Frontier changing into your standard airline

Old May 5, 08, 11:35 am
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Frontier changing into your standard airline

First, I'll start by saying I really like Frontier, and fly them almost exclusively. I've been summit/ascent with them for several years.

Flew from LA on May 1st, and noticed some additional changes, that show me they are having to morph themselves into a standard airline...Nothing major, but thought i would share.

#1, They have raised the price of their DirectTV service by $1 (well, 99 cents actually), so it's now $5.99 if you aren't ascent or summit

#2, No more free snacks. They are now selling 'gourmet' snack options on longer flights...for $5 each. On my most recent flight, it was some trail mix, some gourmet potato chips, and a couple of other items. no food at all (even pretzels) was offered free of charge

#3, Customer service has seriously started declining. This is a subjective thing, but folks just seem generally less happy to be working for frontier than in the past, and it shows. Maybe just been my luck, but the past few flights CS has taken a noticable decline. Maybe has to do with the fear associated with bankruptcy filing.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. F9 will still be my preferred airline, it's just sad to see some of the changes they've had to make in order to survive the current airline economy.
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Old May 5, 08, 8:15 pm
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Are you sure its $5? Everything I've read has said the price is $3, which for what they are offering is a pretty reasonable price.

Unfortunately, since people won't pay a premium to fly on Frontier, they are having to charge for more things. It's a vicious cycle, I know, people don't want to pay for better service, because they feel that they don't get it, but when they don't pay a premium, the airline has to raise prices or offer less service to remain in business.

Since price is all *most* passengers care about, then everything is aimed at offering a lower price while still trying to make money at $120 barrel oil.

Also, DirecTV now owns the equipment and is making those changes. Shorter haul flights to Albuquerque, Anchorage, Boise, Billings, Cabo San Lucas, Cancún, Cozumel, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Mazatlán, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Phoenix, Puerto Vallarta, Salt Lake City, San José (Costa Rica), Tucson and Tulsa are now $3.99.

However, they still haven't joined the throng and still don't charge for a second bag. I hope they never do.

Last edited by GreatChecko; May 5, 08 at 8:21 pm
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Old May 6, 08, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by GreatChecko View Post
Are you sure its $5? Everything I've read has said the price is $3, which for what they are offering is a pretty reasonable price.
I think that's a good idea with the TV prices matching the flight lengths. Didn't it always used to be free to Mexico and Costa Rica for all passengers? Still, I think the prices are fair and the service seems to be improving. I had a really rough landing in DEN last week and never lost a signal.

The snacks are $3, definitely on par with what you can get at the airport for the same price, if not better. It's not like the .5oz of pretzels, snack mix, or the one biscoff cookie can really makethat much of a dent in the appetite.

As for service, I did have a 19 minute estimated hold time on the phone last week, which is less than OK.
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Old May 6, 08, 1:47 pm
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TV Service was free to Mexico and points south because the signal is lost near the US border. Therefore under the new rationale these are "short-haul" flights because that's the duration they get the signal for.

IMHO I don't really care about the charging for snack mix, there's only so many bags of doritos/sun chips that I can eat before I start refusing the snack anyway, so at least this way there's the option for some variety. I do wish that they would extend it a bit further and offer a few other more-expensive options similar to the UA snackboxes... I would gladly pay $5 or more if they did some nice non-perishable stuff like cheese/crackers/sausage/etc a la' the United MiniMeal.
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Old May 6, 08, 3:15 pm
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These moves reek of desperation. I fly Frontier occasionally and have no problems with the carrier but it's nothing special or anything that I'd seek out. Their web site is poor and it's very difficult to use the Early Returns miles except on AirTran (but I live in a city this is thinly served by AirTran).

I stinks for the investors (they've already lost their money since the stock is now "pink sheeted") and it's gonna stink for both the employees and the Denver area economy but this company is on a trajectory to insolvency unless the price of oil reverses quickly. They don't have the oversees routes to subsidize the domestic flight schedule and leisure travel demand is elastic in nature. It is truly a vicious cycle.

Capacity need to be taken out of the domestic air system and losing Frontier will help alleviate this imbalance. Hopefully I'm wrong here but looking at thing objectively, the outlook is bleak for this carrier.
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Old May 6, 08, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by jfinsocal View Post
These moves reek of desperation. I fly Frontier occasionally and have no problems with the carrier but it's nothing special or anything that I'd seek out. Their web site is poor and it's very difficult to use the Early Returns miles except on AirTran (but I live in a city this is thinly served by AirTran).

I stinks for the investors (they've already lost their money since the stock is now "pink sheeted") and it's gonna stink for both the employees and the Denver area economy but this company is on a trajectory to insolvency unless the price of oil reverses quickly. They don't have the oversees routes to subsidize the domestic flight schedule and leisure travel demand is elastic in nature. It is truly a vicious cycle.

