NEW YORK – Passengers flying Frontier Airlines will now have to pay extra to place carry-on bags in the overhead bin or for advance seat assignments.
The move comes as the Denver-based airline tries to transform itself into a fee-dependent airline, similar to Spirit Airlines or Allegiant Air – the only other U.S. carriers to charge such fees.
Frontier already charges $1.99 for soda and bottled water on its flights, a fee it added on July 1.
Frontier says that in exchange for these new fees, it is lowering its base fare by an average of 12 percent. The new charges apply to tickets purchased on or after Monday.
Frontier carries 8.4 million passengers a year, about 1 percent of the overall traffic flown by U.S. airlines.
There is no indication that larger carriers like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines or United Airlines are considering such fees.
Frontier’s fee for using the overhead bin ranges from $20 for frequent fliers who book online to $50 for those who fail to pay before getting to the gate. Most will pay $25 if they check in online; $35 if they check in at the airport.
Personal items fitting under the seat remain free.
That’s in addition to the $15 to $25 fliers will pay for their first checked bag.
Additionally, seat assignments – even for the dreaded middle seat – now cost an extra $3 for those who buy while booking online; $8 at check-in.
If passengers don’t pay extra, Frontier will assign them whatever seats are left over.
Frontier is also following the model of other airlines in charging extra for seats with more legroom or just those closer to the front of the plane.