Two Tiers of Thought on Frontier’s One Tier Elite Program

Frontier Airlines recently announced it was getting rid of its current EarlyReturns elite levels and replacing them with one elite level with very limited benefits.

They didn’t say it quite like that. But they didn’t gloss it up too much either. From the Frontier Airlines website:

Starting February 20, 2015, the EarlyReturns program will retire Ascent and Summit elite status and launch a brand new elite tier, Frontier Elite. The new Frontier Elite will offer a simple elite tier structure, but will still reward our most frequent fliers with added benefits.

Gary Leff over at View from the Wing wrote about Frontier’s upcoming changes to its elite-level programs, and the post generated some very interesting discussion. Several travelers are predictably none too happy about this proposed change:

I was thinking of doing a status match with them for really short-haul flights next year. I liked the free beverage benefit but oh well! ~Adam

I used to like flying F9 and would go out of my way to fly them. Not even a consideration anymore. Sad. ~SAN Greg

I’m glad I don’t work there, I’d feel like I would be finding more ways to treat the customer like the enemy. Cause let’s face it, your *wallet* is valued, *you* aren’t. ~Dan

But others, even if they don’t particularly like the change with regard to their own travel patterns, are more understanding:

Frontier’s marketing strategy goes something like this: “F*ck loyalty, fly us because we’re cheaper!” I have no idea if the hard data supports their claim, but at least I can respect it. ~Alan K

Although I will avoid them like the plague, I think there is room in the market for these kinds of airlines ~Doug

Is this the future of air travel – two primary types of carriers?

  1. The legacy carriers: Offering different cabin classes, elite benefits, and some, if not many, amenities that are included in the ticket price.
  2. The ultra low cost carriers: Offering extremely discounted base ticket prices, but few, if any, elite benefits and will charge you separately for every single service/product.

What do you think of this announced change by Frontier? Do you respect it? Despise it? Would you ever see yourself flying with Frontier in the future?

Read the post and discussion in its entirety: The Airline That Hates Elites

Image: “Frontier Ad at DIA” by Jeffrey Beall. CC BY-ND 2.0.



  1. This is another reason to not fly Frontier. I’ve never taken a Frontier flight except when the company booked me on it a couple of times. I converted my Frontier miles over to Delta when they dehubbed Milwaukee (MKE), and with their new model putting them more towards being a Spirit/RyanAir, I have no desire to fly Frontier.

  2. Baffled by why they bother having an elite tier. Just go ahead and eliminate it entirely, fire the staff supporting it and become the “bus with wings” they are going to become anyhow.

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