Frontier Decides Selling Tickets Is Good. Extends Schedule.

Earlier this week I wrote about how the Frontier booking window for reservations only extended through October 20th, which was less than four months away. This seemed really odd given that a lot of families and budget travelers in general are starting to think about holiday travel. It was also the shortest booking window among the US carriers, by far.

In that post, I also pointed out that Frontier assesses a $15 “close-in” ticketing fee on award tickets issued for travel within 180 days. That seems kind of ridiculous given that their schedule was only open for 120 days.

frontierplane2

Frontier President Responds

“Historically Frontier’s schedule construction delivered a complex operation that resulted in challenges to on-time and reliability performance. The New Frontier has recently spent thousands of man hours and extensive coordination of efforts in producing a simpler operational design to improve the overall customer experience.

Our new schedule will be released tomorrow” [Thursday, June 25, 2015]

First, I commend Frontier for issuing a statement that sort of addresses some of the issues. I mean, I don’t necessarily see what publishing a schedule several months in advance has to do with on-time and reliable performance in the present, but then again, I’m not an industry analyst.

Frontier Booking Window Extended

I’m happy to say that, sure enough, the Frontier schedule has been extended to January 4th, 2016.

Now instead of being dead last in that department, they are actually just tied for last with Southwest and Sun Country. (Though all joking aside, tying Southwest in any metric probably isn’t all that bad.) 

Of course the one issue which Mr. Biffle did not address is the $15 “close-in” ticketing fee on award tickets issued for travel within 180 days. Maybe it just is what it is?

But hey, I guess he can say that as of right now, you can actually book an award ticket on Frontier without the fee — assuming that you want to travel sometime between December 26 and January 4th. That is, if you can find award seats smack dab over the holidays anyway.

FrontierAwardFee

Once the fireworks are over with on the 4th of July, we’ll be right back in the same situation we were in earlier this week — it will be impossible to book a Frontier award ticket without paying the $15 fee, because their schedule will once again extend for less than 180 days into the future.

fireworks


Anybody booking Frontier award tickets to avoid the “close-in” ticketing fee?

Comments

  1. Hey lucky.
    Did you hear about the really cheap frontier fares over the summer?

    And their 40000 miles bonus with their card- you could fly 4 flights for “free”!

  2. One trick is to book the award seats for that small window outside of 180 days and then change your award ticket to the days that you want within the window. Because changes to award itineraries are free as long as the same level award exists for the flight you want, this is one way around it. Another way is to status match from another airline and have the fee waived that way.

  3. I’m surprised the DOT hasn’t already been sniffing around Frontier’s green-checkered dress about this 6-month mileage booking scam…

  4. I am noticing the same problem again, as I am trying to book travel for mid-April and the schedule has not been released yet.

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