Realistic changeover time for catching DEN-ASE flight?

Old Jan 21, 09, 10:18 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SE Pennsylvania
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Realistic changeover time for catching DEN-ASE flight?

Hi,

This is my first time in the Frontier forum (I'm a BAEC member). Thank you in advance for your patience if this issue has been addressed previously.

My family has been looking into a trip to Aspen, originating in Philly.

The Frontier website and also a reputable ski packaging company offer me just a single itinerary:

F9 447 PHL-DEN; F9 3077 DEN-ASE

F9 3078 ASE-DEN; F9 444 DEN-PHL

Outbound there is only an hour between flights in Denver, while coming home its down to 36 minutes! Weather can obviously be an issue, but that aside, is the changeover time being offered at all realistic? Or is an itinerary like this just asking for trouble?

Many, many thanks for sharing your expertise and experience.
IfJimmysAGenius is offline  
Old Jan 21, 09, 1:11 pm
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Shouldn't be a problem barring weather problems or other delays. All the flights are on the A concourse. Even if you had to go one end to the next, it's at most a 15 minute walk.
weddingvideo is offline  
Old Jan 21, 09, 1:52 pm
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For me, a lot would depend on whether there were decent backup options in the next few hours. If these are the last or only flights of the day, then I would be hesitant. Going, it seems worst case is getting a one-way rental and driving 4 hours. Consider reserving a car, if you don't need it you only out the time you spent reserving it. Coming home, it comes down to the other flight options. If there is a later DEN-PHL, I would book that, and maybe aim for standby on the earlier if you make it in time.
djk7 is offline  
Old Jan 22, 09, 1:19 am
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No worries!! You should have plenty of time as long as everything is running near to ontime. The A concourse at DIA is relatively small and easy to get from one end to another. I've done it end to end at a leisurely pace in about 20 minutes.

Worst case the ASE flight is A68 and PHL is down in the twenties, still 10-20 minutes depending on how fast you walk.

There are two later flights to ASE if the inbound is delayed. If there are delays on your outbound flight, it might be worth trying to get on an earlier flight to avoid any issues with the connection. I don't think there would be any change fees if your original flight would result in a misconnect.

The idea to have a rental as a backup is a good if you can do it with little to no penalty for cancellation. I've never done this myself and I'd be interested to find out how the company in ASE would handle it if you decided to keep it as a backup on the way out.

A few thoughts about ASE.

The airport is very unique, has some very high weather minimums, and is subject to delays and/or cancellations if the weather drops below about 3 miles of visibility. When the weather deteriorates, the required safety margins impose some challenges that are rarely seen at any other commercial airport in the United States.

However, on a nice day the flight is absolutely gorgeous, so keep the camera handy. Flying there also allows you to be in Aspen without having to drive for 3-4 hours from DIA, so there is a valid reason to fly there.

Also, keep an eye on the weather while in ASE. Keep in mind that the takeoff minimums are lower than the landing minimums. If it is forecast to snow heavily all day long and the previous night's flight was able to land, it might be worth going to the airport and leaving on the first flight out. In my experience, on days when the weather is forecast to be bad, Frontier will rebook passengers on the earlier flight if it is looking like no other flight will be able to land that day. This might save you the hassles of either getting stuck in Aspen until the weather clears or driving out in what might be some pretty treacherous roads.

Just some food for thought.

Checko
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Old Jan 22, 09, 8:02 am
  #5  
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Wow!

Many, many thanks to all of you. Flyertalk is such an incredible resource.

I did notice that if I search the Frontier website for ASE-DEN flights, there are earlier flights out of Aspen that do NOT come up when trying to book a complete ASE-PHL itinerary. Are there any reasons for this?

And if we fly "Classic Plus," would there be any reason/restriction that would prohibit us from going to ASE earlier in the day and simply ask to be put on an earlier flight?

Thanks again!
IfJimmysAGenius is offline  
Old Jan 22, 09, 10:40 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Two things:

Been a while since I spent a lot of time in Denver, but I'm pretty sure that this still stands...

DEN to Aspen is at BEST a 3:40 drive. If there are any weather issues in the high country, it could turn to 5-6 hours or worse. When you look at driving it, keep that in mind.

I haven't flown F9 since early 08 prior to the BK filing (although they are my favorite airline...). Still, on most airlines I've flown, the local staff always like to get people out earlier if possible. If you call and try to change a flight, they charge - but usually showing up before an earlier flight the same day and saying "can I get out on...XX" will result in success (if there are seats). Try checking something like SeatCounter to see what the load is. Since the flights don't come up when booking, they might be full...

Also, if your inbound DEN flight is running slow, be sure to tell not only the FA that you have a tight connection, but also step to the counter as soon as you deplane and ask them to call the departure gate - I've done the A56 to A28 run with the plane being held for me...


Good luck and good skiing!

RFTraveler
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Old Jan 22, 09, 10:57 am
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How have Frontier's Q400's been doing on the DEN<->ASE route in comparison to UA's RJ's? I've heard anecdotally that the RJ's have difficulty getting into ASE when winds are above a certain level, and I understand that the Q400's offer better performance. Has Frontier been beating UA in the cancellations department?
DenverF9Flier is offline  
Old Jan 22, 09, 4:48 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by DenverF9Flier View Post
How have Frontier's Q400's been doing on the DEN<->ASE route in comparison to UA's RJ's? I've heard anecdotally that the RJ's have difficulty getting into ASE when winds are above a certain level, and I understand that the Q400's offer better performance. Has Frontier been beating UA in the cancellations department?
It depends on the weather. Getting into ASE often has a lot to do with timing, one day F9 might not see the runway and go home but UA might get lucky and vice-versa.

Getting out is a whole different story. I know of a few days when F9 has been delayed by deicing why UA has been delayed while braking action improves to accomodate the required performance for a rejected takeoff by the jets. On challenging days, a turboprop will usually beat a jet in a mountain airport.

As for the tailwind issues, the Q400 is superior than a CRJ. Weight restrictions come into play at higher temperatures and windspeeds when compared to the CRJ-700.

Originally Posted by IfJimmysAGenius View Post
Wow!

Many, many thanks to all of you. Flyertalk is such an incredible resource.

I did notice that if I search the Frontier website for ASE-DEN flights, there are earlier flights out of Aspen that do NOT come up when trying to book a complete ASE-PHL itinerary. Are there any reasons for this?
It probably has to do with how Sabre is set up to handle the connecting flights. If you are thinking of buying a Classic or Classic Plus ticket, just call the reservation center and book through them, phone reservations are free at those "levels"

Originally Posted by IfJimmysAGenius View Post
And if we fly "Classic Plus," would there be any reason/restriction that would prohibit us from going to ASE earlier in the day and simply ask to be put on an earlier flight?
As long as there is availability on the earlier flight, then you will not have any problems changing your ticket at the Classic Plus level. Its a fully flexible, fully refundable ticket.

https://www.frontierairlines.com/fro...rs-tutorial.do

Like I mentioned, on a weather day, I can't imagine any additional fees being charged if you tried to get out on an earlier flight.

Checko
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