Frontier Airlines is to stop charging passengers a ‘Covid recovery’ fee after the Denver-based low-cost carrier faced backlash over the $1.59 charge which was added onto the cost of every one-way ticket. The airline performed a u-turn on the policy just one day after the charge, which was advertised on Frontier’s website, was widely publicized in the media.
Frontier said the ‘Covid recovery charge’ would help it offset some of the extra costs that the airline had taken on as a result of the pandemic such as paying to clean the aircraft cabin, installing plastic shields at check-in counters and supplying flight attendants with face masks.
“The charge, which was included in the airline’s total promoted fare versus an add-on fee, was meant to provide transparency and delineate what portion of the fare was going toward Covid-related business recovery, including repayment of a CARES Act loan from the U.S. government,” a spokesperson for Frontier explained.
“However, to avoid misinterpretation, the airline will discontinue the practice of breaking out this category within its overall promoted fares.”
The charge was introduced in May and while it survived less than a month, it lasted longer than Frontier’s plan to make money by selling an empty middle seat for social distancing.
Last May, Frontier was accused of “capitalizing on fear” with plans to charge between $39 and $89 to block a middle seat so that passengers didn’t have to sit next to a stranger.. After a fierce backlash, the airline scrapped the idea and instead continued to sell its flights to capacity.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.