Frontier Airlines entices travelers with some of the cheapest airfares around. But are the rock-bottom ticket prices worth all the extra fees, cramped seats, and potential for delays? Redditors who have flown the ultra-low cost carrier share their candid opinions.
The initial lure is hard to resist – a recent search turned up roundtrip flights from Phoenix to Orange County for just $3. “For a short 1.5 hour flight for $3? It’s an ultra low cost airline with a shitty reputation and horrible customer service,” wrote one Reddit commenter. “But do you really care?”
Indeed, many Reddit flyers said they choose Frontier’s famously barebones flights simply because of the prices. “It’s cheap as fuck,” one person wrote about a routine $40 flight. Others pointed to regular deals like $80 roundtrips with no checked luggage.
But others warned to read the fine print before boarding. All those extras, from soda to roomy seats to WiFi to taking more than a small personal item onboard, incur additional fees that can quickly diminish any discount.
“$3 Ticket, $100 Carryon” One flyer thought they scored a cheap ticket at the Frontier counter, only to get slammed with a $90 fee at the gate because their backpack was deemed oversized. “I packed light, used a backpack, used this backpack before, never had problems and now they wanted to charge $90 for it?” the incredulous passenger wrote. “They said it didn’t fit, but I made sue to fit it in the box beforehand, and it did fit?”
Others relayed similar accounts of airline staff strictly enforcing baggage dimensions and abruptly demanding to check carry on bags that briefly stick out over the test container, sometimes by a fraction of an inch. “Charged me $100 extra on a $40 flight because the wheel of my personal item was sticking up 1/2″ out of there measuring tool,” one flyer fumed, adding “Frontier sucks….I will never fly with them again.”
So travelers need to account for more than airfare if they check bags or carry anything beyond a small personal item like a slim backpack or purse that fits under the seat. “It’s an a la carte model vs all inclusive,” a Redditor explained about Frontier’s fees. “People just need to be aware of their needs.”
Some loyal passengers integrate the costs into their Frontier budget as the price to pay for cheap flights. One traveler described their calculation: “a personal item bag…no carry on, no checked bags…..$80 roundtrip to visit family with my two toddlers’…usually $1400-1600 on other airlines.”
“Uncomfortable…But Worth Saving Hundreds” Many regular Frontier fliers also accept that discomfort comes along with the unbundled tickets. Seat quality elicited particular scorn, with multiple commenters deeming the chairs “uncomfortable” or impossible to squeeze into. Due to Frontier’s spaced seating, even travelers who pay extra to pick seats could wind up crammed awkwardly against strangers.
But fans largely brush off the squeezes and lack of legroom for brief flights, considering them an acceptable tradeoff. As one Redditor weighing options put it, “I would sit on a cement seat for 1.5 hours to save that much money.” Saving $300 or more makes it worthwhile, frequent Frontier passengers say.
Delays and Cancellations. “Miss Your Flight? Good Luck!” Far less tolerable is Frontier’s record on delays and cancellations, which outpace most other US airlines. Horrified customers relayed accounts of multi-hour waits triggered by minor technical issues like broken toilets. Multiple described showing up at the airport only to discover their flight spontaneously canceled with no backup options, advance notice, or assistance rebooking.
“Never again Frontier, don’t be lured in by the prices,” one traveler warned after getting stuck overnight paying out of pocket for a new flight. “It’s not worth the ‘savings'”. Another stranded passenger issued similar advice: “avoid at all costs if possible. By MILES, the worst domestic carrier.”
When things go wrong, Frontier’s lack of partnerships with other airlines also leaves customers high and dry finding alternate flights. And multiple travelers attempting to deal with cancellations, missing luggage, or other issues slammed Frontier’s outsourced customer service agents as largely unhelpful or unavailable.
“Their customer support does not exist,” one flyer concluded. “You will not get basic respect or human decency in interactions with Frontier airlines customer service or personnel.”
Weighing Pros and Cons. Despite piles of complaints, even the most disgruntled passengers acknowledge Frontier’s bottom line appeal. “Obviously uncomfortable, but I just saved hundreds,” passengers often recognize. Frequent fliers who map out backup plans – like bringing only a backpack, avoiding tight connections, or booking refundable tickets on alternate airlines – say the airline reliably gets them where they want to go for much less than competitors.
Travelers primarily seem to fall into one of two camps. Devoted base passengers play by Frontier’s stringent luggage rules, arrive early for flights expecting hiccups, and leverage elite status’ perks for some frills like extra legroom and free carry on bags. These regulars eagerly keep flying the airline, seeing blown budgets as the main risk.
Many other flyers consider Frontier only as an absolute last resort and avoid it due to the likelihood of frustrating fees or delays. These skeptical travelers shell out more money upfront for traditional airlines to secure better service and some basic amenities if needed. As one weary passenger concluded, “I would sooner walk to my destination than fly Frontier again.”
