First time flying frontier, America’s Greenest Airline

The Lauren Simone Publishing owners love to read AND we also love to travel. In fact, one of our first books was Olivia Lauren's A Guide to Modes of Transportation. In this picture book authored by Dr. John and her daughter Olivia Lauren John, Olivia's sister Alyssa says "Planes are my favorite mode of transportation."

planes are our favorite mode of travel

More recently, our youth author, Imani Grant was curious about what forces help airplanes in the air in The Virtual Lift Off.

In today's blog, Dr. John shares her first experience flying Frontier Airlines, America’s Greenest Airline!

I absolutely love traveling. I enjoy exploring new destinations and visiting family and friends. I’ve always traveled via American, Delta, and JetBlue. High travel prices have motivated me to explore cheaper airlines such as Frontier and Breezes. I wanted to go to Atlanta for my niece's graduation and visit family. The day I learned about the date, I searched Google Flights and saw tickets under $100 each way. This my first trip on Frontier. 

Fly frontier

About. Frontier Airlines was founded February 8, 1994. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, they operate more than 100 A320 family aircraft and have the largest A320 neo fleet in the Americas, serving approximately 120 destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.  It is a low-cost airline that advertises a basic ticket that covers your flight and a personal item. Everything else, including your seat, carry on luggage, food, and service, is an additional fee. 

Mergers. In the Spring of 2010, Republic Airways Holdings announced that the Frontier and Midwest Airlines brands would merge under the Frontier Airlines name, with the iconic slogan of Midwest Airlines, “The Best Care In The Air”, incorporated into the Frontier brand. More recently, Frontier lost out on a merger with Spirit, another budget airline, after a deal between the two fell apart in July 27, 2022. 

Sustainability. The use of these aircraft, Frontier’s seating configuration, and weight-saving initiatives have all contributed to the airline’s average of 43 percent fuel savings compared to other U.S. airlines which makes Frontier the most fuel-efficient U.S. airline. Fly Frontier to save the earth!

Personal experience. I booked my in January 2023 and here’s how it’s gone: 

  1. Booking. The flight was easy to book. You can book directly on their website or through a third party like Expedia. I didn't like that you had to put in all your information before seeing the total cost.  
  2. Price. This flight was less than $60 one way. Hartford to Atlanta is usually  $250 or more on other airlines. Maybe you can find a $90 ticket from Boston but never Hartford. Trust me I have looked! As stated above, a carry on and check in bag is an additional cost. They offer a bundle for $136 per traveler. Altogether it may not be more advantageous than other airlines that include a free carry-on or reduced cost check in.                      
  3. Additional fees. If you refuse to select a seat, check a bag, or get assistance at the gate, your flight is as paid. However, if your personal items is over 14 inches and does not fit in the boxes, you will be denied from boarding and asked to pay for your bag to continue boarding.                        Snacks and beverages were available for purchase. Juice $3.50 each and  Snack boxes were $14. 
  4. Schedule.  My flight was booked for 2 pm and a few months before the date, I was advised it was changed 9 am. This was an inconvenience as I wanted to arrive after 5 pm and not wait in the airport for my ride. It turns out that I ended up waiting in the airport going and arrived by 4pm instead of the original 11am as explained below. 
  5. Timeliness. My flight was delayed 4 hours and 23 minutes! I received an email at 5 am that the delay was expected, so I didn't have to leave as early as I did, but I didn't want to reschedule my ride.
  6. Vouchers. The last time my flight was delayed over 4 hours I earned a $100 travel credit and a $15 lunch voucher. Frontier only issued a $50 credit a few days after travel and a $10 voucher to our email while we were at the airport. I didn't use the voucher, I had already purchased a meal prior and it was a reimbursement system. You had to follow instructions, instead of just receiving a printed voucher to use for payment. A few passengers complained about the process. 
  7. App: The app was easy to download and log in but it didn't offer updates so it was pointless. I got my updates via email and 1 text message. It showed a delayed status but didn’t update with new boarding time. 
  8. Boarding. There were two lines for boarding: those who paid for bags and those who didn't. This was intentional so that agents could check the size of bags as passengers joined the line to board. Many were removed for being over the allotted size for a personal item.  
  9. Comfort: The seats in the front were ok. The seats in the middle and the back were very close together in the front and on the side. I am only 5 foot 5 inches and my knee was touching the seat in front of me. frontier seating                Fortunately the plane wasn't full and the flight attendants moved us around to be able to move somewhat. The person sitting in the middle moved over one seat and we both have some room to "man-spread".frontier airlines seats
  10. Services: The ticketing agents were polite and gave updates. The flight attendants were nice. They apologized several times and explained why the flight was delayed, when it was on its way, when it arrived, and when we would arrive. Unfortunately, many people had missed their connecting flights and it was a nightmare for many travelers. When checking in they asked if you needed help at the airport. This was additional. I have never seen this in my life. We are literally paying their wages.

Would I fly frontier again? I would definitely give them another chance. What if everyone was judged based on a single encounter. 

For flights under 3 hours (ATL, DC, Raleigh) and I only needed a personal item under 14 inches I most definitely and unapologetically would. If they continued to delay and inconvenience me with flight changes and delays, I would definitely stop investing my money here. However the prices are truly unbeatable and the service was fine. I literally have paid more for an Uber than I did this flight. I followed all the rules, denied all the bells and whistles, and I safely arrived to my destination.  

For international flights, I probably would not due to comfort. But just maybe if adding $50 for a more comfortable seat and $120 for checking bags to the roundtrip flight still cost less than other airlines I would do it. Cheap tickets from Bradley are hard to come by and I dread driving to NY or Boston. 

I have never traveled on Spirit, but I have an upcoming trip on the new airlines, Breezes. I look forward to sharing that experience as well. 

Share. Please like and share this blog. And in the comments, share your experience traveling budget airlines. Thanks for reading!

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