Frontier Airlines Offering Elite Status Matches That Waive All Fees, Make Tickets Refundable

Through December 1, Frontier Airlines is offering to give elite status to customers with existing status with another airline. Status is valid through the end of 2021, and they’re matching up to their top tier of status. That’s actually really interesting because while Frontier is a low fare, fee-based airline top elites generally see all of their fees waived for everything.

Base-level status comes with a free carry on bag and seat assignment, and extra legroom seats if available at check-in as some of its benefits. Mid-tier status adds bonus miles. And top tier status offers checked bags and makes all tickets refundable, for everyone on the member’s booking.

Here’s the status they’ll give based on status you already have:

It costs $49 to apply for the match. This is a fee-based airline after all! They’re giving you status, you may never use it, and they’re outsourcing processing of the match request so they incur costs.

You do have to enroll in the Early Returns program if you aren’t already a member. Requests are processed within 72 hours.

Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

I really like Frontier’s credit card, if you like the status you match to at Frontier it’s easy to keep because you earn 1 qualifying mile per dollar spent on their card. So you can earn 100,000 mile top tier status and make all tickets refundable through credit card spend alone. (Of course redeeming my miles on Frontier isn’t as aspirational as I might prefer.)

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. Refundable as in back to your credit card, or refundable as in a credit for future travel?

    Btw, if you are a B6 Mosaic and want F9 100K, just match B6 Mosaic to DL Platinum and then match DL Platinum to F9 100K.

  2. I would like to raise the tenor of the conversation to point out that traveling on Frontier sucks.

  3. Annnnnd done. With family in Denver, this could make flying Frontier tolerable when AA doesn’t have great options. Can you provide a full rundown of Frontier status tiers now? :-p

  4. Meh. Waiver of fees even at top elite 100k level “Does not include change fees, cancellation fees or redeposit fees.”

  5. I live in CLT, am lifetime elite on AA and DL plus retired so have a lot of flexibility who I fly. While I still fly AA most (mainly due to non-stops) I fly DL, SW and Frontier. I disagree with the comment about how horrible Frontier is (and I have 8 million miles mainly in the front cabin of mainstream airlines). If you understand an ULCC and accept what you get for the price it is fine. I use them mainly for cheap flights to Philly and then catch a train to AC for the weekend. I have a bag that qualifies as underseat I can use for a 2-3 day trip so a $40-$50 roundtrip is just fine and I don’t give them another dime.

    I saw this offer and thought I’d match mainly because I have some miles and don’t want to pay their award redemption fee (which is waived w status). However, not paying $49 to match.

    Gary – question for you. I have debated their credit card mainly because I typically don’t value airline cards and also am under 5/24 until spring (1 drops off and then 2 more next fall). However, I pretty much have cards to cover all my spend and hotel programs so not in immediate need of another. I’m really thinking about getting the Frontier card to keep miles alive plus the 40,000 bonus for $500 spend isn’t bad. Main benefit to me for $79 a year is waiver on award redemption fees and guaranteed group 2 (as I recall) boarding. On the fence and curious if you or anyone else feels this is worth it. Part of me feels crazy getting this card but it would solve some issues for me and I do fly Frontier periodically.

  6. I don’t understand the pushback in comments on a status match fee. Honestly, it’s a heck of a deal if you live in an area with Frontier service like Orlando or Denver. Think about it. You literally only have to pay $49 and you’re done. Their prices are so cheap you make it up in the first flight anyhow, AND you don’t have to do ANYTHING to keep the status for a year. Other airlines will require you to fly so many miles with so many dollars spent in a limited window of time to keep your status for the year. This is cheaper no matter what way you slice it. No brainer for me. Done.

  7. @Cameron – Initially I said no way am I going to pay for a status match. Then I checked a little more. I’m lifetime Platinum on AA (and lifetime Gold on DL) so would match to their 50K level. I live in CLT and fly Frontier a couple times a year when they have a really cheap fare (usually to PHL for a weekend in Atlantic City). I also pay for Discount Den so I get their lowest fares.

    So I paid $49 for the match (which was approved) and immediately saves me $30 on my Discount Den renewal which brings the cost of the match down to $19. Then at 50K you get free seat assignments and carry on bags so that pays for itself in just one trip. Some say you need 100K to get a free checked bag (and that is true) – however Frontier charges for carry on bags as well, except those that fit under your seat, so even at the lowest elite level you get a carry on free which represents a savings (who really checks a bag any more).

    I realize Frontier isn’t for everyone but if you understand what you will get and are willing to play by their rules you can get from point A to point B really cheaply at times. This makes it even less of a hassle so well worth it IMHO.

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