What do you think – is saving cash with an ultra low cost airline worth the tradeoffs? For some budget-focused flyers, definitely. But many other travelers gladly pass up Frontier’s low fares to fly other airlines they consider better choices overall. When deciding who to fly with, carefully weigh your priorities. An informed choice accounting for all costs and risks leads to smoother travels.
I’ve never flown Frontier before so I’m not sure what to expect. Supposedly it’s critical to follow all their rules about carry on bags and checking in or else they hit you with huge fees. I’m mildly perturbed by the horror stories and wondering what’s the catch? As long as I don’t pay extra for anything, it seems I could get an insanely cheap flight. I’ve never spent just $3 roundtrip to fly somewhere!
So I’m asking – who’s right about Frontier, the fans or the complaining travelers? As I’m writing this, I still can’t decide if I should risk it and book a flight on Frontier. Part of me wants to try it since maybe I’d get lucky and have no issues. But so many angry reviews give me pause about having a miserable trip. For travelers on the fence like me, it’s a tough call weighing our budgets against the chaos that could ensue.
Frontier Airlines offers a GoWild Pass that allows frequent flyers unlimited travel for a monthly fee. But even passholders get hit with fees for carry on bags that inch over the tiny personal item dimensions. “I bought the GoWild pass this month and already flew 6 times,” one Redditor shared. “As long as you can shove it into their bag measure bin then yes” your larger item will fly free.
Some savvy passengers use status matches from loyalty programs with other airlines to get elite access to Frontier’s levels, scoring benefits like free carry on and stretch seating. One Redditor explained “I used my Southwest Companion Pass status to match to Elite 100k. Now I book the lowest fare and get The Works package, with free luggage, exit row seating, and fully refundable tickets.”
But privileges don’t guarantee smooth travels. One elite flyer’s recent Friday outbound flight kept getting delayed throughout the day until finally cancelled at 11pm due to mechanical issues. Stranded overnight without hotel or transportation vouchers, they got rebooked for 7am Saturday. Their treatment made this frequent flyer swear “I will never fly Frontier Airlines again.”
Others shared unfortunate accounts blaming minor maintenance issues for lengthy delays. One flyer’s Sunday flight sat on the tarmac for hours owing to “paperwork clearance on the fix” for broken toilets. Their return flight days later? More delays for lavatory problems.
Unlucky passengers report unceremonious denials at the gate for dubious reasons like complimenting flight attendants too enthusiastically. “They really deny boarding because someone ‘ smells too good ‘ and it will ‘ drive attendants crazy ‘???” questioned one incredulous ticketed flyer refused entry. Though the airline later provided compensation, the perplexing experience left a bad taste.
Family emergencies and urgent changes seem uniquely challenging with Frontier’s systems. One anxious passenger desperately trying to make last minute arrangements due to their dad’s stroke got told “there was nothing they could do.” The rep instead suggested they buy a whole new non-refundable ticket – for 3 times the original price. Understandably upset and feeling nickel and dimed during a crisis, this flyer will clearly not choose Frontier again soon.
Other customers relayed similarly crushing stories of inflexible policies around cancellations and credits even after deaths in the family or other distressing events. Especially during unpredictable situations, Frontier’s detached automated “remedies” evidently leave certain passengers high and dry. And handing out only expired vouchers rather than refunds seems questionable policy when they outright cancel flights.
So should you fly Frontier Airlines? We think Frontier certainly attracts droves of travelers with stunningly cheap fares that other airlines can’t match. A few lucky passengers manage to swoop incredible deals, then land smoothly at their destination with no hassles or extra costs.
Yet looking behind the tempting low price tags reveals how Frontier makes the math work. By charging separately for virtually everything beyond a slim seat aboard an aircraft, they conspicuously shift costs directly to customers rather than baking expenses into ticket prices. Budget flyers who travel light and stick to nonstop trips generally praise Frontier for reliable transports despite cramped quarters. But many others report getting surprised by sneaky fees, 4-hour delays, cancellations, and bewildering policies that quickly sour experiences.
Give priority to Frontier if you strictly avoid all extras while flying and have backup plans if things go sideways. Key tips frequent flyers offer in 2023 – 2024? First, scrutinize all airline policies beforehand so unpleasant “gotchas” don’t ambush your journey. Master sizing carry on bags to squeeze within free personal item dimensions. Second, pad connections, arrive early, and have contingency funds and alternative flights lined up since delays or cancellations always loom.
Additionally, realize Frontier customer service offers minimal aid. Finally, assume basic comforts don’t apply with ultra low cost carriers. Those adjustments help budget voyagers shrug off bare bones flights for fantastic fares. Nonetheless, many wary travelers consider shelling out more reasonable airfare on other airlines a wiser investment. Convenience, respect for customers, and reliable service matter too.
Ultimately, deciding whether Frontier meets your travel priorities and budget entails compromises. If cash trumps all, roll the dice after planning for pitfalls. For less stress, most suggest picking pricier competitors. Weigh convenience versus costs, know restrictions before booking, and pack backup options for optimal skies ahead!