If you've never flown on Frontier Airlines before, then there are some things that you need to know before booking or boarding a flight with them. Each airline is different. Although every one of them is required to comply with safety standards, when it comes to the rates that they charge, the level of service that they provide and the amenities, it's up to each carrier to establish their own policies. Most are in the business to top the competition in some aspect of their service, but not all offer the same accommodations for flights when compared to other carriers. Here are twenty things you didn't know about Frontier Airlines that will let you know who they are and what they do/don't do best.
1. They have their own system of fares
Frontier Airlines offers their own branded system of fares, as most other airline carriers do as well. their Discount Den fares are only available when you join their program that costs $49.95 per year. Once you've done this, then you're eligible to book flights at a discount. This is an option that is best for frequent flyers with the company. These fares are different than the standard fares and they range from discounts between $1 to $11 less than the flight would cost if you're not a member enrolled in the program. The services that you will receive are no different than what you will get with the standard fare for non-members. If you only fly occasionally, it may not be worth it, but if you spend a lot of time in the air, or if you plan to travel with several family members on the same reservation then the plan could be a good deal that will help to save you money on the tickets. The discounts apply to up to six members of your traveling party. If six of you made ten flights in a year, you could save up to $660.
2. It's going to cost you to check a bag
You can check a bag with Frontier Airlines, but it's going to cost you. There are restrictions on the size and weight of the bags as well. Your bag must be no larger than 62 linear inches and it cannot weigh more than 50 pounds or the price goes up. Bags that exceed the size or weight restrictions may be allowed for an extra $75 fee, but you need to check with the airline first to make sure that any bags you have in this category will be allowed, in advance of your flight. In addition, you will be charged the standard fee for all qualifying bags checked each way.
3. Carry-on bags are not allowed for free
If you decide to bring a carry-on bag on a Frontier Airlines flight, you need to be prepared to pay an additional charge. They do allow passengers to bring one personal item that measures 14 x 18 x 8 inches for free and it must fit under the seat that is ahead of yours to qualify as a free carry-on. If you bring a full-sized carry-on bag with you, it must not be any bigger than 24 inches x 16 inches x 10 inches and it cannot weigh any more than 35 pounds. In most cases, carry-on bags are weighed at the counter and you will be charged a fee for each way if you're making a round trip.
4. If you select the seat you sit in you'll be charged a fee for the privilege
There is no additional charge if you don't care about which seat you are assigned. If you're traveling with a group, the airline does try to keep everyone close together but there are no guarantees. In the case that you want to have a specific seating area, here is how Frontier will assess your additional fees. Choosing a standard seat will cost an extra $6 and up. A stretch seat starts at $20, if you choose your seat through Frontier'ss call center a standard will cost from $8 up and a stretch fee will remain the same. If you choose your seat during a web check-in, at a self-service kiosk or at the airport ticket counter, a standard seat choice will start at $11 and a stretch starts at $25 extra and goes up. The standards seats feature a 28 to 31-inch pitch and the stretch seats offer extra legroom of between 5 and 7 inches.
5. They offer a two bundle packages
Frontier Airlines offers two types of bundle packages that can help defray some of the perks that cost extra by rolling them into one convenient package. The prices for their bundles vary, but on average, on a round-trip ticket from Denver to Atlanta a Perks bundle costs approximately $126 and it covers both flights. With the Perks bundle, you get to bring one carry-on bag that conforms to the rules stated above. It also includes one checked bag that does not exceed the standard weight or size limitations. In addition, it offers the choice of a seat reservation for any of the available seats on the flights including stretch seating and it also throws in Zone 1 boarding.
The Works bundle is a little higher in price, averaging $148 for a round trip flight similar to the one listed above. It provides the passenger with all of the items in the Perks bundle and in addition, you are allowed to change your flight without having to pay any change fees. If you upgrade the ticket, you will have to pay any differences in the established fare though. You can also get your flight refunded and you won't be charged any cancellation fees. Are the bundles a good deal? For some yes, and for others, it's better just to purchase the items that you will use because unless you need protection for flight cancellation or changes, you'll save money by foregoing the bundles.
6. Families get preferential boarding
If you're traveling as a group, then you get to board right after group one goes through. This is a nice perk and it is helpful to get everyone aboard the plane and seated ahead of the last groups to go through. There are a few privileges associated with flying aboard Frontier Airlines and this is one of them.
7. It's cheaper to buy extras during booking
When you're booking your flight with Frontier Airlines it's really important that you consider what add-ons and extras you'll want to have before you start the process. The reason for this is that if you don't purchase any extras at the time of booking, it's going to cost you more at the airport, at a kiosk, front desk or over the phone. It can pay to take a few moments to review your options before you begin so you're fully prepared and don't forget anything.
