October 21, 2017

Frontier Airlines Baggage Fees: How to Save

Read more about Airline Status

Frontier Airlines works on an á la carte fee structure to keep fares low. Almost anything more than your seat and personal item is an add-on charge. Learn how to save money on Frontier Airlines fees.

© tomasdelcoro (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

While Frontier lacks the luxuries that many flyers are accustomed to - you won't find Wi-Fi, TV, or inflight movies on your Frontier flight - they offer competitive value for budget travelers who don't mind packing light and skipping the extras.

If you're looking to fly for cheap, Frontier might be a good option for you.

Read on for tips on avoiding airline fees and snagging ultra-low fares on Frontier.

  • Buy tickets at the airport. Buying tickets online or over the phone comes with a "Carrier Interface Charge," and buying over the phone carries an additional $10 fee per ticket. If you're in one of Frontier's 60+ destination cities in the U.S., it might be worth your time to make the stop at the airport and avoid added charges altogether.

  • Skip the reserved seating. Frontier charges passengers to select a seat, starting at a minimum of $6 per seat at booking. Skip this option and you'll be assigned a seat at random, but heads up: Frontier doesn't guarantee that you'll receive a seat next to your travel buddy.

    If you do opt to reserve your seats, it's cheapest to do so while booking.

    Tip: Frontier offers a limited number of "Stretch Seats" per flight. For a minimum of $20, you can enjoy 5-7 extra inches of legroom. Expect stretch seating prices to increase (and availability to decrease) the closer you get to your departure date.

  • Pack light, or pay for your bags ahead of time. Your fare includes one personal item, but carry-ons and checked bags will cost extra. For quick trips, you might be able to get away with packing everything in a small personal item.

    The longer you wait to pay for your bags, the more they'll cost. You can reserve your carry-on and first checked bag online after booking (up to 24 hours before departure) for a few dollars more per bag. Wait until you're checking in, and you'll see another price increase: $40 each for your carry-on and first checked bag through online check-ins, and $45 each for airport check-ins.

    Tip: Baggage costs decrease for certain "value season periods." Stay up-to-date on these discounted rates by checking in with Frontier's site before you book.

  • Measure and weigh your bags. Plan ahead and know your size and weight allowances for carry-ons and checked bags. If your bag is a little too big or too heavy, you might end up having to pay an extra $60 to check it at the gate.

    • Personal items must measure less than 18x14x8 inches
    • Carry-ons must measure less than 24x16x10 inches and weigh less than 35 pounds
    • Checked bags can measure up to 62 linear inches, and can weigh up to 50 pounds

    If your checked bag ends up weighing just one extra pound (up to 100 pounds) or measuring over 62 linear inches (up to 80 inches), it'll cost an extra $75.

    Tip: Some exemptions to these rates include cameras, umbrellas, and wheelchairs. Those traveling with children can also check a stroller and car seat, and/or bring a diaper bag onboard at no extra cost.

  • Buy tickets early and stick to your plans. Buying last-minute tickets, canceling your trip, and changing your booking all come with extra charges. Here are a few fees you can avoid by buying your ticket early and sticking to your itinerary:

    • $99 "Confirmation Fee" for buying same-day tickets
    • $99 "Change Fee" for altering your itinerary (not including fare differences)
    • $99 cancellation fee for tickets purchased within 7 days of your flight, in exchange for a refund in Frontier credit
    • $75 "Name Change Fee" for changing the name on your booking

    If you book your flight more than a week in advance, you can cancel your itinerary within 24 hours of booking for a full refund.

  • Upgrade to a "bundle" to save on extras. Packing light is one of the most effective ways to save money on your flight, and baggage fees can quickly match the cost of a discount fare. If you do need to bring a carry-on and a checked bag, you might want to consider buying one of Frontier's bundles, which throw in other extras at a discounted rate.

    Here's what each bundle covers:

    • The Perks? includes a carry-on, a checked bag, seat selection, and priority boarding. The catch is, you can only buy it after booking your flight - and Frontier won't tell you how much the bundle costs until then. If it costs less than the $76 your carry-on and checked bag will cost after booking, it might be worth considering. If not, you will have only lost $6 on the increase in baggage fees.

    • The Works? includes all the same extras but adds in an option for a full refund if you cancel your itinerary, and one free itinerary modification (not including the fare difference.) The bundle starts at $59 each way and can only be purchased at the time of booking.

    Both bundles are only available for round trip flights and must be added to both legs of your trip.

  • Bring snacks and a water bottle. Frontier will provide cups of water on your flight if requested, but not much else comes for free. If you're looking to cut way back on expenses, bring an empty water bottle through security and stock up on snacks before boarding.

  • Browse the deals. Frontier has a dedicated page for its "online deals", so it's easy to find the airline's discounted fares. You can search for flights departing from or arriving at a specific airport, and sort by price and month.

    For even cheaper fares, keep an eye out for flash sales and promotions. These deals are ideal if you're looking for a short getaway, have a flexible schedule, and can pack light.

    Frontier also sends out a newsletter with offers as they're announced, and frequently posts promo codes on their site.

  • Join the Discount Den. Frontier's membership club offers exclusive access to their cheapest fares. For $50 a year, you can expect discounts of at least $10 per flight - significant savings for flights that are already discounted to $30-70. If you buy three round trip Frontier flights in a year, you'll have justified the cost of the membership.

    Frontier carries a limited number of Discount Den seats per flight, so membership doesn't guarantee savings on every trip. Once you've found a discounted itinerary that works for you (at least a week in advance,) it's best to book it - if anything changes, you can cancel within 24 hours for a full refund.

    Tip: Combine those ultra-low fares with Frontier's promo codes to save even more on your flights. Just be sure to keep your dates flexible - Frontier often runs promotions for certain routes on certain dates.

  • More questions about fees? Check out Frontier's site for frequently asked questions on delays, cancellations, baggage fees, and inflight offerings.

More from CreditDonkey:


Airline Miles for Beginners


Credit Cards for International Travel

The Centurion Lounge

Credit Cards with Lounge Access

More Articles in Tips

Airline Status Cards

Alaska Airlines Baggage Fees

Alaska Airlines is a great budget-friendly carrier, especially for flyers who frequent the West Coast or Alaska. But the low fares can be undermined by unanticipated fees. Learn what to look out for.

American Express Platinum Review

Is the Platinum Card® from American Express worth the $550 annual fee? Read this in-depth review to help you decide.
More Articles in Tips






About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.