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How to Fly Frontier Airlines

How to Fly Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is a low-cost carrier that can save you a lot of money… or cost you a lot if you can’t avoid the fees!

Read this guide to make sure you avoid paying more than you have to when flying Frontier Airlines, and make sure you know all your rights with these Frontier Airline tips and tricks.

Hopefully, this guide can help you figure out when a Frontier fare is a good deal and when it is a dud.

How to fly frontier airlines frontier air
© Tentflapmedia | Dreamstime Stock Photos

(Note:  This is a living blog post, and as people ask questions, the post will be updated and built upon).

You can find the complete guide to flying Spirit Airlines here.

Why Fly Frontier Air?

Similar to Spirit Airlines, choosing to fly Frontier Airlines can save you a lot of money.

The great thing about Frontier is that it is more flexible than Spirit Airlines and recognizes frequent travelers better.  They are also friendlier to families.

Changing your flight on Frontier Airlines

Standby Travel

If you have elite status with Frontier’s Early Return program, you can standby for any other flight on the day of your flight for free.  This includes both flights before and after your scheduled time.  You must follow your exact itinerary and cannot turn a connection into a nonstop (or vice versa).  Switching to standby for a later flight is a little risky because you’ll be on standby and not confirmed onto a flight.

Same-day Change Travel

You can move your seat the day of your flight for a flat fee of $99, subject to room on the flights.   You can move your flight earlier or later, and you can move it by calling Frontier or by talking to an agent.

Buying Tickets

Luckily, purchasing tickets on Frontier is easier than purchasing tickets on Spirit Airlines.  In order to purchase the cheapest tickets on Spirit, you must drive to the airport and buy them from the counter.

Frontier does not follow that practice.  You can find their cheapest tickets online, since they don’t charge an extra fee.

In addition to printing your boarding pass, you can use their mobile app to retrieve your boarding pass.

The cheapest tickets on Frontier Air are through their Discount Den subscription.

Discount Den deals information.

The Discount Den is a program that gives you access to the lowest fares on Frontier Air.  When you are purchasing a regular ticket on Frontier, it will show you the Discount Den options.

The Discount Den program is $49.99 per year and applies to up to 6 people on your itinerary.  (The person with the Discount Den membership must be flying).

When I joined the Discount Den, the Discount Den prices were $50 cheaper than the non-Discount Den flights.  So it was a no-brainer for me to purchase it.

Here are some examples of the difference in price:

For a flight for two from DC to Colorado Springs, the Discount Den club took $40 off the overall tickets.

In this example, for a family of four flying from Denver to Miami, I found a savings of $80 for one direction.  ($160 overall)

Ultimately, the Discount Den is only a savings if you plan on flying multiple times or if you can capitalize enough on one booking.

Baggage Costs When You Fly Frontier Airlines

Personal Items

Frontier will charge you for a carry-on bag, but you can bring one personal item on for free.

A personal item must fit under the seat in front of you.  The dimensions are 8” D x 18” W  x 14” H.

Carry on bag prices & Checked bag prices

Below is a current chart of the prices for baggage on Frontier Air.  Bags are the cheapest at booking.  Also, if you plan on purchasing seats or other extras, you can bundle them together for a discount.

If you purchase a carry-on bag, you automatically get zone 1 boarding.  If you do not have a carry-on bag, it doesn’t really matter which boarding group you are in, since you will not be fighting for overhead space.

Members of the military get two checked bags for free.

Purchase LocationCarry-On Bag1st Checked Bag2nd Checked Bag>3+ Checked Bag
BEST VALUE!

Flyfrontier.com, at booking
$30*/35$25*/30$45$80
Flyfrontier.com, after booking and up to 24 hours before departure
$38$38$45$80
Call Center$40$40$45$85
Web Check-in$40$40$45$85
Airport ticket counter or self-service kiosk$45$45$50$85
Departure Gate$60$60 for bags exceeding our size requirementsN/AN/A

How much is the Works?

The Works is a bundle of multiple “upgrades” on Frontier Airlines.  When you fly Frontier Airlines and book the Works, you get:

  • Carry-on bag
  • Checked bag
  • Select your seat
  • Priority boarding
  • Refundability
  • Change flights for free

The Works is about 50% off the overall cost of these items and works out to be about $50-80 each direction, but you must buy it for everyone in your party.  I’ve found it works out best for single travelers, as you can usually fit all your items in one or two checked bags as a family.

You can also book a cheaper option called the Perks which does not come with refundability or flight changes

Family Travel

Frontier Airlines is very family friendly.  Car seats and strollers can be checked for free.  Diaper bags can be carried on for free (in addition to your personal item).

There’s a Kid Zone on the planes, which have quick access to changing tables.  Family can pre-select seats and have access to discounted seats for purchase.

Families with small children can also board first.  Once on board, the flight attendants will give out collectible trading cards (upon request).  I’ve also observed the flight attendants paying special attention to the smaller children on board of every Frontier flight I’ve taken.

 

Food & Drink

There are no complimentary food or beverage items on board.  You may purchase items individually or in bundles.

One of their bundles is a stroopwaffel with a cup of coffee.  For anyone who knows me, that’s my favorite in-flight meal.

Here is the Frontier menu, including prices.  You can click each image to make it larger.

 

What other questions do you have about Frontier?  This is a living blog post, so I can update this as we go!

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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6 comments

  1. Hi! Thanks for the overview, exactly what I was looking for. Question about seats: is there an equivalent of Big Front Seat and how much is it?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Yes, there is! I’ll add that in. I also have some general tips for selecting a paid seat that I’ll add in. Stretch seating (starting at $20) is Frontier’s version of the big comfy seats, but I’ve found myself able to get my own row by booking midtier seats.

  2. I assume they don’t have extra leg room seats or “big front seats”, etc. ? I’m very tall and one thing I really like is the ability to get a nice seat for little money on Spirit even when traveling on company business where they restrict my ability to upgrade to first class on most carriers. I also wonder about the Frontier loyalty program. I stopped flying Frontier several years ago before all the changes. Has it improved any?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Yes, there is! I’ll add that in. I also have some general tips for selecting a paid seat that I’ll add in. Stretch seating (starting at $20) is Frontier’s version of the big comfy seats, but I’ve found myself able to get my own row by booking midtier seats.

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