Wait, Frontier Has The Best Cancelled Flight Policy Of Any U.S. Airline?!

One of the major drawbacks of the ‘low cost carriers’ has been that they didn’t set up the ability to put you on another airline when your flight cancels. However Spirit Airlines and Frontier, which are merging, have been flipping the script. And Frontier may have the best cancelled flight approach of any airline now.

In the fall came the first reports that Spirit Airlines was putting passengers on delta flights when they cancelled their own trips, and even providing meal vouchers to customers to spend at the airport too. That’s an expense we never used to expect from the airline before its summer meltdowns.

Frontier, though, is doing something I find even more interesting. Matthew Minor was first to report ‘interline’ re-accommodation with Spirit and I believe he’s first to report what Frontier is doing, as well. When his flight was cancelled, he was given a choice:

  1. Full refund, which of course customers are entitled to when an airline cancels their flight

  2. Take a Frontier Airlines credit for $100 more than the value of a ticket

  3. They’d reimburse up to $300 for one-way travel on another airline to cover his cancelled flight

  4. Or they’d reimburse up to $300 for one-way travel on another mode of transportation like renting a car or taking a train

$300 may not cover a last minute flight, but remember that this is one way and not round trip, and gives customers the power to solve their own problems. Also remember that while you’re not supposed to double dip, this is help beyond the trip coverage that may come with a premium credit card.

You just buy the alternate arrangements you want – which earn points in that travel provider’s program, too – and send Frontier the bill. That’s something we’d never have seen from an ultra low cost carrier in the past, and not something we see from the major U.S. airlines either. Of course your trip needs to be eligible, so wait for the offer from Frontier. Still, this is huge program from a Bill Franke airline.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. The voucher option is a pretty unfriendly; it takes a week to get the credit; the deadline for ticketing with it is just 90 days; and you can’t use it towards taxes or fees, which are a big part of a Frontier ticket. That’s exactly the sort of crappy small print I’d expect from a LCC.

    And it’s odd that none of the choices are “we’ll put you on the next available Frontier flight”. That may be days away of course, but you think that’d at least be an option.

    But yeah, the $300 refund of a ticket on another airline is a very nice surprise, and I hope that sort of thing becomes more widespread. Kudos to them for that.

  2. From the guy who took decades to fly Southwest. Have you even flown on Spirit or Frontier? I haven’t and I have no plans to. Southwest is as LC as I need to go.

  3. @Nick – I’ve flown Spirit (Big Front Seat) and their addition of wifi is a big plus, I avoid the current iteration of Frontier due to lack of wifi.

  4. @Nick .. may be of interest to you that WN is not considered a LC carrier . Take a look at their flight prices and compare with any other airline. Just thought you’d like to know the facts .

  5. Sounds great in theory, but how hard is it to actually get reimbursed? I suspect not easy at all.

  6. A couple of months ago, my flight between two cities in the southwest (~400 miles) was cancelled and the next flight was A WEEK LATER. Options were: i) take a flight the next day to another city ~100 miles from the destination, you are on your own from there, or ii) $200 compensation for the hassle and make your own way home from origin. If what you write here holds, it would be a major improvement. That said, I won’t be flying Frontier again unless absolutely necessary.

  7. Yeah thats gonna be a no from me dawg. I’ll take my chances on Delta where I have some sort of status.

  8. I flew round trip on Frontier a few weeks ago, SWF-FLL. I bought the full package (checked bag, extra legroom, seat choice, priority boarding), and it was less than $300. The flights were fine, no complaints at all. In many ways, I thought Frontier was better than Economy on the majors.

  9. Frontier never offered any kind of get on the next flight available, just handed a piece of paper and said read this. I had to come up with $1400.00 for 3 tickets to get my party home. $900.00 Check offer doesn’t nearly cover it. Other airlines jack up that last minute flights because 250 other people from the cancelled flights are trying to get home too. Typical scam that the airlines are getting away with all the time .. I’m out $600.00 on the other flight I took home and $303.00 for Frontiers flight that was cancelled so no they are not generous !!! SCAM !!!

  10. I’m sitting in the airport in tears…My father is dying ..I am trying to get to him…..I booked this flight for a pretty good price only to get to the airport this morning for them to cancel it and have the person at the counter and I quote.I don’t care if you hate frontier The best I can do is put you on a flight tomorrow at midnight. I’m two hours away from home .I was dropped off here.. My tickets are going to cost me 600 dollars each to get home..

  11. I’m sitting in the airport in tears…My father is dying ..I am trying to get to him…..I booked this flight for a pretty good price only to get to the airport this morning for them to cancel it and have the person at the counter and I quote.I don’t care if you hate frontier The best I can do is put you on a flight tomorrow at midnight. I’m two hours away from home .I was dropped off here.. My tickets are going to cost me 600 dollars each to get home.. They have failed me… ):

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