Review: Frontier Airline


Over the holiday break, we flew from San Fransciso to Denver for a week long ski trip and used Frontier airline for the first time.

Overall verdict:

Do not recommend unless the airfare is significantly below (at least $100 each way lower) major airlines .  Many hidden fees and bare bone service.

What is Frontier airline?

From Wikipeida, “Frontier Airlines is a United States low cost carrier headquartered in Denver, Colorado, USA.[8] The carrier, which is a subsidiary and operating brand of Indigo Partners, LLC,[11] operates flights to 50 destinations throughout the United States and 5 international destinations.”  Similar to Southwest, Jetblue, Spirit, it’s suppose to offer no-frill flying experience at lower prices.

Why I don’t recommend Frontier?

Exorbitant Hidden Fees

When we were booking, Frontier was running about $40 cheaper per person round trip over United.  I’m always up to try something new and save some money, so we booked with Frontier.

When it’s time to do online checkin, we learned that there is no free carry on luggage or checked luggage.  I’m not talking about two, just one here.  Below is the baggage option prices from Frontier’s website.  Even the cheapest option sets us back $30 per luggage.

BEST VALUE!, at booking and up to 24 hours before departure
$35 $30 $40 $75
Call Center $40 $35 $40 $75
Web Check-in $40 $35 $40 $80
Airport ticket counter or self-service kiosk $45 $40 $45 $80
Departure Gate $60 $60 for bags exceeding our size requirements N/A N/A

Later, when we were selecting seats.  Being a family of four, we obviously wanted to sit together, another fee of $13 per person to get connected seats.  Already, we have paid $43 more per person one way over the ticket price for Frontier.  Double this amount for round trip.

More than No Frill

No recline on seats

Once we are the flight, it’s clear Frontier has taken No Frill to a new level.  I can live with the very thin seat cushion and back, but no recline on the seat whatsoever.  For a short flight to Denver, it’s uncomfortable but still manageable, but for a longer flight, it would suck big time for me.

Tiny tray table

And the tray table is the smallest i have seen in the industry, smaller than my IPad, i can barely put a book on there.

No entertainment whatsoever

I figure they wouldn’t have much in way of entertainment, but no movie screen for the entire cabin, no music, nothing, natta.  BYO is the mantra here, but there is no on flight WIFI, so you better download a bunch of movie/music prior to boarding.

More fees for the basics

You want a cup of water, that’s complimentary.  You can coke or sprite, that’s $2.  You want a whole bottle of water, that’s another $2.  It goes without saying that you would need to pay for food and snacks.

Long lines for bag drop off and pickup

Because Frontier charges more for carry on, most people ended up choosing the checked baggage option which leads to very long line to drop off the baggage, and equally long lines at the baggage claim.

Closing Thoughts

All, we ended up with paying more for Frontier for less services and comfort.  In my estimate, unless it’s $100 cheaper per person each way, we won’t be flying them again.

One thought on “Review: Frontier Airline

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