With Major Carriers Eating ULCC’s Lunch, Frontier Overhauls Fare Structure And Customer Service

Photo: Tomás Del Coro CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flikr
DDMS IconNever Miss Another Deal - Follow DansDeals on Facebook

Low-cost carriers have struggled to find their way to profitability post-COVID. Major carriers, starting with United, eliminated change fees during the pandemic, except on basic fares. That allowed them to effectively compete for all customers. Customer of ULCCs (ultra low-cost carriers) migrated to other airlines offering more frills.

Frontier announced changes today to fight back.

They too, will sell a bare-bones basic fare, but other fares will include free changes and more.

For example, on their new Cleveland to LaGuardia route, the basic fare is $19. But other fares are available, including Economy for an extra $20 which includes a full size carry-on, seat selection, and free changes, Premium for another $10 includes an extra legroom seat and early boarding, and Business for another $54 includes an upfront plus seat with extra legroom and a guaranteed empty middle seat, as well as two 50 pound checked bags.


Frontier is also offering 2,500 bonus miles if you find a fare cheaper on another site.

Free changes now allows for a flight credit with a 12 month expiration, up from the previous stingy 90 days.

Frontier famously removed their phone support, which they now admit was a mistake. Customers with a flight within 24 hours and elites can now call for phone support and a callback line will soon be added for customers that have issues outside of 24 hours.

Of course, while major airlines give free drinks and snacks, those are still at charge on Frontier. Worse yet, Frontier still has no WiFi and no protection agreements with other airlines when things go wrong.

Will these changes be enough to get you to fly Frontier?

HT: mlardi, via DDF

Leave a Reply

30 Comments On "With Major Carriers Eating ULCC’s Lunch, Frontier Overhauls Fare Structure And Customer Service"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


At $19 from CLE all over the US is still a bargain


Nope, no frontier and spirit for me.


I think frontier gives out free cups of water. Living on lakewood and flying out of Trenton is a breeze so now that frontier has luggage included rates going to south Florida will be worth it


I think they eliminated that route for the future. I flew out of there and had a great flight – too bad.


I fly frontier all the time.


If I can fly between A and B and arrive alive and uninjured, I’m happy. I’ve given up checking bags years ago, except when moving between A and B.


For $19 I’ll fly anybody


For $20 more than basic economy that actually includes seats it’s finally a good value, so you can at least consider them. The mainstream airlines have already made the fare differential much more than $20 and almost all seats are now considered “preferred seats”. The mainstream carriers have gotten much more scammier.


Not seeing any $19 flights from Chicago. What a shock


If you’re taking a checked bag or carry on and one more add-on, the business option seems like a no-brainer.
I got frontier status for $99/year, and it was a game changer for me. Free front seats, carry ons, and checked bags.
I’m happy to pay $4 for a coke vs paying much more for “free” beverages.


I watched a Frontier flight boarding at LAS and I swear that I will never submit to that process. The employees are rude to the customers. Frontier had 3 employees assigned to making sure that bags fit the sizers, one making sure that everyone put their bags into the sizers in order to access the boarding position, and two employees manning the sizers. People stuff their stuff in and being rejected. Doesn’t seem a great use of staff.

If Frontier wants business travelers and frequent travelers, there needs to be a different vibe and culture than what I saw.


Agreed. I’m this aspect they are worse than Spirit. Didn’t know it’s can get worse – try frontier.


Frontier’s customer service was the worst of anyone. I have 3 kids one with Autism and Every other airlines sits us together per the US law. Frontier will only seat 1 adult next to a the child with Autism and only middle and window. The others are seated many rows away only without charge. This obviously isn’t functional but they don’t care. Hopefully this changes.


Add to the mix that they have WhatsApp support which I’ve found to be convenient
(720) 902-3969


They did one strand me – they didn’t have any interline agreement but they promised to repay up to $450 per person. (Family of 4, flight was $150 for all of us, on a kids for free and with most of that fees that other cards covered.). So we flew aa, they did reimburse us at a level that did cover (barely) our costs – plus I got 5x on the flights (9k ty points). And they threw in some frontier credits on top. That one paid flight ended up covering about 3 flights.

They said, it was alarming and if I hadn’t jumped immediately who knows how many days we would have been stranded.


Wow, this is major news!!!!

Frontier has “customer service”?!?! Truly a revelation!!!!


@Dan Can ALL these fares be purchased @ the airport for additional savings?

I have and will

on short haul flights. I look at Spirit as a sky bus and have zero expectations. Ditto for Frontier. My friend and I flew to Florida the same day. I paid $36 and she paid over $100 for the lowest Jetblue fare and didn’t get a free carry on either. She got water and wifi. Big deal, it’s a two hour flight.


If your friend took JetBlue, did she arrive 4 hours late?

CLE Rocks

Where does the discount den come into play?

Frontier #1

I’m thrilled to share that my son has recently become a first officer with Frontier! He’s absolutely loving his experience with the airline, citing the close-knit, non woke atmosphere and the opportunity to fly brand-new A320/1 aircraft. Plus, as a parent, I get to enjoy some great benefits too!

Shimon Baryochai



Where is the Elite customer service number? I have status and now at to call. No one answers their chat..


As mentioned by usernamechuck, getting stranded is no joke on ULCC. As a Gold Elite member, 3 weeks ago on a Sunday, flight completely cancelled (DEN-LAS they had many flights all overbooked as you can imagine) and NO offer for reimbursement of fare to Other Airline. Their offer was next available flight 18 hours later. I was under the impression that if they could not move you within a certain time frame, they were obligated for the reimbursement. I paid out of pocket for UA to get back. Later I spent a lot of time on chat with them and nothing but the refund of the $39 fare and some miles which I refused. I sent a complaint to DOT, but if there is no longer a rule in place, I don’t expect a resolution.

Point being that as others have said over the years, even a free ticket is worth NOTHING if you can’t count on your carrier to get you to your destination. Last minute full fare tickets as we all know are NOT a joking matter. I always take ULCC with the full understanding and allowance for very late arrivals and I should have also figured in a backup plan for cancellations. Lesson learned. Customer service with them has a very long way to go!


It’s not fair, if you cancel your flight the airline can charge you a fortune, but if they cancel they can just offer a refund.


“a callback line will soon be added for customers that have issues”

WOW, when will other airlines folow & give you a callback option, without having to wait hours somtimes on the phone?


now booking at airports an economy fare doesn’t have baggage issues.