How Low-Budget US Airlines Are Shifting Sales Strategies

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 22, 2024 19:30 PMNews
Share:
A yellow and black Spirit airlines airplane flying
A yellow and black Spirit airlines airplane flying. Source: unsplash

Budget airlines across the United States have recently implemented changes to reduce surprise fees for consumers, spurred by potential new legislation. Both Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines have introduced new fee structures to enhance transparency and customer satisfaction.

A Fee-Free Frontier?

On May 17, Frontier Airlines announced a significant overhaul of its fee structure, aiming for greater transparency. The airline now offers four new airfare bundles, which include various amenities. This move mirrors the approach of hybrid carriers like Breeze Airways, which offers Nice, Nicer, and Nicest packages. Frontier's CEO Barry Biffle stated that these changes are "a key part of our promise to make travel with Frontier as flexible and worry-free as possible."

The new benefits, however, are not universal. The elimination of change fees applies only to passengers booked in the top three tiers (Standard, Premium, and Business). Those in the Basic package may still face charges for last-minute changes. Additionally, Frontier is reintroducing live phone support for customers within 24 hours of their flight or those with Elite status, extending flight credit validity from three to twelve months, and offering a "For Less" guarantee, awarding 2,500 FRONTIER Miles if a comparable flight is found cheaper elsewhere.

Spirit Sees an Opportunity

Spirit Airlines also announced the elimination of change and cancellation fees for all ticket fares, covering even the basic economy package. Previously, Spirit's fees varied based on how far in advance changes were made, with higher fees for changes closer to the departure date.

This shift in fee structures follows recent measures by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to protect airline passengers from unexpected charges. The DOT's new rules require airlines and ticket agents to disclose upfront fees for checked bags, carry-on bags, and reservation changes or cancellations. According to US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, these rules aim to save passengers up to $500 million annually by ensuring fee transparency.

Straight from the Top

Ancillary fees, which include charges for services traditionally included in ticket prices, have become a significant revenue source for airlines. These fees have enabled airlines to advertise low headline prices while making additional revenue from charges for bags and seat assignments. The current administration has focused on these fees, aiming to simplify and clarify them for consumers.

The DOT's new rules, effective from last month, require upfront disclosure of all fees related to baggage and reservation changes. This move aims to prevent customers from being misled by seemingly low ticket prices that ultimately increase due to additional fees.

While the current legislation does not ban fees for family seating assignments, the DOT plans to propose a separate rule to address this issue. This increased regulatory pressure could reshape the low-cost carrier (LCC) landscape in the United States, with potential impacts on ticket prices and consumer savings.

In Conclusion

The recent changes by Frontier and Spirit Airlines reflect a broader trend towards fee transparency and customer-friendly policies. As regulatory scrutiny increases, other carriers may also adjust their fee structures, potentially leading to higher ticket prices or the savings predicted by the DOT. The long-term impact on LCCs in the US remains to be seen, but these changes signify a shift towards more transparent and predictable pricing for consumers.

Top Articles
Seville is the perfect vacation destination

Where to stay in Seville: Top 10 hotels for every traveler

Jun 14, 2024 09:17 AM
Secrets of choosing airlines in the US

Budget flights: the best US low-cost airlines for budget travelers

Jun 13, 2024 08:39 AM

Top 10 great hotels in Glasgow: from serviced apartments to stylish boutique properties and grand townhouses

Jun 12, 2024 09:15 AM

America's air harbors: the largest airports in the United States

Jun 11, 2024 10:07 AM
More News
Alaska Airlines plane taking off at sunset

Alaska Airlines Introduces Nonstop Flights Between Anchorage and New York City

Jun 15, 2024 06:30 AM
A crowd of people waiting for a train at a busy German train station during sunset

Euro 2024 Travel Chaos for England Fans

Jun 15, 2024 05:30 AM

Flynas Expands Domestic Flights for Summer, Boosting Tourism with Over 480,000 Seats

Jun 15, 2024 04:30 AM

Visit Cardiff Releases Travel Advice for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour

Jun 15, 2024 03:30 AM
Emirates airplane flying in the sky

Emirates Celebrates Eid Al Adha with Gourmet Treats and Entertainment

Jun 15, 2024 02:30 AM
A bus with a passenger waiting at the bus stop

Regional Bus Fares to Increase in West Midlands

Jun 15, 2024 01:30 AM
New York JFK Airport, New York City, USA

FK's New Baggage Sanitization System Eliminates 99.9% Of Harmful Pathogens From Luggage In Seconds

Jun 15, 2024 00:30 AM
Southwest Airlines plane in flight

FAA Investigates Southwest 737 MAX Incident After Near Mach 1 Scare

Jun 15, 2024 00:05 AM
Lightning striking the ground at night

Air New Zealand Flight Makes Emergency Return After Lightning Strike

Jun 14, 2024 23:30 PM

FAA Cracks Down on Unruly Passengers as Summer Travel Soars

Jun 14, 2024 22:30 PM

Severe Weather in Florida Causes Major Disruptions at Newark Airport

Jun 14, 2024 21:30 PM
Aerial view of lush green landscape and beach on the Solomon Islands

Discover the Cultural Heritage of the Solomon Islands: Historical Recordings Return Home

Jun 14, 2024 20:30 PM
View of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Greece Issues Travel Warning as Temperatures Soar to 43°C

Jun 14, 2024 19:30 PM
Flydubai airplane on runway with city skyline in background

Flydubai Launches Seasonal Summer Routes to Stunning Island Destinations

Jun 14, 2024 18:30 PM
Qatar Airways plane on the runway

Qatar Airways Passengers Strip Amid 100-Degree Heat During Tarmac Delay

Jun 14, 2024 17:32 PM

Iberia Expands Record Capacity Between Europe and Latin America for 2024

Jun 14, 2024 16:30 PM

UK Travel Industry Faces New Regulatory Challenges Impacting Travelers

Jun 14, 2024 15:34 PM
Frontier Airlines plane in flight

Frontier Airlines Launches 'Family Summer Getaway' Giveaway

Jun 14, 2024 14:30 PM
Close-up view of a bus parked on a city street

Travel Disruption: Oxford Bus Services to Heathrow Cancelled

Jun 14, 2024 13:36 PM
Cruise ship of Royal Caribbean

World's Longest Cruise Offers 274 Nights of Adventure Across 60+ Countries

Jun 14, 2024 13:00 PM
Dense cloud formations seen from an airplane

Increasing Turbulence in Flights: What to Expect

Jun 14, 2024 12:30 PM
Black Pearson road bike

Naked Cyclists Protest for Safer Streets in London and Mexico City

Jun 14, 2024 12:00 PM

Safety Incident on Lowther Street, Carlisle: A Travel Advisory

Jun 14, 2024 11:35 AM

Ryanair Enforces Ban on Lighters in Hand Luggage

Jun 14, 2024 11:00 AM
Venice canal with colorful buildings and boats

Qatar Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Venice, Italy

Jun 14, 2024 10:30 AM
Beware of buying Ice Cream on the beach

UK Tourists Warned of £2,500 Fines for Breaking Ice Cream Rule in Benidorm

Jun 14, 2024 10:00 AM