Frontier Airlines
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…So What Exactly Is a High Cost Airport Charge, Anyway?!?

Frontier Airlines was called out by multiple media outlets for slipping in a controversial charge as part of the pricing of its total airfare: a fee which was called a Covid Recovery Charge, which was first implemented in May of 2021 and was approximately $1.60 per passenger per segment of an itinerary.

…So What Exactly Is a High Cost Airport Charge, Anyway?!?

The purported purpose of the funds generated by this fee was primarily meant to repay a loan to the federal government of the United States under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, as airlines received financial aid — many people use the word bailout — to help them weather the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Frontier Airlines.

That fee has since been rescinded almost three weeks ago late in June of 2021 — but another fee had also been added earlier this year and is still being charged to this day: the High Cost Airport Charge.

I had no idea what is the High Cost Airport Charge; so I contacted an agent of Frontier Airlines via the official Twitter account of the airline on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 2:26 in the afternoon Eastern Daylight Time to find out and explain it to me: “Hi. I was searching for flights and am wondering exactly what is a High Cost Airport Charge. Could you please tell me?

On Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 6:55 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time — two days later — I received the official response to my question.

Source: The official Twitter account of Frontier Airlines.

Hi! We sincerely apologize for the delayed response as we are still receiving a high volume of contacts at the moment. The High-Cost Airport Charge offsets Frontier’s higher operating costs in select major airports where, for example, landing fees and gate rentals are significantly higher than other major airports where Frontier operates. -Shean


To be fair, the travel industry as a whole suffered substantially during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, so companies seeking to increase their revenues in whatever creative ways possible could be understandable — especially as the demand for travel in general has skyrocketed…

…but is that the case with Frontier Airlines — or is the High Cost Airport Charge similar to the nefarious carrier-imposed surcharge, which usually has no explanation and which replaced fuel surcharges which airlines charged several years ago?

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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