Frontier Airlines Cuts Fares, Adds New Fees

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You can fly for cheap on Frontier Airlines, but be prepared to pay extra to pick your seat in advance and to carry on your luggage.

Denver-based Frontier says it’s lowering its fares by as much as 12 percent and simplifying its airfare structure, effective immediately.

Frontier’s new economy fare is “unbundled,” where fliers pay for the extras they want, similar to fee-dependent airlines Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines in the U.S., and Ryanair in Europe.

Reports Denver’s KMGH-TV: “With an unbundled product, customers can save even more by choosing to pay for only the products that they want, allowing them to customize their flight experience for each and every flight,” said David Siegel, CEO of Frontier Airlines.

The Associated Press said Frontier’s unbundling will also require passengers to pay extra for the following:

  • Carry-on luggage. Previously free if you bought a ticket on Frontier’s website, carry-ons will now cost anywhere from $20 for online frequent-flier bookings to $50 for those who don’t pay until they get to the gate. That’s only for use of the overhead bin. If it fits under the seat, it’s still free.
  • Seat selection. You’ll need to pony up $3 to choose your seat when booking online or $8 at check-in.
  • Seat extras. If you want to sit in the front half of the plane, that’ll cost an extra $5 to $15 per flight. If you want a seat with extra legroom, you’ll be charged anywhere from $15 to $50 per flight, depending on the distance flown.

Passengers who buy Frontier’s more expensive, fully refundable Classic Plus fares will get one free checked bag and one free carry-on bag, as well as a seat with extra legroom. The AP said the elite members of Frontier’s frequent-flier program will receive similar benefits.

Siegel said the airline anticipates an increase in sales.

“It will take a few years for customers in the U.S. to familiarize themselves. There will be challenges,” Siegel said. “But once they understand that business model and how to fly with that model, they’ll think it’s the best value.”

It will be interesting to see how this pans out for Frontier. While the base price of an airfare ticket with Frontier may be cheap, it sounds like the nickel-and-diming of all the extra fees will add up quickly.

What do you think of Frontier’s new fee-dependent structure? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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