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? 😉
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
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?