I recently had the opportunity to fly Frontier. I was going on a business trip and the company's budget was a little tight so they of course got the best rate they could. That meant I flew Frontier. Leaving on a Sunday afternoon out of LAX heading to Denver and on to Dallas.
One thing you have to be aware of is that no matter where you fly with frontier, you will have a connecting flight in Denver. They have no direct flights anywhere else. This is somewhat frustrating but nothing you can do about it.
I do have to admit that Frontier's prices were fantastic. I could not find any other fares even close. This however is pretty much where the good things end. The only other thing they have going in their favor is their flight crew. I have not experienced a more pleasant group of men and women in any other airline.
With that said, now on with the real meat of the review. With the layover, the round-trip involved 4 flights. I am going to take each one in turn.
LAX to Denver
The first leg of my journey, you would think this should be a pleasant experience. First things first, Check-in. One of the worst experiences of my travel life. There was a long line, nothing unusual. However, out of four people available to help the customers, two were actually helping the other two were standing talking with each other. Not only were there only two people helping customers but they were averaging about 20 minutes per group. I know they say to get to the airport 2 hours early but at this rate the flight was going to be delayed by hours. After finally checking in, I proceeded to Security checkpoint to actually enter the airport. This was no problem at all as I knew the drill. Then I got to the gate. The flight was posted as being on-time and nothing appeared to be wrong. This however was obviously not correct as the plane was still not at the terminal at quarter til. The plane finally arrived and was unloaded. After about half an hour they finally let us on the plane and we ended up leaving approximately 45 minutes late. I was assured that this was not normal, most of their flights left on time. (The first of many lies).
Denver to Dallas
After arriving late from my previous flight I did not have the layover that I was supposed to. No Dinner for me, rush to the next flight. I got there and they were just starting to board, another bad sign as it should have been quite a ways in to the boarding process and just taking on the connecting passengers. Needless to say, we got off late again. This time by only about 15 minutes though. Not bad. Of course, bad weather forced to reroute and arrived at our destination about an hour late. This time, at least it was not something within their control.
Dallas to Denver, The Return
Arriving at the airport plenty early to beat the problem of the check-in at LAX, I was pleased to see that I was second in line to get to the counter. I don't know what is involved with the people ahead of me but I don't get to the counter for about 35 minutes. My check-in takes about 4 minutes and I am on my way. (Really makes you wonder what those other people were doing!) Proceeding to the terminal I waited for the boarding of my flight. The flight time came and went with no boarding. We finally got on our way about 40 minutes late. I inquired about transfers as my connecting flight was 45 minutes after my flight was supposed to arrive and was assured that all connections were good (One of the few true statements I was given the entire time). At this point I have had 3 flights, none on time. Sounds like that is a rarity doesn't it?
Denver to LA, The Last Leg (Straw)
Rushing from my flight to the appropriate terminal after being assured that my last flight was actually on time, I arrived to find that they had not boarded. They assured me that the flight would leave 15 minutes late and that there was nothing to worry about. I phoned to arrange for my ride home from LA. About two minutes after I hang up, they announce that they are taking care of "Minor Aircraft Maintenance" and proceed to post a delay of 30 minutes. Then, a little later just post delayed. (Its just my personal opinion but Airlines should provide a few minutes of long distance calling when they delay your flight for you to make arrangements at the other end!) I asked the "Customer Service" personnel, just what "Minor Aircraft Maintenance" involved. I was told that they were probably just changing a light or wiping the windshield. Yes, those of you who know my reviews knew Customer Service would come in at some point and here it is! I could not believe that someone would be so blatant about lying to my face. Definitely one of the Ten Commandments of Customer Service is definitely DO NOT Lie to the Customer (especially when he knows you are lying). On to the boarding, an hour late but finally getting on the plane. The person at the door assured us that they had a minor problem with a cockpit computer. Just before leaving the terminal, the pilot apologized for the delay (the first such apology from anyone from the airline) and informed us that the problem was mechanical in nature. As soon as we started to taxi out to the runway we were well aware that they had been working on the aircraft's brakes. WE finally take off and have an uneventful flight. A rather uncomfortable landing but we were now safely home.
I found that the fares were relatively inexpensive but the savings were quickly chewed up by my wasted time and long distance phone calls to arrange for my ground transportation. Frontier was 0 for 4 in on time flights with extremely poor customer service. As far as I was concerned the savings on the airfare was definitely not worth the wasted time and poor treatment.
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