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.
- It’s been tougher to get legacy airlines to put you on another carrier, even when a flight cancellation is their fault. Even before the pandemic American Airlines stopped doing this for most passengers and they’ve now updated their terms and conditions to say they don’t have to put you on another airline.
- And it’s gotten easier to get on another airline with flying Spirit and Frontier.
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:
- Full refund, which of course customers are entitled to when an airline cancels their flight
- Take a Frontier Airlines credit for $100 more than the value of a ticket
- They’d reimburse up to $300 for one-way travel on another airline to cover his cancelled flight
- Or they’d reimburse up to $300 for one-way travel on another mode of transportation like renting a car or taking a train
Somewhat impressed by @FlyFrontier’s IROPs handling considering its an LCC. I like the options and works well for me but not sure how the typical Frontier pax would handle the self service option 🧐 #paxex #Frontier @garyleff @milestomemories pic.twitter.com/MfiZqgMz3z
— Matthew Minor (@ThisGuyMM) March 6, 2022
$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.