8. Frontier Airlines was founded in 1993
The commercial airline carrier has not been in business for very long. In fact, they just started providing services in 1993. Most people are not aware that the company is a direct result of the Continental Airlines work stoppage that occurred the year before. Frontier was established to cover the gap in service and they began flying a few destinations between North Dakota and Denver, Colorado. They gradually added more cities and continued to grow and expand their coverage area.
9. They have a reputation for being an "ultra-low-cost" airline carrier
Frontier Airlines is well known for providing some of the lowest airfares in the country. There are some frequent flyers who won't book with them for this very reason. There are noticeable differences in the level of services provided by the budget-priced airline and those who charge a little more and also provide better services. Even though this is confirmed as being the case, Frontier is still in the 8th position among the largest commercial airlines in the nation.
10. They back a Frontier Airlines World Mastercard that is worth checking out
The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard offers some decent benefits if you're planning to fly aboard their craft. It charges a $79 annual fee and you get five miles which are redeemable for each dollar that you spend making purchases with the card. It also allows you to do family pooling with the mileage which is a great perk in itself when you're making reservations for multiple family members. You also get three miles for every dollar you spend on purchases with the card at restaurants and a mile per dollar spent for all other card purchases. It also offers eligibility to earn 40,000 in bonus miles which can be redeemed if you use them for up to four domestic one-way tickets. You apply for the credit card as you would any other type and there are eligibility requirements including your credit rating.
11. The change fees are steep
If you don't have any special coverage through a credit card perk or one of Frontier Airlines' bundle packages, it will cost you to change your flight. There is a flat $99 non-refundable fee for changing flights and in addition, you must pay for any differences in the cost of the fare, plus any extra options or upgrades made at the time.
12. Frontier Airlines is family friendly
When you become familiar with Frontier Airlines, you find out that they really are a family friendly carrier. The occasionally offer flash sales events that offer fares for as low as $15 which presents astronomical savings. If you fly in four segments with the airline you can also achieve 20k elite status for the balance of the year.
13. They have an extensive flight map
Frontier Airlines started out small with just four routes in 1993. They've since expanded the routes to include hundreds of destinations. They currently fly to 80 destinations throughout the United States. They also offer four international flight routes to Mexico Puerto Rico, Canada, and the Dominican Republic. Frontier Airlines is also planning to expand their destination offerings yet further in the next few years.
14. The reviews offer a mixed bag
When checking the customer reviews for Frontier Airlines, you're going to find a mix of very satisfied passengers and the others who boldly state they'll not use the service again. Does this mean that it's a great airline or a terrible one? No, it just means that what works well for one person doesn't necessarily meet the needs of another.
15. If you have a toddler, you'll love the benefits of flying Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines does something extra special for families that are flying with little ones. They allow them to check a diaper bag, a car set and a stroller for free. This is one of the nicer aspects of the airlines that makes them such a popular choice for families with small kids.
16. Their ratings have dropped over the past few years
Competition in the airline industry is fierce. With so many low costs or budget airliners offering special rates and kicking in a few amenities that are not standard, Frontier has not always kept up with some of the nifty services that are offered by their competitors. This has resulted in a two percent drop in their favorability ratings. Customer satisfaction has taken a small downturn.
17. Don't make your reservation through the call center or it will cost you
Not everyone knows this, but they need to. When you make a reservation through the call center, you are going to be charged an extra ten dollar booking fee for each passenger in your party. The only way to get around this is if you are a member of their EarlyReturns Elite program. In this case, they'll waive the fee but you have to make sure to inform them of your status and get the confirmation that they've noted it in your total. You also qualify for the waiver if you're enrolled in the Works bundle package.
18. You can change the name on a ticket but it will cost you
Frontier Airlines allows passengers to change the name on the tickets that have been purchased. Not all airlines allow this, so it's a cool service, but it isn't free. So long as there is no change in the travel itinerary, the name on the ticket can be changed, but it's going to cost you an extra $75.
19. They've had issues with malfunctioning aircraft
Frontier Airlines has had their share of problems with aircraft that malfunction and need repair prior to a flight. On multiple occasions, this has caused long delays. They're great about making the repairs that keep staff and passengers safe in the air, but it can result in missed connections on down the line. Some passengers report that they were not given full refunds for delayed flights and this has been one of the factors mentioned in lower customer satisfaction ratings.
20. There are complaints about customer service aboard the flights
There have been several complaints lodged from passengers who assert that they were treated poorly by attendants aboard the flight launching from the Denver hub. Among them have been ongoing cancellations and delays which are more common now, but some passengers report that flight attendants have treated them in a rude manner and have refused to bring water to the seat when requested. Not everyone has these negative experiences but there have been several complaints of this nature over the past few years.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker