If you have been keeping up with this trip report or my articles in general, you know that I am more than happy to get on the plane of a low-cost carrier. This is why I was happy to jump on a Frontier flight to Colorado when the opportunity arose.
The one caveat to these cheap fares for most is how restrictive they are and anything besides the seat itself is an added charge. Hence, the goal when flying a low-cost carrier is minimizing the extras you pay for.
Here’s how I got a great deal for our voyage to Colorado and still kept costs low despite bringing our skis and boots along for the ride. Feel free to check out a review of the Frontier flight as well.
This article is part of Chasing Snow: Colorado 2022 Trip Report, including:
- Flight Review: Frontier Economy DCA-DEN
- How I Flew the Family to Colorado for $225 WITHOUT Points
- Epic Pass Take 2023: My Thoughts
- Booking a Vacation Rental with Points: My Thoughts
- Lounge Review: Centurion Lounge DEN
Multiple times last fall, Frontier ran 100% off promotions. While this sounds too good to be true, it wasn’t. Well kind of.
If a flight was eligible, the flight fare was 100% off leaving just taxes, fees, and any surcharges. Unfortunately, for low-cost carriers such as Frontier, these surcharges still add up. In addition to the typical $5.60 TSA charge, they added a variety of different things that totaled about $75 per person.
However, there are always restrictions. In addition to blackout dates, there were days of the week that were blacked out and capacity limits, the typical exclusions apply.
That said, luckily for us, MLK weekend wasn’t blacked out for the outbound Thursday flight and the returnMonday flight. We could have gotten an even cheaper fare than 100% off by flying back Tuesday or Wednesday, but we were happy with this option.
I do not recall if this deal required being a Discount Den member, which is Frontier’s cheap(er) flight club. Either way, we were already members due to prior travel last year with Frontier.
For our party of 3, our total flights came to $225. My plan was going to try to use the AmEx Platinum airline incidental credit, and see if it would trigger and further reduce the cost. However, when I tried to switch the selected airline to Frontier, learned that I had already used $11.20 of my credit toward Delta for something previously in the year. Oops.
Typically, this is where the Frontier flight gets expensive. Between seat selection, carry-ons and checked luggage, the total can amount to hundreds more.
Funny enough, my father had Frontier’s 100k elite status due to a match promotion that ran back in2021. He was able to match status from Southwest’s companion pass to top tier Frontier for $49, which helped for work travel to Colorado.
The status essentially removes the hassle of all the typical add-ons. 100k status comes with The Works package for your ticket, which is Frontier’s most expensive bundle.
In addition to free seat selection, including the extra legroom seats that let us sit in the first row, it comes with free carry-ons that let us have priority boarding and free checked baggage for our skis.
The benefits don’t actually stop there since it includes 100% refundability, something actually quite unheard of from a status, as well as a few other perks.
The Last Point
Overall, we were able to maximize Frontier’s 100% off promotion by getting cheap flights, while actually keeping the flights cheap by not having to pay for a single add-on. Unfortunately, our time with the status is long gone, but it was nice to not have to worry about paying for
the perks the works.
Getting the family round trip to Colorado (WITH skis) for a combined price of $225 is something that I am surprised actually worked. No need for points this time, although I did earn some.
Ahhh, so the airline incidental credit includes the taxes? I gotta pay attention. My only issue is that AMEX customer service is somewhat spotty.
Payton Turner says
Technically it does not include taxes but sometimes things trigger the credit.
Ahhh, ok! I will investigate. I feel like I’m not taking full advantage of the card!
Payton Turner says
It is a hard credit to use, especially if you primarily fly on airlines you have status with.