How Frontier Airlines Charges You To Clean Up Their Own Mess

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A few years ago, Frontier Airlines jumped on the bandwagon with other major airlines to charge customers for checking bags. The justification was that all of those checked bags were making the planes heavier and costing the airline more money in fuel. It just wasn’t fair to lightweight traveling passengers to have free checked bags for flying customers.

More baggage fees for Frontier luggage.

It’s hard to know whether the people who run Frontier Airlines are truly clueless, or if it was all part of a multi-step plan from the beginning, but what happened next is obvious to anyone with more than three brain cells. Passengers, unwilling to pay more money just to take their luggage with them on a trip began to carry-on everything they used to check. Predictably, passengers try and cram too much luggage into bags that are too big and then spend too long trying to jam them into crowded overhead bins.

Instead of a checking a 40 lb. bag and leaving room for other travelers to carry-0n lighter bags, customers just carry on a 40 lb. bag. So, the airlines save no weight and no fuel, and don’t get the highly coveted extra fee. To top it off, frequent travelers often like to carry-on bags, but can’t because there isn’t enough space.

The whole policy is a bust.

Frontier Charges for Carry On Bags – More Fees

The solution, if you are not a price gouging company that, frankly, hates the cash pinatas customers you have to fly from place to place in order to actually make money, is fairly obvious. Change the baggage fees to something that both solves the weight problem, and prevents the delays and overcrowding of carry-on space. Ideally, the airline would charge a fee for heavier bags but allow normal checked bags for free. Then, you charge for carry-on bags instead. This both keeps the weight down, and it makes sure that only savvy, lightweight travelers (typically the highly coveted business travelers) are carrying on bags.

The result?

Lower weight, faster boarding, and uncrowded overhead space.

However, Frontier thinks it can gouge its customers for a little more money by charging them for carry-on bags as well. That way, if you take ANY luggage, you pay more. Ironically, by charging for BOTH carry-on and checked bags, the airline provides no incentive to do either, and considering no one travels with NO luggage, everyone pays the extra fees.

The result?

The same crowded overhead bins and the same weight problem persist.

How To Get Around Frontier Bag Fees

The smartest thing you can do to get around Frontier’s luggage fees is to be smart.

First, add the cost of your baggage charges to the price of your ticket. Frontier is counting on conversations like this one occurring all over the country.

“Hey Ma, Frontier tickets are $15 cheaper than this other airline. Let’s buy them.”

Later, at the ticket counter, “What do you mean I have to pay $20 to check or carry-on my bag?”

Don’t forget Southwest Airlines allows a free checked (and carry-on) bag.

You see, most people buy airline tickets based on price. Since all airlines give flyers the same tiny seats, the same lack of service, and no one offers food or drinks anymore, customers don’t see any reason to treat tickets as anything more than a commodity. By moving the amount paid by the customer to fees, the airline hopes people will be stupid enough to not include them in the price of the ticket. That way, it seems like a lower fare, even though it costs just as much or more than other options.

If Frontier’s double bag charge works, that is customers don’t book other airlines and complain loudly, other airlines will follow.


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