“Now boarding our elite members”

Old Nov 24, 19, 7:47 am
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“Now boarding our elite members”

So I took my first flight on F9 ever yesterday and heard them say “now boarding our elite members” and I laughed and wondered does anybody really fly F9 for business? I can’t imagine unless you live in DEN and hate UA that you would fly them especially since it seems like they don’t care much about being on time
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Old Nov 24, 19, 9:56 am
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You don't have to fly for business to reach what F9 refers to as "elite". People fly a lot for leisure, may fly to reach medical treatment and then there are a lot of people who are stuck with a business travel policy which requires "lowest logical fare". If that LLF is on F9, then it is F9 where you sit.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:25 am
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I got elite status via the credit card send. I am in Denver.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by vincentharris View Post
So I took my first flight on F9 ever yesterday and heard them say “now boarding our elite members” and I laughed and wondered does anybody really fly F9 for business? I can’t imagine unless you live in DEN and hate UA that you would fly them especially since it seems like they don’t care much about being on time
On top of the priority boarding the status also takes away everything I hate about flying F9 and/or NK. I get my carry-on unlike if I book a UA basic economy which is what they fare match with. Honestly I have had delays before but overall I get to my destination on time. Many people's sample size is 1 or 2 and if both get delayed that's all the remember. Whereas I am at 27 segments for the year and only have been delayed a handful of times most I expect due to the location.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 9:33 pm
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I'm often the only one to get to board via the elite status, but ATL isn't the same as DEN, MCO or LAS in terms of having lots of F9 flights everywhere, so there aren't as many elites going to/from. I don't think they'd have a lot of biz travelers, but for a city with more flights like DEN, if the company is cheap and inflexible enough, then they might do it. OTOH, on many routes they don't even have 1x daily frequency (which isn't as good for biz travelers), tickets can't be endorsed to other airlines, and charging for carry-ons goes a bit too far as far as biz travel requirements might go (as in that "Up In the Air" movie, you might be seen as not the most practiced business traveler if you check bags, but saying you have to pay for either a checked bag or a carry-on goes a bit too far vs. reasonable biz travel requirements).

I agree with lidosjawn in that the status has USEFUL perks that take the worst edges off, with the carry-on being a biggie. Not only that, but if you fly the legacies you quickly learn that the bin situation on so many has gotten so bad that if you're in a later zone they're likely to MAKE you check the carry-on. You're much less likely to run into that on F9 (because they charge people and the checked bag is cheaper than the carry-on, anyway).

With F9 and NK there's also the bit of cruel irony in that because they cater to price-sensitive travelers, the percentages of pax who could qualify for their credit card - let alone charge enough on it for status - are likely lower than for the legacies.
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Old Nov 26, 19, 7:54 am
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I had Elite until Frontier discontinued my main route. It was great. Their inflight product is on a par with anyone else especially when Elite..
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Old Nov 27, 19, 4:42 pm
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I became Elite at the end of last year, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the perks for a "low budget" flyer such as myself. Although I have trained myself to take a personal item and do the "Scottevest coat trick", it is nice to now be able to take a normal size carryon should I really need it. Being able to pick a seat is really the bee's knees for me, especially since the redesigned Frontier site "forgot" my aisle seat preference for a while. So while I always comparison shop Frontier and Spirit, if the price is within a few dollars, Frontier is the winner.

The only real advantage with the Spirit credit card is boarding early; big deal. The Frontier card really is pretty good for people who wouldn't normally give a hoot about frequent flyer programs. While the Spirit card grants you low mile award flights if you book far in advance, it is almost impossible to find any roundtrips that aren't Tuesday-Wednesday, or some such canard.

Honestly, it is so easy to get Elite with them that if you fly with any degree of regularity for recreation --not business, really-- it's worth it. I booked two weekends back to back in January CLE-LAS or $28 each roundtrip. That's almost 8000 miles right there. And that is before ever using the credit card or booking additional trips the other 11 months of the year.
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Old Nov 27, 19, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by vincentharris View Post
So I took my first flight on F9 ever yesterday and heard them say “now boarding our elite members” and I laughed and wondered does anybody really fly F9 for business? I can’t imagine unless you live in DEN and hate UA that you would fly them especially since it seems like they don’t care much about being on time
Don't under-estimate the size of the market for "People that live in DEN and hate UA". It is a quite sizable demographic.

I do get strange looks when I board early with my four-year old, and they say it's not time for kids yet and she replies "I'm elite". If you travel a lot for work and need a cheap way to drop the kids off with grandparents in Florida, it's not challenging to get status on both airlines.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 3:13 am
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The Elite status has gotten me to stay loyal to Frontier vs mixing in Spirit flights like I had in the past. My route is ORD-LAS.

I go on short trips mostly but I finally got a.real carry-on that maxes out the allowable dimensions for longer stays.

