UPDATE: Kids Fly Free A Permanent Benefit On Frontier Airlines

I wrote earlier today about Frontier Airlines’ new program where kids fly free.  You’ll need to become a member of their Discount Den program, which comes with other benefits.  When I wrote that story over the weekend, there were a couple of points I wasn’t 100% clear on.  I believe that the information about the program leaked before Frontier was 100% ready to discuss it.  They had a conference call scheduled for journalists this morning, and someone mistook me for one of those.  Daniel Shurz, a Senior VP at Frontier, confirmed two important pieces of information:

  • Frontier intends to continue offering Kids Fly Free as a program benefit for Discount Den members going forward.  They anticipate releasing dates as they extend their schedule.  Daniel also noted that in the short-term, they may tweak dates more frequently as they assess the initial impact of the offer.
  • Kids Fly Free will be a “last-seat benefit”.  I asked Daniel about this specifically as a follow-up.  He said, “On a domestic nonstop flight, if there are two seats available to sell on the plane, Kids Fly Free will be available.”

The Final Two Pennies

That second point is a huge one.  That means this program will function similarly to Southwest Airlines’ wildly popular companion pass.  As long as there are two seats left (one for you to buy as an adult and another free one for your child), you’ll be able to take advantage of Kids Fly Free.

Frontier and Spirit get a bad rap for running bad operations.  Yet, Frontier and Spirit continue to improve while the likes of American, Delta and United come back to the pack.  Frontier has been busy improving.  They rolled out a new elite program and credit card last year, things that work really well for families and occasional business travelers.  And, they recently lowered change fees on tickets.  When was the last time you remember an airline doing that?

You could easily argue that Southwest Airlines has been the most consistent airline in terms of hard product and benefits offered over the past 10 years.  Outside of them, the gap has closed considerably between the “haves” and “have nots”. For families with kids, Frontier was already a choice to consider that could yield significant savings.  Kids Fly Free opens up another way to save for families, who need to take advantage of offers that yield savings across the entire family.

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  1. Given that so many of their flight schedules are less than 3X weekly, it would seem appropriate to offer a family friendly program since few business travelers would probably choose F9 for their frequency.

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