Frontier Airlines Review: What to Expect on your Flight

By Marley Braun | Travel Tips

If you've seen the amazing deals from Frontier Airlines, you may be thinking: Is this legit?  Well, the answer is yes!  Even with a recent 5-hour delay, I would not hesitate to book another trip with Frontier Airlines.

"But it's too good to be true! What's the catch?!"

I'll admit, if you think the cheap prices are "too good to be true", you're right.  Even if you get a great deal on the tickets, your Frontier Airlines flight might end up costing you more than expected. Below is everything you need to know to keep your Frontier Airlines experience closer to $40 rather than $140.  If you go into it with the right expectations, you'll have a much more enjoyable trip!

What to Know Before Your Flight

Snacks and drinks are provided, but at a cost.

Other than a cup of lukewarm water, be aware that you'll need to pay for any refreshments on the plane. I always bring my own snacks and travel with my S’ip bottle. I take it through security empty, and then fill it up at one of the many water fountains on the way to my gate. That way, my water stays nice and cold the entire flight.

A checked bag can be cheaper than bringing a carry-on.  

If you purchase baggage at booking, a carry-on is $35 and a checked bag is only $30. When we fly on Frontier Airlines, my husband and I each carry a small personal item with our computers, one change of clothes and our medication. My husband’s favorite backpack to travel with is his professional weekender.  

Then, we check one shared 50-pound suitcase each way.  Keep in mind these prices are added on each way, so this one shared suitcase costs us an extra $60 total.  

Note that baggage prices go up quickly the longer you wait to purchase them.  You can check Frontier's bag pricing here. It can get up to $60 per bag if you wait until departure, so be cautious!

Beware, your plane might not be as roomy as you are used to.

  • The tray table always make me laugh because it is so small. You can set an iPad easily on it, but I am not so sure I would trust my laptop to stay put.
  • Are you an armrest type of person?  You won’t like the small excuse for an arm rest on Frontier.  
  • Like to recline?  Frontier seats do not recline so be prepared.
  • Enjoy cushy seats? You won’t find them.
  • The good news: Plenty of leg room! I am happy to report I have flown on Frontier multiple times and I have found every plane to have ample leg room.  I also find they have plenty of head room. I don’t feel claustrophobic on their planes at all. (And it's not just because I'm short, my husband agrees!)

Remember to pack your own entertainment & electronics.

There is no wifi or onboard entertainment, so make sure you download your movies ahead of time and bring your own headphones. I never fly without my noise cancelling earbuds.

There are also no USB charging ports on Frontier Airlines, so I like to bring my travel back-up battery charger just in case. 

Pre-Flight Packing Checklist

  • Snacks for the flight
  • A water bottle
  • A portable charger
  • Your own entertainment and headphones
  • One personal item packed with any essential medications, important documents, expensive electronics, chargers, or anything else you'd prefer to keep with you in case of a delayed flight. 
  • If you check a bag, remember to do it online at least 24 hours before to save some money!

Booking Tips on Frontier Airlines

  • Fly on “off” days of the week.  You can only get their very cheapest fares if you are willing to work around their schedule, not yours.  
  • Again, remember to purchase your baggage options at booking for the cheapest rates.
  • If you want to pick a seat ahead of time, it's considered an upgrade and will cost extra.  For shorter flights, I just roll the dice and get what I get. It’s usually a middle seat, but I can deal with that for 2 hours.  On longer flights, especially red eyes, I splurge and pay to pick my seat.
  • Sign up for their weekly emails.  They have some great specials, sometimes as low as $25 each way.

My Frontier Airlines Review

I actually wrote the majority of this article during my five-hour delay on Frontier.  

I heard so many people around me say they would never fly Frontier again, and that our delay was proof that flying a low-cost carrier wasn't worth it.  I disagree with them. I don’t think any of the major airlines would have handled our mechanical issue any differently. Would they have gotten us a new plane or a new crew quicker?  Possibly, but I was recently delayed 33 hours by Delta/Air France and they are certainly not a low cost carrier.

Overall, I would definitely still recommend flying on Frontier Airlines, as long as you know what you're getting yourself in to.

If you follow my guide and know what to expect ahead of time on Frontier, I would certainly recommend them for shorter flights.  Would I want to sit in their planes for a cross country trip? I don’t think so. I have flown on Frontier Airlines to Las Vegas twice, and I think the 4 ½ hour trip is about as long as my older body can handle.  For someone closer to Hayley’s age, I would say don’t think twice!


About the Author

I am a mom first, and a wandering (but not lost) soul second. After years of planning travel for friends, I became a Cruise Planners Travel Advisor. You can learn more about the services I can offer you by visiting me at Memories by Marley