Why I Ignore Frontier Airlines Sales — Even at $15

ou have probably by now read that Frontier Airlines is having a sale for one day only — today, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — where you can purchase low airfares for as low as $15.00 per flight one way; so you probably might be surprised as to why I ignore Frontier Airlines sales.

What you may not know is that you cannot book a round-trip airfare for $30.00.

Let us say you want to travel from Denver to Salt Lake City; New Orleans to Atlanta; Trenton to Charlotte; or Cleveland to Orlando — all of which are advertised at $15.00. Excellent, right?

Now book a return flight on any of those routes — or any of the other routes advertised for $15.00. Or $29.00, for that matter.

What’s the matter? Can’t find that return flight for $15.00 as well? They seem to start at $69.00?

Oh, well…$84.00 for a round-trip flight is not terribly bad — except for one thing:

You must be a member of the Discount Den to take advantage of the sale today. Hey, it is only $49.00 per year to be a member. Even if you only travel once, now that airfare is…

…$133.00 round-trip.

Oh, and seats are limited at these low airfares and certain flights — as well as days of travel due to blackout dates; and travel on Fridays and Saturdays are excluded — may be unavailable. If that was not enough, terms, conditions and restrictions also apply.

Suddenly, that does not seem like such a great value after all — especially when there are legacy airlines within the United States which are offering competitively low airfares which include the benefits of elite level status, more frequent and convenient schedules, and amenities you will not find on airplanes operated by Frontier Airlines.

I am not saying that a great bargain cannot be had if you play your cards right and carefully research your flight options — you can probably string together a bunch of $15.00 flights to multiple cities to somehow get you back to where you started if you planned on visiting those intermediate cities anyway — but for the most part, I do not feel that it is worth my time and effort to score a $15.00 flight that will never cost me only $15.00…

…even when I only include the Discount Den membership fee into the equation.

Although I might do so one day, I have never flown as a passenger on an airplane operated by Frontier Airlines; so I cannot comment on the flight experience — but I have not had a compelling reason as of yet to do so…

…and I do not want to be a paying member of a discount club where it seems that I cannot ever get the return flight for the same sale fare as the outbound flight…

…but this sale is fantastic if you happen to only need to fly as a passenger on an airplane operated by Frontier Airlines in one direction; if your schedule is flexible; if you are able to travel within the next couple of months, as travel for many of the flights must conclude by Wednesday, October 14, 2015; and are already currently a paying member of the Discount Den…

  1. I ignore their fare sales also. I don’t even open the e-mails; because they *never* offer any of these sale fares to or from my location (SEA).

  2. you forgot to mention the baggage fees, the toilet tax, the air tax, the ‘don’t scratch yourself” tax, the cramped seats, the bad attitude of staff, the being treated like “cattle”. frontier are the rynair of the USA. Absolutely abominable.

    1. I mention those so often in other articles that I am tired of writing it over and over again; but you are correct, robbo.

  3. We flew MCI to Denver once. Flight there wasn’t bad, flight back was awful. There was weather (not there fault), but we literally took off, then returned to Denver 30 minutes later because the plane “may not be safe to land.” It’s like an hour long flight, didn’t seem to make sense. Then we sat on the tarmac for about 2 hours. Our flight was supposed to land around 6pm Sunday, we landed at 6:30 am Monday. Luckily, I was able to take a quick nap before heading to work, my girlfriend was not so lucky: landed, drove home, then changed and drove to work for a 10 hour day.

    Just awful.

    1. That is an awful experience, Dave.

      “…because the plane ‘may not be safe to land.’” Well, what difference does it make whether the airplane lands in Denver or Kansas City?!?

      Perhaps a pilot can weigh in here with thoughts and opinions pertaining to your experience and answer some questions…

  4. I also want to be able to have other options in the event of mechanical failure, weather, and crew issues. If I fly a legacy carrier the odds of actually getting to or from my desination improve dramatically. I am not flying an airline with one flight a day to popular desinations to save a few dollars.

    1. Those are good points, Captain Kirk — although if the savings are more than a “few dollars” and there is a negligible difference in benefits and amenities, it can admittedly be more difficult to resist lower airfares from ultra-low-cost carriers…

  5. You have to check because while most of the time you are correct, sometimes you can get the discount both ways. Usually to somewhere like Charlotte or Atlanta, but sometimes to places like Orlando or Miami.

  6. Hey Brian! Your “$60K Fine” article led me here, and I just wanted to chime in since I’ve become a bit of a Frontier fanboy over the last year.

    Couple points:
    – If they previously didn’t have the same sale price possible for RT tickets, they do now. I’ve flown a few RT sale flights with them this year, including $50 RT for SF-Chicago ($25 each way), and $30 RT for SF-Vegas.
    -The Discount Den thing seemed scammy to me at first as well, but for the flight I purchased it for, it still ended up saving me like $30, then I got access to crazy sale prices for the rest of the year. I got so many good deals that I ended up earning elite status without trying.

    I flew around 25K miles on Frontier this year, and I promise there’s no way I spent more than a thousand bucks. I should also mention, not a single one of those flights was canceled or delayed more than 30 minutes. This is huge for me, as both of the times I tried flying United this year included a canceled flight, and I’m completely surprised any time I take an AA flight that isn’t delayed.

    Maybe I’ve just had really good luck with Frontier this year, but I would argue that they are a jackpot airline for anyone who lives near a Frontier hub and wants to travel the U.S. affordably. I promise you I don’t work for Frontier. My little budget travel blog has plenty of posts about Frontier if anyone wants more info: https://ez-journeys.com/topics/

    1. Super late to the party but… I have never had a good experience with Frontier. The seats are super uncomfortable for any flight over an hour, you are nickel and dimed for literally everything, and my flights are never on time. The last straw was a 12 hr delay….12 hours! And they refused to rebook me and the wife on another flight, or even another airline. 180 people sat at the gate/airline for a dozen hours, because there was nothing they could do. Flights to our Denver destination were $500 one way per ticket. I got a $10 food voucher, that could not be used to get a drink. I also got a $200 reimbursement, not even enough to cover the cost of the flight. The gate next to us was flying to Maryland I believe and they just cancelled the flight outright after a 6 hour delay, and offered ZERO help to all those passengers. This was on a Sunday afternoon when perople were trying to get home to go to work the next day. I flew them 3 times in 2018, on top of my 13 round trip other flights with SW, United, Delta etc, and Frontier is so amazingly terrible compared to any other airline. I refuse to ever fly them again. I don’t care if it saves me $100 on ticket fares, it isn’t worth the misery.

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