Frontier Now Offering Confusing Range Of Carry-On Fees If You Don’t Book Through Its Site

Frontier Airlines debuted a few changes to their policies today and guess what? They’re charging for more things, including carry-on bags and formerly complimentary in-air beverages. Here’s the deal, as we understand it: Travelers who book their reservations through the airline’s site won’t have to pay a dime for a carry-on bag, but those who use booking sites like Orbitz or Expedia will have to pay. As for exactly how much, that’s where it gets confusing.

According to a press release from Frontier, customers who book “Economy” tickets through can enjoy the same old free carry-on policy of one carry-on and one personal item. Should you choose a third-party service to reserve your “Basic” ticket, you’ll be charged  “$25-100 (customers enjoy the lowest price by checking in at”

From that, we gather that if you book through another site, but then check in on Frontier’s site, you’ll pay $25 for a carry-on. Fine, that’s clear. But since there’s a range of fees, we wanted to know under which circumstances you’d pay more; say $50, $75 or $100. So we got in touch with Frontier and asked that question, a few times.

Via email, we received responses like ” Customers who book Basic fares on OTA’s and other sites will be charged between $25 and $100 based on where they check in. Customers can enjoy the lowest price by checking in online at”

When we asked for more clarification on the when/where part and how customers will know whether they’ll be charged $100, for example, the reply was heavy on the airline industry spin and light on actual details or facts:  “It’s all about cost savings. Checking in online saves the airline overhead costs. Customers will receive messaging when they make their reservations notifying them of the check-in choices and associated costs.”

Consumerist has asked for a more complete explanation of that range of fees — an actual breakdown of check-in options and corresponding prices — and we’ll let you know if we ever get a response containing actual information that is of use to Frontier customers.

As for other changes — soda, juice, tea and coffee? Not free anymore. Those beverages will cost travelers $1.99.

It’s also worth noting that as of July 1, customers who book their tickets on third-party sites will only earn somewhere between 25% and 50% of the miles they fly, while reserving with Frontier directly will earn fliers the usual 100%, 125% and 150% accrual rate.