Capacity need to be taken out of the domestic air system and losing Frontier will help alleviate this imbalance. Hopefully I'm wrong here but looking at thing objectively, the outlook is bleak for this carrier.
Then what would you call what the rest of the industry is doing? They charge for the above and for curb checking your bags, for checking a second bag, for speaking with an agent, for buying a ticket at a ticket counter, etc, etc, etc.

Don't mention loosing half a billion, that's billion with a B, in one quarter or even more, if that doesn't cause desperation, I don't know what will. The entire industry is about to go up the creek and its going to be a fun one to watch.

I would hope you are wrong, because we will all have a great time flying on the new and unimproved UA once a huge chunk of their competition in Denver just goes away. Of course, WN will fill the void, but it seems most people have a thing about assigned seats and nice FF perks, so that'll just be "good enough" as well.

Don't worry, that nasty overcapacity issue will go away once we have two or three megacarriers to choose from, we'll also be paying a ton more for your flying. But hey, that's the way it has to be so the airlines can simply cover their costs, right? The sad part is, that its the airlines that actually try to care and do what is right that will go under.
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Old May 6, 08, 6:31 pm
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F9 charging more

My theory is that F9 may shrink operations but will be able withstand the pressure. Remember that UA still has relatively huge overhead costs and can't be "seen" shrinking due to pride. They could collapse or crash under their own weight like Eastern Airlines did in the '80s. Unlike F9, who still has money, they really can't survive a BK under the new rules and would be forced to liquidate. That would give F9 an out to raise fares as many pax, such as myself, will never fly WN even if they gave me tickets anywhere in the country or world for that matter. CO, F9 and WN would win in a UA liquidation. That may have been CO's plan all along when they left the bargaining table with UA. According to the WSJ, Tilton's face was visibly worried when they got the final no from CO.
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Old May 6, 08, 9:05 pm
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Haven't flown since the charge for snacks. Do Summit members have to pay for the snacks?
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Old May 7, 08, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingcat2k View Post
That would give F9 an out to raise fares as many pax, such as myself, will never fly WN even if they gave me tickets anywhere in the country or world for that matter.


AMEN from this summit and premier exec!!
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Old May 7, 08, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Haven't flown since the charge for snacks. Do Summit members have to pay for the snacks?
I had to pay. I didn't ask but there was no indication that they were free to Summit members.
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Old May 8, 08, 5:52 am
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Even though I fly mostly UA, I used to like F9. Until I had a truly horrible experience in January. They changed the route to ZIH from daily to weekly and issued a press release about it. However CS officially did not know about it, so they would not rebook me. Their handling of the whole thing was appalling. One CS manager pretty much called me a liar and was refusing to even go check F9's website. At the end, as an apology they offered me a $100 voucher - like I am going to fly them again!

Now as far as I am concerned F9 is only good to keep UA honest in DEN. As far as flying, they go with WN: I'd rather drive, thank you.
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Old May 13, 08, 9:43 am
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Grizwald's cafe

I purchased the sweet mix. At $3 for 5 ounces, it is slightly more than what you pay for trail mix at DIA ($2.50 incl. tax v. $3 for 5-6 oz.) but it was good. Majority of it was peanuts (~40%) but there were a good number of other nuts as well. The pecans weren't overroasted like they are in some other mixes (burnt pecans are only good on pecan pie). I probably should have gotten something lighter in calories though.

I think it's a better idea than UA's snack boxes. The trail mixes will have a longer life and aren't overpriced compared with what you'll find at the airport. Cereal isn't a bad idea either for the same reasons.
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Old May 13, 08, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by zdave View Post
I had to pay. I didn't ask but there was no indication that they were free to Summit members.
Snacks are unfortunately not free for anyone. TV will still be comped for the proper FF levels.

The idea behind the snack program is to make all snacks and drinks cost neutral.
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Old May 16, 08, 7:51 am
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8310/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

Originally Posted by GreatChecko
Originally Posted by zdave View Post
I had to pay. I didn't ask but there was no indication that they were free to Summit members.
Snacks are unfortunately not free for anyone. TV will still be comped for the proper FF levels.

The idea behind the snack program is to make all snacks and drinks cost neutral.
So does that mean that the mini bottles will start selling for $2 and the beers for less?
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Old May 16, 08, 11:13 am
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Not much to add that hasn't already been said, but I'm game for my own commentary.

We've been spoiled for decades. We get transportation, food, drink, luggage allotment, etc all wrapped into one fare. Now that airlines are allocating your air fare to solely cover transportation, we argue about being "taken to the cleaners."

Though it's a perk to get free food/drink, it's not a necessity. Grab some goodies from your kitchen before you leave the house if it's that important to you. For us efficient travelers, we prefer a lower fare and then to be nickel and dimed for everything else. It's my own fault if I get hungry/thirsty onboard, can't put everything into one checked bag, etc. Charge all you want for those items.
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