The new carry-on charge is effective for tickets purchased anywhere except on the airline’s own website, FlyFrontier. That means if you save money on a fare by booking via Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Travelocity, or any other online agency, you’ll lose most if not all the savings with this new carry-on fee. The fee kicks in for tickets purchased on or after August 6th, not for tickets already purchased.
And in addition to the new carry-on fee, Frontier will start charging you $1.99 for a can of soda, or coffee or tea with free refills.
The carry-on charge ranges from $25 to $100, depending on your class of ticket, how you purchased it, whether you check in online or in person, and whether you pay the fee online or at the gate. You’ll pay more to do it in person, which is another kick in the wallet when you on the return portion of a round-trip, because it’s time-consuming, even impossible, to check-in or print out a boarding pass in a hotel.
Members of the airline’s frequent flyer programs can qualify for free carry-on, and free beveraes on board, according to Business Insider.
Frontier now joins Spirit Airlines in this $100 carry-on fee. Spirit claims it launched to “speed up the boarding process”. Absolutely, boarding is faster when my carry-on bag costs me $100 instead of zero. And Frontier claims the carry-on fee is part of its effort to “enhance service”. Sure – the service of their bottom line.
It’s a truly nasty fee, since it forces you to pay to keep your valuable electronics and cameras and all the chargers and cables that keep them alive, prescription medications and such, within sight. From a business standpoint, it’s brilliant, because it pushes customers away from the discount fare sites to book directly with the airline.
Frontier and Spirit both position themselves as budget carriers. But these whopping fees could backfire. Fellow budget carrier Southwest does not charge for carry-ons, plus gives one checked bag free. Airfares on American, United, Delta, VirginAmerica and JetBlue and other major carriers not considered “budget” may wind up being cheaper because you are not paying $100 for a carry-on. JetBlue also give you one free checked bag.
Airlines collected record fees in 2012. According to USA Today, they raked in more than $6 Billion in baggage and reservation change fees last year, close to double of the year before.
Be sure to check the Fare Compare website for current fees for checked and carry on bags.