Earlier this summer Frontier revamped their elite status program, and the changes were generally positive. It’s a reasonably impressive program for a low-cost carrier, at least in so much as they actually have an elite program.
It does have some real and demonstrably valuable benefits, like a free carry-on bag and free seat assignments. Perhaps most interestingly, you can even earn top tier status in the program entirely via spending on the Frontier credit card. That’s kind of crazy.
I’ve actually flown Frontier a few times in the past year or so and had mostly reasonable experiences. Although I’m a United Premier 1K, Frontier often has some insanely cheap prices that are hard to pass up, especially for short flights or for overnight trips where I can get away without bringing a bag. That said, I don’t see myself flying them anywhere near enough to earn elite status, and I doubt I’m alone. That’s probably a bit of a problem for them.
So to give semi-frequent Frontier flyers an opportunity to experience elite status, they are offering a promotion where you can earn a trial version of Elite 20K status after just two roundtrips.
Try Elite. Fly Elite.
Frontier is offering a promotion called “Try Elite. Fly Elite.” where you can earn a trial version of Elite 20K status, their lowest elite level, after just two roundtrips. Elite 20K status normally requires you to fly 20,000 miles. Frontier describes the promotion like this:
Wanna enjoy all the benefits of being Elite? In celebration of our new loyalty program, we are giving you the chance to try out our new Elite 20k status – including a free carry-on bag, seat assignment, and family pooling. All you have to do is sign up for the trial below, fly 2 round trips with us by October 15th and you’ll be upgraded to Elite 20k status for the rest of the year – just in time for the holidays!
That all sounds pretty good, but I think I beg to differ a bit with the name of the promotion. It’s not really Try Elite, given that they aren’t actually matching your status from another airline. Instead, they are just giving you the opportunity to earn a trial version of elite status quickly.
Here are the full terms and conditions.
Book and fly two round trips (4 nonstop flights) and be granted Elite 20k status until December 31, 2018. All flights must be completed by 11:59 pm EST on October 15, 2018 for nonstop flights. Registration required by completing the form above and providing all information. Account must be registered 48 hours prior to first qualifying flight. Elite 20k will be reflected on a registered account within 48 hours of final qualifying flight. FRONTIER Miles℠ number must be provided at the time of booking for flights to be considered qualifying for this promotion. Award tickets or free tickets of any kind are not considered qualifying for this promotion. All other ticket terms and conditions apply.
It’s worth noting that the terms make it sound like you really just need four nonstop flights, not necessarily two roundtrips. That’s a bit confusing because Frontier does sell connecting flights, via their hub in Denver and other cities. So it’s not clear to me if a single roundtrip consisting of four segments would count. In other words, could you fly Seattle to Omaha via Denver both ways (booked on a single ticket), and have that count as the four segments? I’m sort of guessing not, but hard to say.
Also of note, you need to register at least 48 hours prior to your first flight.
Is Frontier Elite 20K status worth it?
Frontier Elite 20K status comes with the following benefits:
- a free carry-on bag,
- seat assignment,
- family pooling of award miles, and
- free stretch seating, at check-in
Frontier only allows a personal item for free, which must fit under the seat. They charge $30-$40 to bring a carry-on, so if you fly Frontier, that has real value. I have never paid for a seat assignment on Frontier, but if you do, that would also be a nice perk. Given that I have three kids, you’d think that I would put value on the family pooling of miles, but I don’t. The reason is that Frontier miles just aren’t worth very much, in part because their flights are so cheap to begin with. (And there’s not much else you can do with Frontier miles.)
The real problem of course is that the trial elite status is only good for two or three months, depending upon when you earn it. That means you are probably taking two trips to earn the status, and then might only have a few trips to actually use it. But hey, if you were going to fly four segments on Frontier between now and October 15th, it’s obviously a good deal.
Registering for the promotion
I already have one nonstop flight booked on Frontier during the promotion period. I don’t necessarily expect to pick up the other three segments, but it could happen. So I figured I should register just in case.
It was quick and easy.
Now let’s hope I can avoid the temptation to book a couple of $25 flights just so I can add Frontier to the list of airlines that I’ve had status on. I think my list currently includes United, American, Delta, Northwest, BMI, and Turkish. Frontier would be a neat addition, don’t you think?
Frontier is offering a promotion where you can earn trial Elite 20k status after taking just four nonstop flights this fall. The trial status only lasts through the end of 2018, so you won’t have long to use it. But still, Frontier’s Elite 20K status has some real benefits, including a free carry-on and a free seat assignment, so it could be worth squeezing in another segment or two on Frontier if you know you’ll have a trip on Frontier later this year.
In the end, I suspect that Frontier is trying to convert semi-frequent Frontier flyers into regulars by giving them an opportunity to experience elite status. And it seems like this might accomplish that.
Are you planning to earn Frontier Elite 20K status with this promotion?