Frontier Airlines Launches Status Match Promotion

Filed Under: Frontier

Frontier Airlines has just launched a status match promotion, and I kind of love that there’s a fee to apply, since it’s the most Frontier Airlines thing ever.

Frontier Airlines status match basics

Frontier Airlines is offering a limited time status match promotion:

  • You need to apply by December 1, 2020
  • If you apply and are successful, you’ll be matched within 72 hours
  • Matched status is valid through December 31, 2021
  • To be eligible you need to be a Frontier Miles member (you can register for free here), and complete the elite status validation form
  • Existing Frontier Airlines elite members aren’t eligible

There are a couple of other key details, which I’ll get into below.

What status will Frontier Airlines match?

Frontier Airlines is matching status all the way up to its Elite 100K level. Here are the US airlines that Frontier Airlines will match, along with how status maps over:

Frontier Airlines will also match status from non-US airlines, but at a higher cost.

There’s a $49-349 fee to apply

This is kind of hilarious:

  • There’s a $49 application fee for any of the airlines shown in the above chart
  • There’s a $349 application fee for any of the airlines not shown in the above chart
  • The application fee is non-refundable, so you have to pay it even if you’re rejected
  • Frontier Airlines claims that there’s an application fee to “cover costs of processing the application including verifying the information provided,” which I’m curious about anyway, since there’s not really a “legitimate” mechanism by which airlines can do that with competitors

So if you match your Starlux Airlines COSMILE Insighter status are they going to send someone to Starlux Airlines headquarters to verify, or what’s that $349 fee being used for? šŸ˜‰

What are the benefits of Frontier Airlines status?

Frontier Airlines is an ultra low cost carrier, so the airline ordinarily charges extra for just about everything beyond your seat and using the lavatory. Frontier Airlines has three elite tiers, and the perks are as follows:

This has the potential to be a great deal

As you can see above, the perks of Frontier Airlines status are pretty significant, especially when you consider Frontier’s ultra low cost business model.

For example, Frontier Elite 100K members get a free carry-on, free checked bag, free seat assignments, priority boarding, and much more. This could easily get you more than $49 worth of value (which is the minimum application fee) after just a single trip.

It raises an overall question I have about the economics of ultra low cost carrier frequent flyer programs. For example, we recently saw Spirit Airlines overhaul its frequent flyer program, introducing (arguably) even stronger benefits than what Frontier has.

All the data I’ve seen at legacy airlines suggests that the average per transaction spending amount for elite members is higher than for non-elite members. So it’s not just that elite members provide repeat business, but they’re also spending more.

I would have to imagine that’s not the case at ultra low cost carriers?

  • When we’re talking about airlines where fees are often a multiplier of base fare, is there money to be made on top tier elite members?
  • Are the top tier elite members booking more expensive last minute tickets to take advantage of these perks?
  • Or is the goal simply that status gives people something to aim for, and they hope that people use the co-branded credit card, recommend the airline to friends and family, etc.?

I’m sure the math checks out, it’s just such an interesting contrast to other programs.

Frontier’s elite perks are pretty robust for top tier elites

Bottom line

Frontier Airlines is offering a limited time status match promotion, which is an opportunity to match all the way to top tier Elite 100K status. I have to respect Frontier’s hustle here, because it’s not often you see an application fee for a status match promotion.

If you fly Frontier Airlines with any frequency this could be well worth it, as the $49 fee will potentially be made up for after a single trip.

Anyone plan on taking advantage of Frontier’s status match promotion?

Comments
  1. Frontier is clever, and perhaps they’re innovating a new pay-to-play model for status. Funny thing about status: if someone doesn’t use it, costs the airline nothing. Meanwhile, Frontier buys caviar and fine cigars with your $49.

    I’m AA EXP and seeing as I had planned to speculatively buy Frontier’s Discount Den, I was happy to apply for this myself. But in truth I don’t actually have any specific bookings in mind for whenever I get my top-tier Ultra Low Cost Carrier status. Maybe I’ll use this, or maybe I won’t: in the aggregate of all consumer behavior, Frontier is probably going to win this bet.

  2. I just would not have a use for this airline. Not that any airline today is a sea of luxury and they all seem to attract god knows what in all cabins and even the lounges but I’ve talked to people that have flown Frontier and Spirit and both of these airlines seem to drag in what the cat drag in even more than the legacies.

  3. What a no brainer. This is a great deal. It will pay for itself the first time you donā€™t pay for a bag or a seat that recline

  4. Status matched in 24hrs and 37 mins. The notice says to give 24 hrs to update the Elite 100k status in my account. I did Southwest companion pass status match.

  5. @George N Romey flying, say, OAK-SNA or SNA-LAS, most people don’t really care about much except the price and the plane staying reassuringly aloft. Frontier has its place for short and medium hops that would otherwise be prohibitive to commute on.

  6. I got the email for Frontier Airlines Status Match and went through the process. After paying the $49 “application fee” (aka ripoff), I received the confirmation in about 36 hours. However, the status match site then says it could take Frontier 24-48 hours to adjust your account.
    At about another 36 hours, I seem to have lost access to view my account. When I login, nothing happens – the “log in / signup” part of the website does not change to my profile picture. I tried calling into Frontier support and they said my account still shows as a regular member. So I don’t know what is going on.
    Did anybody else try this promotion out and are you experiencing the same?

  7. @Pretzels
    Yes, seems to have messed up my account, it accepts the password but does not really log in. I tested on desktop and ios app, same thing. I did a password reset which should have prompted me to set a new password but it just breaks and returns to the main page as you described. Another person I know has experienced the same thing.

  8. @zacks – interesting, as [email protected] tells me rest assured it has nothing to do with the status match process, what a lie. Still stuck here too after over 72 hours from the status match approval notification.

  9. @zacks yes mine just started working too on Sunday, after they told me it must not be related, and later said it was. Who knows.

    However, I am now very disappointed because Frontier will not give me my 100K benefits on an existing reservation. They say it is locked at the time of booking and they have no way to manually adjust seat & baggage fees to be free. There is also no dedicated 100K support line, so you get to wait on hold and talk to the horrible phone service if you need anything.

    This Frontier experience has been pitiful with the account issues and now not even getting my benefits for an upcoming flight unless I completely rebook it. This is in no way similar to a major carrier’s elite status program.

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