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After Pushback, Frontier Drops $1.59 COVID Recovery Fee

Less than one month after implementing a “COVID Recovery Fee, Frontier Airlines now says they will drop the added ticket charge. The per passenger, per one-way flight fee was originally intended to offset “added costs” during the pandemic, from aircraft cleaning to employee personal protective equipment.

After public outcry, Frontier Airlines will stop charging a controversial fee to recover some of their costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. CBS News reports the Denver-based carrier will stop charging a “COVID Recovery Charge” on all new bookings.

COVID Recovery Charge Designed to Recover Costs for Employee Protections

Frontier began adding the $1.59 charge per passenger, per one-way flight to tickets starting in May 2021. On its website, the carrier notes that the additional fee “offsets added costs to Frontier due to implementing Covid-19 related measures, such as increased sanitation and cleaning onboard the aircraft and in the airport, shields at the ticket counters and gate areas, and personal protective equipment for employees.”

In a comment to CBS News, an airline spokesperson said the fee was “meant to provide transparency” towards where the additional cost was going. But in addition to paying for enhanced aircraft cleaning and employee protections, part of the charge was going towards paying back the airline’s CARES Act loan.

“However, to avoid misinterpretation, the airline will discontinue the practice of breaking out this category within its overall promoted fares,” a Frontier spokesperson told CBS News.

Although the charge will no longer be added to tickets, it is not the only fee Frontier flyers will face when purchasing tickets with the ultra-low-cost-carrier. Other involuntary charges include a “High Cost Airport Charge” to offset “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,” and surcharges “during peak holiday travel periods such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Frontier Pandemic-Related Policies Still Under Question

The Frontier “COVID Recovery Charge” is not the only pandemic-related activity under question. In September 2020, the Colorado Attorney General asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to open an investigation into the airline’s COVID-19 refund policy.

10 Comments
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bwiadca July 8, 2021

sundi712 - you think before trying to make Frontier like a victim here. They know very well what they are doing. That's free money for them tax free. In other words they are just thieves. They don't want to increase the fare price because they will have to pay taxes on it. I haven't flown on Frontier since they were real airline in 1999/2000. Same thing goes for Spirit (never flown with them), and JetBlue. When JetBlue started charging for bags I kissed them good bye.

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sundi712 July 6, 2021

Really people- think before including your opinion just to be part of a discussion. This was a lose-lose situation so I'll give Frontier credit for even having the guts to try the transparency route that people claim they want. They need to stick to the realization that people are never satisfied and even when there may be a chance, social media hops in to change their mind - no one thinks for themselves in today's society. All airline prices are sky high right now which was expected. Every airline is doing the exact same thing, expect with increased ticket prices which Frontier will now do.

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Antonio8069 June 29, 2021

Balsy for Frontier to charge a cleaning fee ? The implication is they were not cleaning before covid ? My dentist tried doing the same and backed off immediately.

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drvannostren June 28, 2021

I guess they just want to display low fares rather than execute on them? I dunno about in the US but up here in Canada like 10-15 years ago the govt put in a rule where they had to show the up front fare. I don't know if they had to include taxes in the advertised fare, but they had to include all the fees. Makes the fares a lot more realistic. Of COURSE frontier is gonna charge more at higher cost airports. They wanna pass that on to the customers, that's normal, it happens with all airlines. You just add to the base fare. I have this same issue with Las Vegas. Just charge me $75 for the room. Don't charge me $50 up front then $25 for the resort fee. "Unbundling" fares makes sense. Adding a bunch of after the fact fees that are not optional is just weak. Make the fare include your little $1.59 and the higher landing fees.

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donna538 June 24, 2021

Another reason not to fly Frontier. They got money from the govt. and they are able to deduct the expenses of cleaning and safety. They just thought it was another way to generate income.