of.

Which may be as good a reason as any for me or you or all of us to hop a free plane to San Juan that day. Most Americans will be thinking about stuff plenty, I suspect, completely regardless of where we are or what we're doing.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:21 PM on August 7, 2002


I'm also pretty sure that I'm going to be tempted to throw a television through my window by lunchtime, the day of.

I don't doubt that the TV media and talk shows will overdo (for lack of a better term) the whole damn thing. I agree. I won't even be watching anyway.

This will always be, at some level, a day I will always remember and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It certainly doesn't mean I haven't moved on though. I moved on the moment I saw my father walk through the front door of his home, ALIVE that very evening (which couldn't be done any other way I suppose). See, he's been working at the Pentagon for 36 some odd years. It's not about dwelling on the past, rather just keeping things in perspective and counting your blessings.
posted by Witty at 1:31 PM on August 7, 2002


*nods* right on, brother. There's a small chance the people on Flight 93 saved my life (if the reports that said it was headed to the White House and not Camp David were right) and I won't ever forget their bravery in particular. I don't need a televised "tribute" for that, nor will a fondness for cheap travel change it one bit.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:42 PM on August 7, 2002


Another fearless female here! Yes, I'd fly on September 11th or any other day...
posted by Jade Dragon at 1:47 PM on August 7, 2002


I'd fly on a plane full of Islamic extremists for ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Tonight! on What Would You Do For The Cash?... here on FOX. Be There! (er sumthin')
posted by Witty at 1:53 PM on August 7, 2002


I think my way of commemorating the anniversary will be to keep stay away from network and cable TV, newspapers, magazines, and most other forms of mass media, as I doubt there will be much there that will be a fitting tribute in my mind's eye.

Might be interesting to organize a film festival that day where you try to spot the twin towers in movies shot in New York before Sept. 11. Bonus points for movies where you see a plane *and* the twin towers (intact) in the same shot.
posted by illusionaire at 2:38 PM on August 7, 2002


What a novel idea!
posted by spidre at 3:58 PM on August 7, 2002


Sweet! Oakland to Vegas in the morning of Sept. 11th...gamble at the cheap tables on a Wednesday morning at the Bellagio...play hotter-than-hades golf for a cheap price in the afternoon...back to the casino for a spell and some dinner...home to Oakland before the 10 o'clock news. Full day for, oh, $75 ?
posted by msacheson at 5:30 PM on August 7, 2002


Just because a terrible tragedy happened that day, the public now wants images of the towers removed from movies(i.e. Spider-Man) and others delayed(i.e. Collateral Damage).

I think this was more film exec ninnies worried about audience reaction. I remember a news story saying that audiences cheered for the WTC during an otherwise terrible screening of Glitter.
posted by owillis at 6:52 PM on August 7, 2002


if i had the day off i'd fly on 9/11. i probably wouldn't fly spirit though for two reasons: a completely packed plane with a bunch of yahoos flying for free and; i'd rather fly on a more reputable airline. the probability the wing falls off is higher than bad guys highjacking the plane.
posted by birdherder at 7:23 PM on August 7, 2002


Flying has ALWAYS been the safest way to travel. Sept. 11th didn't change anything except for the real simpletons out there. Planes were always hijacked prior to that date ... flying them into buildings was simply a grander move. Who cares?
posted by {savg*pncl} at 8:13 PM on August 7, 2002


Fearless female? Check.

Not afraid to fly? Checkeroonie. I love flying.

I've never been "scared" to fly, just apprehensive if I haven't flown in a while (even the one time I was on a plane in a thunderstorm and came closer than I'd ever like to come again to crashing (which was, in reality, probably not close at all), I wasn't exactly scared, "resigned" is more like it). I enjoyed flying when the planes were almost empty, as they were last October and November, but remembering why they were empty wasn't so pleasant. I do have to say that I found myself looking at the other passengers in the waiting area, half-consciously picking out who'd be useful to help take down a hijacker if the need arose. But I honestly believe that hijacking as we know it is now a thing of the past, going by the way passengers have reacted to people acting suspiciously since September. And flying is statistically still safer than walking (let alone driving), and I can't really forsee that changing. I think Spirit is doing a good thing here, I don't care what their hidden agenda may be, those who get to fly for free that day will get to fly for free regardless, and I really think you'd have to live in a cave in Montana not to know what the free flights were all about.
posted by biscotti at 8:30 PM on August 7, 2002


Personally, I intend to work my ass off on 9/11/02.
I can't say that I do not think of the event and the day everyday. Something always triggers a memory.
As crippled we were that day (not speaking for everyone), it seems shallow to put it aside as a day of mourning. Fly, work hard at your career, study, live life harder in defiance of the goal that the idiots have tried to impose.
9/11 will likely be the safest day ever to fly. Take advantage of it if it suits your travel needs.
posted by effer27 at 9:07 PM on August 7, 2002


Not nearly as classy as this tribute.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:50 AM on August 8, 2002


Tribute? Looks more like propaganda to me.
posted by illusionaire at 7:07 AM on August 8, 2002


Follow-up: all 13,400 free tickets were claimed within seven hours. (link to my employer, deal with it.) The article also says a resort hotel near Walt Disney world is making the same offer for its rooms, and is calling on the 2100 members of the Travel Industry of America to do the same.
posted by Sapphireblue at 9:02 AM on August 8, 2002


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