Frontier to charge fliers for carry-ons, drinks
(CNN) — Coffee, juice or tea?
Starting July 1 on Frontier Airlines, that drink will cost you $1.99 for certain fares, the company announced Wednesday.
So will a can of soda. But at least you’ll get the entire can. (Coffee drinkers will get free refills.)
Certain members of the airline’s frequent flier program will continue to receive beverages for free, as will customers who buy more expensive fares.
The drink fee is part of the airline’s move to become an “ultra low cost carrier,” according to a Frontier press release.
The airline also will start charging many customers who book their tickets through third-party sites a $25 to $100 fee for carry-on bags, excluding certain members of its frequent flier program.
The goal of the carry-on fee is to get more people to check their bags, said airline spokeswoman Kate O’Malley. The company will announce a start date for that fee sometime this spring, she said, and tickets purchased via third-party sites such as Travelocity or Orbitz before the start date will not be assessed the carry-on fee.
“I suspect we will see other airlines study this move and perhaps copy it in the future,” Airfarewatchdog founder George Hobica said in a statement. “Airlines hate paying booking fees to third-party sites such as Expedia and Orbitz, and this is an effective way to force consumers to book directly with the airline.”
The $25 price will apply to customers who check into their flights at the airline website before departing for the airport and will increase if they check in at an airport kiosk, with an airline ticket agent or at the gate. Customers who book at the airline website will still qualify for free carry-on bags on all tickets.
Checked bag fees will remain $20 for a first checked bag when purchased at online check-in for certain discount and third-party website fares.
Staring June 1, those fees will increase to $25 for economy and third-party website tickets when purchased at airport check-in for travel on or after July 11.