Jewish World Review August 8, 2002 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5762

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Consumer Reports

Airline offers free 9/11 flights -- Florida-based Spirit Airlines says it will thank its customers by offering free seats on its flights on Sept. 11, the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

Tickets must be purchased on the airline's Web site, or at 800-772-7117, or from with a credit card for security reasons and the money later will be refunded.

Spirit estimates it will lose about $600,000 if it gives away all 13,000 tickets on the 90 scheduled flights but the publicity will be priceless.

"We are saying 'thank you' to the American public," Jacob Schorr, Spirit's chief executive officer said in a statement. "Had it not been for the support of our passengers and their willingness to get back in the air after the tragedy last year, then Spirit Airlines may not have survived."

If travel is not completed on Sept. 11, passengers will be required to pay for half of a roundtrip fare.

Customers already booked on flights receive vouchers for the Sept. 11 portion of their flight good for a future ticket.

Spirit's promotion is in sharp contrast to other major airlines, which plan to cut their daily flights on Sept. 11 because of lower bookings.

Spirit's fleet of 24 McDonald-Douglas 80 and 6 DC-9 planes fly from large cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, Denver and California to mostly tourist destinations like Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Las Vegas; Puerto Rico and Atlantic City.

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