Frontier Airlines Eliminates Airport Check-in Counter Service Within An Hour Of Your Flight

Frontier Airlines encourages you to check in electronically, and not to spend the time of their agents at the airport. Once they invest in online check-in capabilities, it’s cheaper for you to use those. Agents they have to pay, so they charge you to check in with an agent.

But they’re removing part of the convenience of checking in with an agent. In two weeks, Frontier Airlines ticket counters will “will close for check in and bag drop” 60 minutes prior to departure. You can no longer check bags (even for a fee!) or even check in with a person within an hour of your flight.

In contrast, American Airlines will let you check in 27 minutes prior to departure and check a bag 42 minutes to departure for domestic flights at most airports.

If you’re going to save with Frontier, you’re going to spend more of your time. Can’t get help at the ticket counter? You can’t call them either, because they last year they eliminated telephone customer service completely. Interact with them on their lowest-cost terms, or not at all.

(HT: @jacques2475178)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What’s even better is that Frontier doesn’t typically open its counter until 2 hours before departure time. Plus known issues with their kiosks won’t print more than one bag tag per reservation – so have to see an agent. Other things like military bag waivers require an agent.

    Frontier touts this as improving on time and getting people to TSA faster. But is it really? It’s more like they aren’t set up with staffing to handle expediting people as time approaches cut off. Plus per the DOT, if you are in line, you are on time. That line can be 200 people long but you’re on time if you entered it by cutoff. I fly Frontier with some regularity only for a nonstop at the right time that’s so cheap if it’s late or I change my mind I just don’t show up, but seldom see all the kiosks working at my home airport nor anybody working the lobby.

    I posit this is Frontier giving itself insurance against poor staffing and pushing that to passengers getting to the airport even earlier before the counter opens.

  2. This probably allows them to have 1 person staffing the counter, and move them to the gate at T-60 to work the flight. Useful for light stations with just a few flights / day.

  3. After being previously screwed by Frontier Airlines, you arrive at your departure gate and hear a gate agent announcement that your Frontier flight was canceled. The gate agent says you can retrieve your checked baggage at baggage claim.

    To rebook a future flight, or apply for a refund, go online, as Frontier Airlines’ phone customer service is discontinued. Thank you for saving money and for being a loyal Frontier Airlines client.

  4. It’s really not that much of a change at airports with just a couple of flights.

    For example, at DCA, Frontier agents currently close check-in at 45 minutes before the flight and go and work the gate.

  5. This will effect many people. Frontier has trimmed so much why bother. If your flight isn’t cancelled, have fun.

  6. I booked a return flight from Denver to Orlando on Feb 1 of this yr. I did because it was the only carrier coming in around 7p. Few days later and twice more after that, got a notification that that Flt was canceled and was now booked for 1130pm, getting in at 530 in the morning. I got into Denver at 130p from El Paso. Had a 10 hr layover. Then the plane was delayed till 1230a because we were waiting for a Flt crew from another Flt to come in. Never again. I will pay the extra money for a Flt.

  7. The whole point of Frontier airlines is to appeal to customers who value their money more than their time.

    This is just providing their customers the product they want: low service, but low cost.

  8. I passed by the Frontier counter at CVG last week. Holy cow, was it mobbed and people mad! I can’t ever imagine waiting in that line at AA… While AA has issues, I love/respect the gate agents!

  9. With that, why would I even fly Frontier, I pay for my ticket, then if I have a problem with their kiosks or get bumped your screwed. I have flown Frontier many times, but this is enough for me to take my business elsewhere

  10. Some International airlines have been doing this for years, but they always had customer service readily available. Bit when it comes to multiple bags, families, and handicapped, this causes a problem. Bring back sky caps or some similar service. Customer service no longer exists majority of the time.

