There I was minding my own business one evening when my phone alerted me to a flight deal. A flight from New Orleans to Philadelphia was $48 roundtrip on Frontier Airlines. I logged onto Google flights, and actually saw $38 for the advertised dates.
For the uninitiated, Frontier Airlines is like the more mature brother of Spirit Airlines. The low-cost carriers both offer unbundled flights, and they have a problem with being on time. I took my chances with Spirit earlier this year and survived to write about it, so I felt that flying Frontier was only the right thing to do. At least Frontier has a few things going for them over Spirit. They actually have an app, they don’t charge for checking in at the airport, and they participate in TSA Precheck.
My new motto is “book now, plan later,” and I did just that. I didn’t have any real interest in traveling to Philadelphia, but how could I pass up a $38 flight – even if it was with Frontier Airlines? The actual airfare was $1.86 roundtrip! The rest was to taxes and fees.
I assume Frontier thinks they will make their money from the extras. A carryon bag starts at $35 each way, checked bags start at $30 each way, selecting one’s own seat starts at $6 each way, and selecting a seat with more legroom starts at $20. Don’t even think about getting free snacks and beverages in-flight.
When it comes to unbundled fares, I never feel obligated to purchase the additional frills. Sure, there’s a chance that I might be stuck with a middle seat or right by the restroom. It’s just a chance I’m willing to take. As long as I have my phone and water, I’m okay.
Without paying extra, the only thing I could take with me was a personal item. I took this as a challenge since overpacking is a common occurrence in my life. Somehow, I’ve been able to join #TeamCarryon this year, but not without the struggle of leaving things behind. Downsizing to only a personal item is a especially difficult when dealing with cooler temperatures.
I wore my coat and space-occupying boots on the plane. I stuffed a backpack with one other pair of shoes, 2 pairs of pants, 2 sweaters, barely enough underwear, toiletries and my camera. It took me forever to zip it shut!
The flight departed on time and was uneventful. I got lucky, and obtained my coveted window seat. Of course it could have used a bit more cushion, but I would survive for 2.5 hours. The flight attendants were actually one of more entertaining groups that I’ve encountered inflight – probably second to Southwest flight attendants.
Overall, Frontier met my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised that they were on time and friendly. While I will always approach a Spirit flight with caution, flying Frontier for a short trip seems to be viable option.