It's so nice.to have the free carry on, have a lot of legroom (I'm short but I love the extra room and being able to get up without having to bother anyone), and board early.

Actually last flight, this guy with a kid kept trying to push last me asking me if I was Zone one .I kept ignoring him but finally flashed my BP so he'd stop annoying me. Funny thing is obviously that I'm supposed to board before Zone 1.

I've averaged seeing one other person have status on my 6 flights this year.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by rhwbullhead View Post
The Elite status has gotten me to stay loyal to Frontier vs mixing in Spirit flights like I had in the past. My route is ORD-LAS.
Was going to do a thread about this (might still as well). My situation is similar...it was an F9/NK mix into 2017, but since the start of 2018 and getting elite status, it's all F9 (except Asia/South America flights or cases where I spent existing miles). So if the goal is to promote loyalty, it's working.

I've been destination-flexible to an extent (find the rock-bottom deal and then find the reason to go). Spirit has a slight edge out of ATL on destinations, especially if you factor in international through the FLL hub...I've taken them to LIM, SJO, CTG, MDE, etc. Lately, though, their deep-discounted awards for cardholders are often scarce, and if the ATL-FLL feeder route is heavily booked then that can hurt availability as well. They also just keep adding airline-imposed fees or inventing new ones, effectively raising the "floor" they want for paid and award tickets even where the "fare" is $0. Though I s'pose the deteriorating situation on award availability to plum destinations at low numbers of miles was inevitable as they added routes and new markets but were far slower about adding capacity internationally.

They also have elites really in name only, not being willing to sacrifice potential ancillary-fee revenue for loyalty. And a greater percentage of the FAs - even some young ones - get weatherbeaten too soon and fall into a jail warden/drill-sergeant mentality with the pax. The attitude is usually a little better on Frontier.

Frontier doesn't have as many routes out of ATL and because it's distance based and a deep-sale RT to a western destination in shoulder or off-season might be only $20 more than a RT to, say, Florida or PHL, I have a bias toward the western destinations that's reminiscent of a similar bias for all those years flying the legacies (even routes like ATL-EWR-LAS and v.v. on CO).

I tend to bottom-fish and try to zig when others zag, which means not many bookings in the Thanksgiving/Christmas high season or for about 7-8 weeks in summer.

As for perks, the full carry-on is a big improvement over Spirit's rucksack. Stretch seats aren't as good as a Big Front Seat, but Spirit wants extra money for those and has roped them off from perks, making it no contest. The regular coach seats are cramped on both airlines, but the presentation looks slightly better on F9. Drink prices are similar but Frontier's free water says a lot.

With status and a good batting average on the stretch-seat upgrades, Frontier actually compares favorably to the coach experience on legacies these days, with the non-complimentary soft drink the most noticeable difference. Spirit, OTOH, remains solidly with the ULCC experience and you don't get much of a break by flying them a lot.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 11:45 pm
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Rusty,

I agree with all you've said. Spirit actually works cheaper to a few destinations for me (like it was reasonable to MSY in the Spring and like half the price of F9, but I ended up just not going). The flights seemed to be more expensive this year. I've been averaging $75-100 round trip ORD-LAS. There have been a few $28 round trips (that were same price online vs buying at the airport) that I couldn't make work, and the flights went down in early Dec to about $50 something round trip. I flew Sun before thanksgiving to thanksgiving 1am (redeye) for $110 round trip so I can't really complain.

I have an extra benefit with F9 that's unique to ORD. The only Priority Pass lounges at ORD are in T5 and Frontier moved their operations there in 2018. I now get to use the lounge every time on F9 where I wouldn't be able to do so with Spirit which is still at T3. (I've seen people say that they've gotten into T5 with a domestic flight from another Terminal, but I'm not going to go through that hassle just to use the lounge. It's still nice to have that option on my cheap Frontier trips (and I put a Diet Coke in my bag when I leave even if were't technically not supposed to do so, meaning I have something to drink on the plane if I want more than the free cup of water)..

Edit:
Besides the Elite program keeping me loyal to F9, it's also caused me to the book the extra trips to maintain the status. If they didn't have status, I bet I would have gone on 3-4 trips instead of the 7 trips I've done the last two years to maintain status. (This is especially true this year as I booked 5 fligths in Oct, Nov, and Dec bc I only had two earlier in the year and I've actually gone so much that I'm actually sick of going this year. I definitely would have only booked two trips in Oct-Dec if I didn't have status to maintain).

I'm spoiled with LAS trips b/c rooms are so cheap with my CET status but I think next year I'll book a few trips into PHX or maybe even RNO. I'm even considering flying F9 to Cancun next year (a buddy goes every year).
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Old Yesterday, 5:29 am
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The Frontier credit card + their current elite program is one of the best kept travel arrangement secrets out there. It's not for everyone, but it's a pretty nifty combo.
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