Frontier Will Charge Economy Travelers for Carry-On Luggage

The airline will charge less for Economy tickets, but customers will have to pay extra for overhead storage and reserved seats

Whether the goal is to escape the daily grind or to visit friends and family more often, we'd probably all love to snag cheap airfare on the regular. But at what point does a discount no longer become worth it?

That's a question that travelers might be asking themselves now that Frontier Airlines has debuted a barebones ticket option. Going forward, the airline claims that it will charge 12% less for its "Economy" fares. The catch? This rate won't include certain amenities that most people are probably used to, like a reserved seat or overhead storage.

According to Consumerist, Economy travelers will be charged $3 to $8 for a reserved seat and $20 to $50 for an overhead bin space, depending on when these extras are requested. These luxuries will conversely be included in the price paid for "Classic Plus" airfare, which is more akin to standard ticketing.

Frontier is positioning the change as an opportunity for travelers to save even more money, as they can select only the extras they deem necessary, and avoid ones that are personally superfluous. The airline also claims that it will streamline the travel experience, making it easier to get the seat you want and by cutting down on the number of bags that are checked at the gate.

So how do the two rates stack up? USA Today offered a quick price comparison, showing that, currently, Economy rates might be as much as 40% cheaper than Classic Plus. If that continues, then a consumer could opt for Economy, pay for a reserved seat and/or overhead storage, and still come out ahead. Whether the price difference will continue to be this significant remains to be seen.

Readers, what do you think about Frontier's new approach? Would you forgo reserved seats and overhead storage in return for a cheaper flight?

Lindsay Sakraida
Contributing Writer

Lindsay Sakraida specializes in writing about retail trends and lifestyle subjects. She's also obsessed with music, movies, and tennis. Follow her on Twitter at @LinSakraida.
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I switched to regularly flying United to Frontier due their [previously] enlightened policy on bicycles -- they did not charge extra for a bike. I frequently paid for Classic Plus fares for this reason. Since the change in ownership, however, their changes are driving me away. First they changed Classic Plus to only include one checked bag instead of two. Now this latest Spirit-like change. Furthermore, I see that bikes are no longer considered regular luggage and incur an additional $75 fee (each way). I believe Southwest will become my airline of choice now. Goodbye Frontier.
Patricide, do you expect gas prices and everything else will stay same next year ? When was the last time you paid the same price for something you bought a year before and a year later?
I have loved Frontier for a while, but it always worries me when a company changes policies. For spring break, I managed to fly a family of 4 from Denver to Orange county for about $600 round trip. We took on 3 carry-ons for free and did not check a bag. I wonder if we will come close to that price if we fly them next year.