When I search for flights from Orlando, one airline often shows at the top of the list as the cheapest option, Frontier. While the price shown in the search is the actual fare, it wouldn’t be the price we’d pay to fly with them, as we’d eventually have to pay for a checked bag, carry-on bag or a seat assignment.
If you’re going really cheap, you can fly with only a small personal item like Sharon did when she surprised me on my business trip. However, this trip wasn’t going to be a short hop. We were going to Texas for four days to visit a water park. On top of our usual clothes, we’d be bringing beach towels, swimsuits, pool shoes, suntan lotion, and a cooler (for snacks in the park and in case we wanted to bring home any food).
When booking my ticket, I had the option of adding on the various options. With Frontier, you’ll get the lowest price if you pay for the extras when booking the ticket.
It wasn’t going to be cheap.
One carry-on bag would cost $39. A checked bag would be an additional $34. That’s already $73 in bag fees. If I’d already be paying that much, why not go all the way and purchase “The Works” bundle for $75?
The Works includes
- One personal item (usually free)
- One Carry On Bag
- One Checked Bag
- Seat Selection (Including Stretch seats)
- Priority Boarding (Same as anyone who’s paid for a carry-on bag)
- Flight Flexibility (No Change Fees)
- Refundability (100% Refundable Fare up to 24 hours before flight)
Now, the prices of the bundles change depending on your flight.
The Works bundle can only be purchased when buying your ticket, and is rolled into the price of your fare.
With paying for the bundle, our tickets were still under $150 each. They cost a little more because I felt the need to spend $19 for Freebird just in case the flight was delayed or canceled.
How was the flight?
When we checked in for the flight, I was able to select one checked bag each. When we got to Orlando Airport, the bag drop area for Frontier was not crowded. We walked to a kiosk, printed our luggage tags and went right to the counter.
Once at the gate, we were able to board with Group 1 which, on Frontier, is anyone who paid to bring a carry-on bag. Since I could choose any seat on the plane, I picked stretch seats in row 2. I could have picked the bulkhead but I just can’t see the appeal and on this plane, those seats didn’t have any extra legroom.
I had a minor grump because the overhead bins above our row were closed. When we went to put our bags there, the attendants said those bins were reserved for the personal items for the people in row one who can’t have anything by their feet during take-off and landing. (pout)
For the inflight experience, here’s how much legroom I had in a stretch seat:
For comparison, here’s the legroom I had on a previous Frontier flight:
Big difference. Frontier states on their website that Stretch seating has 5-7 inches of additional legroom compared to the 28-31 inch pitch of their regular seats. None of the seats on the plane recline so no worries about having your knees crushed, but in a standard seat, I’m not sure the seats had any room to recline anyway.
The other big difference in stretch seats is having a full-size tray table.
This is compared to the tray you get on the rest of the seats of the plane:
It’s possible to use the tray in the stretch seats to work on a small-size laptop.
Just remember that none of Frontier’s planes have WiFi so whatever work you need to get done needs to be done off-line (and it can be done!).
Even if you purchase stretch seating, there’s no free food or drink items on Frontier for regular tickets. You can buy snacks, soda/water/tea/coffee and limited alcoholic beverages. We purchased bottled water at the airport and brought snacks from home.
If there’s a low enough fare with Frontier, I won’t hesitate to book with them again. Paying $19 for Freebird gives me peace of mind about the possible IRROPS (Irregular Operations) situations and I can purchase the stretch seating to make the flight more comfortable and save my knees. Now, I’d always compare the prices for the add-ons because if I was only bringing a carry-on and buying a stretch seat, it might not make sense for me to purchase the bundle like I did this time.
Paying for “The Works” is not getting a luxury experience. It’s not even a more comfortable seat, just one with additional legroom. But if you’re bringing a checked bag and carry-on, getting the bundle is often going to be the best deal.
*Feature Photo is not an actual Frontier Airlines plane 🙂
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
Feature Photo from Greenpoint Technologies