As many of you know, I typically focus on legacy airlines when reporting on news, but something shocked me earlier today by Frontier Airlines that warrants a post and apology for a tweet I sent out:
My initial reaction was shock because I still hold Frontier in a class above Spirit and Allegiant, who basically charge for everything. But after reading the full press release and recalling that they’re significantly adjusting their strategy to stay alive, I’ll recant my disagreement with charging for all drinks (except water, I assume).
Why? Because I wouldn’t be shocked or upset to purchase coffee, soda, etc. on Spirit or Allegiant since it’s already in my brain that they’re an ultra low cost carrier. And as Frontier directly points out in the release:
As part of the transformation into an Ultra Low Cost Carrier…
Frontier continues to make it easier for customers flying with Frontier to pay only for the services they use, which allows us to continue lowering fares…
So I recant my “not a good move” tweet-reaction to the news regarding this policy. If you can’t beat them, join them! Spirit, after all, has been quite profitable for some time. $1.99 here and there isn’t going to do it (which is the new fee for drinks for most fliers), but I understand why they’ll begin charging the fee.
And speaking of being Spirit-like, Frontier will also start charging for carry-on bags requiring overhead bin space – anywhere from $25 to $100 – for passengers who purchase “basic fare” tickets on websites other than FlyFrontier.com.
If you’re interested in the specifics of the new fees (and other changes, including modified EarlyReturns mileage accrual rates), click here.