Frontier Air opinions?

We always fly SW, but they cut to non-direct flights in off-winter times. Frontier has great direct flights at decent times when we are looking to go (this fall)…any opinions? I have a friend who had a bad experience over Spring Break, but not the same airport. We fly out of GRR, if that helps my “case”.

It’s a dumpster fire of an airline.

#1 - Their fleet of planes are purchased from other airlines after they’ve retired them
#2 - They “nickel & dime” you on everything. You’d better not be planning on bringing any luggage or bags.
#3 - They only fly on specific days & times. If you need any flexibility on dates you’re out of luck. Also, if they cancel your flight you can get stuck in your destination or not leave your for your trip a couple extra days.

I’d only fly Frontier if it was an emergency and if I was going solo.

If you’re south of grr, have you considered Chicago? Lots of SW flights from midway.

Good to know. It’s not my first choice, but it would be better than driving 1000 miles.

MDW is where my friend had the horrendous delays…better to fly SW out of there, as it’s a hub.

I live 15 hours away from Orlando and would rather drive it than choose Frontier.

We flew Frontier for the first time last month, and I read a lot because I was nervous about it. What I saw generally broke down to 2 main complaints:

  1. It is a no-frills, bargain airline. They do charge for everything - seats, carry-on, checked bags, snacks, etc. The tray tables are very small. Thanks to advance knowledge, I didn’t have issues with any of that. With their low fares and kid fly free, our airfare was less than half the cost of any other airline even after reserving seats and paying for a checked bag.
  2. When everything goes as planned, they are fine. However, when things go badly, it seems very unpleasant and can be much harder to resolve than other airlines. On a lot of routes they don’t have many flights, and don’t fly it everyday. There can be delays or cancellations for weather, mechanical issues, or even flight crews not being fully staffed, and you can end up stranded for quite a while before you can get on another flight.

Knowing all this, I decided to try it out in this situation…we were flying at a time of year less likely to have weather issues, the times were great for us, and it was a 3 hour nonstop flight. We likely wouldn’t even have taken that trip without airfare that cheap. Our flights were perfect - boarded right on time with an easy process, smooth flights, landed early, etc. Based on that experience I would definitely fly them again. However, I know that’s not always the case! We’re going to FL again in February, and although I might fly them home, I wouldn’t on the way there…we’re going on a cruise and I want an airline that has more flights and the best chance of getting us there if there are any issues!


Thanks. Your information helps a lot. That is a great overall look at it.

I think the PP was right – when things go as planned, they’re just fine. When they go bad, they go really bad.

We booked a last minute trip last November and about six hours before our flight was supposed to leave, it was canceled. It was not a weather issue, so I’m not sure what happened. We called and they were zero help, simply offered us a refund. We hopped in our car and drove 18 hours to Disney – it sucked, but it was better than losing out on everything.

Personally, I will never fly with that airline again. They don’t have affiliates, so if they cancel your flight they won’t try to find you something else – they simply offer you one of their flights later…days later. They act like they could care less to help you get where you’re going.

It’s simply a gamble. It could go great or it could completely ruin your trip. That’s the chance you take when booking with a discount airline like that. I now pay a little more for peace of mind with Southwest.

I tried booking Frontier once. They changed my flight. I thought it was a time change and was ok with that. They sent me a second notice which I thought was strange and upon further inspection they had actually changed the day I was flying. Since that completely screwed up my other reservations I ended up cancelling and paying a premium for another airline then if I had booked a flight with someone else originally.

I’ve flown Frontier half a dozen times now, each time out of CVG. Knock on wood, I’ve never had a problem. Those who say they “nickel and dime” you are being unfair. Their rates are dramatically lower than carriers that bundle all those fees into the ticket price. Frontier let’s you pick which options you want, eg. baggage, seat choice, early boarding, etc. I always waive those options and I’ve yet to be “surprised” with an unexpected charge. (And yes, they only fly certain days, but if they weren’t flying at a time/day that works for you then you wouldn’t be asking this question, so that doesn’t deserve a demerit either.) I live in Louisville, about 900 mi from Orlando. I just booked 4 round-trip tickets on Frontier out of Nashville (2.5 hr drive) to Orlando for 207! At that price, I’m willing to take the chance since my gas cost to drive would be $207+ and I’ll save ~18 hours in the car.

Pro tip: I’ve found Frontier’s baggage fees can be steep. As an example, it’s $35 both ways for 1 checked bag. (Again, this is made clear during the reservation process, it’s not a surprise.) So, my family of 4 each carries on a free personal item (read: backpack) and then I FedEx a box to the hotel. I FedEx the same box home at the end of the trip. Shipping both ways costs about $40 and we don’t have to wait at baggage claim after the flights.

Pro Tip II: If you do this, it’s fine to ship to a hotel (usually a $5 handing fee) but DO NOT SHIP from a hotel. FedEx offices at hotels charge a HUGE premium. There’s a mini mall FedEx office right outside of Disney Springs I use, but this requires a vehicle obviously. We always rent a car, so that’s not an issue.

Pro Tip III: Pack/ship enough clothing for half your trip. It is remarkably cheap and easy to do a load or two of laundry at Disney.

Anyway, this works for us. Hope it is of some use to you.

Agree with the others that it’s a real problem when things go bad - they offer little help to rebook, find other flights options etc. And unfortunately, it seems like things go bad with frontier more than any other airline I’ve flown. I’ve flown them 4-5 times in the last couple of years and every single time our flight has been delayed (by a lot), cancelled, or had some other problem.

Every time I fly them, I swear I’ll never to do it again. But then I get sucked in by their super cheap fares. If you know what you’re getting into and are flexible, then it might be okay…

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Thanks, everyone. Your responses have given us a lot of good information to consider. We have been to WDW dozens of times, always flown, and had varying experiences, so we will weigh it all and decide on fall or next spring this time around.

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