Friday, August 22, 2008

Frontier Airlines to Add Fees for Award Tickets

Frontier Airlines is the latest airline to announce it will start charging fees when certain customers redeem ≠frequent-flier miles. Frontier said Thursday that starting Sept. 15, it will add a $25 fee on EarlyReturns award tickets and $75 on EarlyReturns award tickets booked for travel within 14 days. Some passengers are exempt from some fees, including frequent fliers with a certain number of miles.

This comes on top of recent changes by the airline in the number of miles required to get a free ticket.

The changes will take effect for tickets purchased after Sept. 15. Instead of needing 15,000 miles for a round-trip ticket in anywhere in the continental U.S. and Canada, 20,000 miles will be needed. The fee for changing a flight will increase from $35 to $75. Summit-status members will not charged these fees.

"The price of oil is behind every change the airlines are making right now," said Frontier spokeswoman Lindsey Purves. "When we established the initial EarlyReturns program, we were looking at barrels of oil that cost vastly less."

The carrier is operating under bankruptcy protection.

Purves said that despite the change, Frontier still offers one of the lowest redemption rates in the country.

United Airlines, by comparison, requires 50,000 frequent-flier miles for a free round-trip ticket in the U.S., excluding Hawaii and Canada.

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