Frontier Now Making Flying A Lot Less Friendly - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Tony McEwing

Frontier Now Making Flying A Lot Less Friendly

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Just a few days ago I wrote a blog indicating how little I like to fly. Thanks to Frontier Airlines, I’m at it again. If you think I’m going to rant and rave about it though, I’m not. Alas, like many if not most of us, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that a fantastic flying experience is probably a thing of the past. Or at the very least, how we define a wonderful flying experience has greatly changed. That is unless you have very deep pockets and can travel first or business class, are a frequent flyer and can upgrade or both. In my last writing, I lamented the lack of leg and limb space and possible future efforts by airlines to pack even more travelers onto their planes in creative ways that will save the companies money in fuel costs and generate more revenue.

And now Frontier Airlines has announced that your baggage will no longer get to fly for free on their planes. You will have to pay anywhere between $20 and $50 to place carry-on bags in the overhead compartment. But the new fees don’t stop there. You’ll also have to pony up more money for advance seat assignments—up to eight bucks.  These moves are part of the Denver-based company’s effort to convert itself into a fee-dependent airline. Frontier joins Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines as the only other U.S. carriers to impose such fees.

In all fairness, Frontier says it will reduce its base fares by an average of 12% to relieve some of the pain of paying the extra charges. But let’s face facts. This is about Frontier making more money—a lot more. One report estimates the airline industry made $22.6 billion in extra fees in 2011. That figure is almost certainly higher by now. Such fees can account for more than 30% of a carrier’s revenue.

So if you’re waiting for a reversal of this trend, my advice is don’t. It’s not going to happen. Right now it’s just a handful of discount carriers charging for every single perk but I think it’s just a matter of time before major carriers become even more fee happy. And why not?  They know If you want to get from here to there really fast, the only way to do that is to fly.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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