  11. Have some self respect and just stay home if your alternative is to fly Frontier or Spirit.

  12. Frontier is a scam, bought a flight from Trenton to Tampa as needed an early flight out and back asap, well I wanted to check in online but I couldn’t, so I got to the airport about 50 minutes before departure, went right to the only person working and said I can’t check in online , she said one moment tried to call for assistance, 10 minutes later says I’m late. 5 other people behind me I was arguing but it wasn’t worth it as plane was leaving needed to pay 100 rebooking per each traveler and there was 2 of us even though I booked together. No bags , no carry-on, just us and clothes we had on . Worst ever , never will fly with them , my first time and my last

  13. Frontier is a SCAM that have been doing this. Leaving Orlando last winter (military) we arrived at 5 for a 8am flight one line for domestic and international. By the time we get to the counter they said we missed our flight 1.5 hours before and had us stand in another line for 3 hours to rebook. Charged $150 each for another flight and wanted us to wait for a week to fly. Ended up going to another city the next day and driving all night. By the time we got back home had to take my husband to the hospital where he spent two weeks. Never again this was not a cheap flight.

  14. Bought there flight passes last year. Internstional seems to be the only benefit.

    Flew domestically over weekend, received flight delayed text, so I delayed my departure. Two hours prior to flight received on time text, now I’m late. Get to get (late) flight was still delayed!

  15. Very very bad experience with Frontier last year. Our first and last travel. Called, sent all information of the flight cancellation and no refund or reply .
    Worst airline!

  16. Frontier is definitely the worst Airline I have ever dealt with I will never fly with them again. This last year and my last time flying with them I was charged an extra $100 for a medical bag I sat and showed the Arrogant worker that there was nothing in the bag except for insulin insulin needles and Medicine he’s still charged me $100 or I couldn’t get on my flight! My daughter had to finally threaten to sue them for them to give me back my $100 they completely ruined my vacation and the flight was totally miserable.

  17. Frontier has no customer service now-horrific!!! I flew with them 24 times a year. I have to find a low cost alternative !!

  18. Remember Gordon Bethunes razor that you can make a product so cheap that no one will want it?

    Frontier: hold my beer

  19. Several years ago I loved Frontier. After they became an Ultra low airline, I’ve only used them once and that’s more then enough. Their seats are tight with fixed backs and and first class. I’m done with them if I can help it!

  20. Do how do blind or other handicapped people check in?
    Or is it just tough luck to losers?
    I certainly won”t fly an airline with less service than a third world bus line.

  21. I use to fly Frontier regularly as it had the only direct flight between my destinations. However, I can’t accept the a low level of customer service and the extreme nickel and dime it’s customers. Also, It’s too risky to fly Frontier because you will more than likely find yourself stuck in a random city with no customer service to assist. When it is all said and done, the cost to fly frontier is pretty much, the same as flying a regular airline carrier, but without the headache.

  22. FL is another example of how the financial bean counters who are absolutely clueless about passenger service continue to ruin airlines. Overuse of analytics are the same thing that ruined baseball.

  23. Interacting with Frontier airlines “NOT AT ALL” is the best thing that can happen to a flier. They are the worst airline in the skies. They cancel their routes with no compensation unless you jump through so many hoops you finally just give up. Happened to me on a flight out of Tampa to Columbus Ohio. Counter help was nonexistant so the hour restriction would have had no additional penalty in my case. They wouldn’t even look me in the eye. I had thier top class of elite and spent more money in constant rescheduling hotels and car rentals than I saved with being in that elite class. When things go right, they ain’t bad BUT that seldom happens. They will never get any more of my business if the gave me thier latest promo of “free” flight for a year. They had better customer options when this happened to me and still hundreds of emails, many phone calls and three letters were all for naught. Do yourself a favor and avoid Frontier. Worst airline EVER!!

  24. This sounds more like they going out of business then a good business decision. They will not be able to get government or state fare contracts with policies like those example and it most businesses will not want to use them.

  25. Frontier is horrible…. you will get out of it what you put into it. They canceled our flight and offered to rebook for the next day. I had to book another flight with Delta to get home.. NEVER EVER AGAIN will i book with Frontier. THek did give me a refund, but it wasn’t enough to purchase a ticket

  26. Frontier airlines is a Joke..
    They cancel flights and don’t tell ya, they hold your funds so that you can only fly with them from another airport so they still get your money plus more..
    Cancel flights and after making you wait hrs and blame it on weather and the funny thing is that other planes leave same airport and going to same airport..
    And then they don’t wanna reimburse you for hotel,cab rides,or even rental car to get to where your going..They say you can get a flight three days later..

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