It was only a matter of time before Frontier Airlines raised its award levels–at 15,000 miles, their lowest level domestic award was a steal. Frontier has changed its award structure and award fees, citing the “historically high and unpredictable cost of fuel” as the reason for the changes. Despite the adjustments, the roundtrip domestic award offered by the Denver-based airline remains lower than the industry standard.
As of Sept. 15, 2008, award travel within the contiguous U.S. and Canada increased 5,000 miles to 20,000 miles roundtrip (15,000 miles one way). An EarlyReturns PLUS+ roundtrip is 40,000 miles (30,000 miles one way), up from 30,000 miles roundtrip. Award travel to or from Alaska or Mexico requires 30,000 miles roundtrip (20,000 miles one way), up from 25,000 miles roundtrip. An EarlyReturns PLUS+ roundtrip requires 55,000 miles (45,000 miles one way), up from 45,000 miles roundtrip. Travel to or from Costa Rica is 40,000 miles roundtrip, up from 35,000 miles; 65,000 miles for a PLUS+ roundtrip, up from 55,000 miles.
In addition to the increased mileage requirements for awards, EarlyReturns has added and increased award fees. Non-elite members now pay a non-refundable $25 redemption fee for all award bookings; this fee is in addition to the $25 fee required for awards booked over the phone. The expedite fee for awards issued within 14 days of travel has increased from $35 to $75 (waived for EarlyReturns PLUS+ and Weekend Web Fares) and the fee to change or cancel an award will also increase, from $35 to $75. All fees, including the new redemption fee, are waived for Summit Members.