Frontier Airlines will charge economy travelers for carry-on bags

Frontier Airlines has introduced a new barebones ticket option with one big catch. Economy travelers on Frontier Airlines now have to pay extra for seat assignments and overhead bin space. 

David Zalubowski/AP/File
Frontier Airlines jetliners sit stacked up at gates along the A concourse at Denver International Airport. Passengers flying Frontier Airlines will now have to pay extra to place carry-on bags in overhead bins or for advance seat assignments. The move comes as the Denver-based airline transforms itself into a fee-dependent airline, similar to Spirit Airlines or Allegiant Air – the only other US carriers to charge such fees.

Whether the goal is to escape the daily grind or to visit friends and family more often, we'd probably all love to snag cheap airfare on the regular. But at what point does a discount no longer become worth it?

That's a question that travelers might be asking themselves now that Frontier Airlines has debuted a barebones ticket option. Going forward, the airline claims that it will charge 12% less for its "Economy" fares. The catch? This rate won't include certain amenities that most people are probably used to, like a reserved seat or overhead storage.

According to Consumerist, Economy travelers will be charged $3 to $8 for a reserved seat and $20 to $50 for an overhead bin space, depending on when these extras are requested. These luxuries will conversely be included in the price paid for "Classic Plus" airfare, which is more akin to standard ticketing.

Frontier is positioning the change as an opportunity for travelers to save even more money, as they can select only the extras they deem necessary, and avoid ones that are personally superfluous. The airline also claims that it will streamline the travel experience, making it easier to get the seat you want and by cutting down on the number of bags that are checked at the gate.

So how do the two rates stack up? USA Today offered a quick price comparison, showing that, currently, Economy rates might be as much as 40% cheaper than Classic Plus. If that continues, then a consumer could opt for Economy, pay for a reserved seat and/or overhead storage, and still come out ahead. Whether the price difference will continue to be this significant remains to be seen.

Readers, what do you think about Frontier's new approach? Would you forgo reserved seats and overhead storage in return for a cheaper flight?

Lindsay Sakraida is the features director for, where this article first appeared:

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.