Is Frontier’s $399 all-you-can-fly summer pass worth it?

TL;DR: Aspiring jetsetters can now score Frontier’s GoWild! All-you-can-fly summer pass for $399(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab). Read on for all the messy caveats and fine print.

Frontier lets passengers fly as much as they want all summer long for a flat rate that’s the average cost of a single domestic round-trip flight(Opens in a new window).

The recently announced GoWild! All you can fly summer pass(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) is the shorter version of Frontier’s existing annual pass. Instead of $1,299 for unlimited year-round travel, a one-time purchase of a Summer Pass for $399 (plus 1 cent fee per trip) between May 2 and September 30 unlocks unlimited travel to Frontier domestic and international destinations. Frontier serves more than 100 airports in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America, with new locations being added to the roster frequently.

Before you ask, yes we have the same question: is Frontier legit right now?

On paper it sounds like an amazing deal. Many of us have at least once reluctantly spent a similar amount on a round-trip ticket. That was likely an unusual experience during unprecedented airfare spikes in 2022. Bankrate’s Bureau of Labor Statistics assessment of last year(Opens in a new window) found that the median fare for a “cheap” domestic round-trip flight was $398 — $100 more than in 2021. There’s no question that an easily accessible summer pass, at a time when everything, whether Travel related or not, could be a serious vacation ploy. its expensive.

But you are still right to be skeptical. Frontier’s reputation for arbitrary baggage fees and patchy customer service — plus the general drama of canceled flights(Opens in a new window) Of all the airlines that have plagued travel for a while — makes the premise of unlimited flights sound too good to be true.

Side view of a frontier plane with Go Wild All You Can Fly graphic

If you plan to travel a lot this summer, the GoWild! Pass could save you some money.
Photo credit: Frontier Airlines

Frontier’s new summer pass is legitimate, but not without caveats

The first fine print to consider is the lack of wiggle room the pass offers in terms of planning. Go wild! covers booked domestic flights only *reviewed notes* the day before and international flights booked 10 days or less in advance. No booking after 24 hours means no round trip booking. Instead, you would technically have to book your return flight on the last day of your trip and 1. hope Frontier has a flight home that works for your schedule and hotel or rental car check-out times, or 2. be ready to pay for a non-border flight. (Connected itineraries are included subject to availability.)

Also, not all airports participate. For example, Frontier does not serve LAX. The “unlimited” calendar is also subject to blackout periods, including Memorial Day itself and the Friday before it, July 4th and surrounding days, and other random dates that could mess up plans.

If something goes wrong, don’t rely on live customer service

All airlines have their fair share of cancellation or delay problems. While low-cost airlines like Frontier and Spirit have felt the brunt of the inconvenience related to airline memes, Frontier actually canceled fewer flights than Southwest, American, and United between the summer of 2021 and 2022(Opens in a new window). It was also one of the airlines with the fewest mishandled baggage problems.

However, if something goes wrong during your Frontier journey, good luck with a timely fix. Back in November 2022, Frontier decided that a live customer service phone line would be established(Opens in a new window) wasn’t that important. Customers with concerns can either try the always helpful live chat tool online or speak to an airport representative.

Frontier’s baggage policy is… Baggage

If you can’t pack everything you need in a bag that fits under the seat in front of you, you’re paying more than “$0.01 fare plus applicable taxes” per flight.

While most airlines only pay for checked baggage and carry one personal item and one carry-on bag for free, Frontier charges a carry-on bag fee. (So ​​does Spirit.)

The policy is stingy but tolerable if you don’t fly that often. But for the amount of flies you’re likely to squeeze in, the GoWild! Pass is worth the money, you could spend a few hundred dollars more on top of the $399 over the course of the summer.

Also, budgeting for a carry-on is more of a rough estimate than a confirmed calculation with Frontier. This is because the airline changes the fees for non-personal items depending on the flight date, time, distance, etc. A carry-on bag can cost up to $30 if you add it at the time of booking, although that number can reach anywhere from $50 to $90. It depends on how Frontier’s Bag Price Checker is feeling that day.

social media(Opens in a new window) is full of Frontier passengers complaining about being charged for a carry-on they swear is the size of a personal item. While size restrictions are listed online and sample trays for measuring your bags should be available at your gate, many people have been faced with surprising fees just before boarding the plane.

Is that GoWild! Is the summer pass worth it?

If you’ve already planned to jet set quite a bit this summer, or would Being on the go when it was more affordable, $399 for all or most of your plane tickets is hard to miss. The pass is also a no-brainer if you’ve already researched a big dream destination and know your flight would have cost more than $399 anyway.

But you have to be okay with flying past the seat of your pants. Plane pun very much intended.

Whether the (lack of) advance notice is a sufficient buffer depends on your specific plans – and your stress level. If you can’t book flights within the US more than 24 hours in advance, that means booking a round-trip is off the table – so you have to factor in the possibility that you won’t have solid return flight plans when you leave. This may not cause as much excitement when you are visiting someone with a flexible schedule. However, if you are dealing with a rental with strict check-out times or a strict cancellation policy, a backup plan with backup funds is required.

The fine print, pesky bag fees, and general planning chaos don’t detract from the props Frontier deserves for making travel so accessible — especially during inflation. The GoWild! The pass could offer serious exploration to people who haven’t traveled much before, or it could be someone’s key to a trip abroad for the very first time. Now make the passport application. Is Frontier’s $399 all-you-can-fly summer pass worth it?

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