6 Ways to Avoid or Reduce Frontier Airlines Baggage Fees [2023]

Your guide to avoiding and reducing Frontier Airlines baggage fees.
Updated Nov. 27, 2023
Passengers sitting in airplane seats

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As airline policies shift regarding baggage, it’s not safe to assume baggage is included in the listed airfare anymore. Frontier Airlines offers some amazing ticket prices, but can you afford to bring your baggage with you? Luckily, the more you know about Frontier’s baggage policy, the better you can avoid those pesky baggage fees when you fly with Frontier Airlines.

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Frontier baggage fees

Frontier Airlines charges different baggage fees depending on when and where you purchase your baggage allowance. The earlier you book your bags online, the more you save. The later you buy your bags at the airport, the more you pay.

Frontier Airlines also charges different baggage fees depending on the size and weight of your bags. The smaller and lighter your bags are, the less you pay.

Keep in mind
Frontier charges baggage fees per direction. This means that you would pay two baggage fees for the same bag on a round flight. Note that Frontier will not accept bags over 110 linear inches (height + width + depth) in size or over 100 pounds in weight.

Bag type Size and weight limits
Fee at booking Fee at online check-in Fee at airport check-in Fee at boarding gate
Personal Item
  • Size: 14 in x 18 in x 8 in or less
  • Weight: N/A
Free Free Free Free
Carry-on Bag
  • Size: 24 in x 16 in x 10 in or less
  • Weight: 35 lbs or less
$59 $69 $79 $99
First checked bag
  • Size: 62 linear inches (H + W + D) or less
  • Weight: 40 lbs or less
$59 $69 $79 $99
Second checked bag
  • Size: 62 linear inches (H + W + D) or less
  • Weight: 40 lbs or less
$79 $89 $89 N/A
Third checked bag
  • Size: 62 linear inches (H + W + D) or less
  • Weight: 40 lbs or less
$99 $109 $95 N/A
Oversized bag
  • Size: 63 to 110 linear inches
  • Weight: N/A
N/A N/A $75 N/A
Overweight bag 50 pounds or less
  • Size: N/A
  • Weight: 41 to 50 pounds
N/A N/A $75 N/A
Overweight Bag 51 pounds or more
  • Size: N/A
  • Weight: 51 to 99 pounds
N/A N/A $100 N/A

What’s Frontier Airlines’ baggage policy?

It’s worth getting to know Frontier Airlines’ baggage policy so you don’t have any unexpected surprises when you arrive at the airport. If you’re not sure how much your bag will cost, you can use Frontier’s price check tool to view luggage costs on your itinerary.

Frontier's personal item policy

Frontier allows you to bring one personal item for free, such as a purse, tote, briefcase, or a small backpack. The size of your personal item must not exceed 14 inches x 18 inches x 8 inches (height x width x depth), including handles, wheels, and straps.

Your personal item must fit under the seat in front of you. If your personal item is larger than these dimensions, you will be charged an additional fee. Keep in mind that a personal item is different from a carry-on bag, which costs extra and must be stowed in the overhead compartment.

Frontier’s carry-on baggage policy

Carry-on luggage is not included in your airfare. For many Frontier travelers, if you want to bring a carry-on bag, you’ll need to pay an additional carry-on baggage fee of $59 to $99 to have it in the cabin. These bags may be stowed in the overhead bin or under the seat. Carry-on items must be no larger than 24 inches x 16 inches x 10 inches (height x width x depth) and can weigh up to 35 pounds. This includes the wheels and handles of the bag.

For anyone traveling with an infant, diaper bags are allowed for free in addition to your personal item, but strollers and car seats will be complementarily checked at the gate. Coats, prayer mats, and medical assistive devices are welcome on board free of charge as long as they meet the size and weight requirements.

All items inside your carry-on baggage must follow Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines. No weapons or anything that can be used to harm others is permitted on board. Any liquids must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule published by the TSA.

Screenshot of Frontier's charges for a carry-on bag

Frontier’s checked baggage policy

Passengers have the option to check bags for a fee with Frontier Airlines as long as the bags are of the proper size and weight. You can expect to pay checked baggage fees of $59 to $99 for your first piece of checked luggage, $79 to $89 for a second bag, and $99 to $109 for three or more bags.

Baggage fees vary based on when you pay for your checked bag. For example, a checked bag from Atlanta, Georgia, to Denver, Colorado, that is paid for at booking will be $59, but the price increases to $69 if you pay for your bag when you arrive at the airport check-in, and you’ll pay $99 if you wait to check it at the departure gate. It’s most cost-effective to pay for your checked bag when you’re making your flight reservation online.

A standard checked bag can be up to 62 inches collectively (height + width + depth). Frontier's weight limit has decreased from 50 pounds to 40 pounds. 

Frontier’s oversized and overweight baggage policy

Bags that exceed the standard weight or size restrictions will be issued oversized baggage or overweight baggage fees — or both. The maximum size and weight for any checked bag are 110 linear inches and 100 pounds, respectively. Oversized bags and overweight bags will incur an additional fee of $50 to $100 per bag per direction. All bags are subject to these fees.

Some checked bags may fall into a “special items” category and have their own regulations. For example, if you’re flying with musical instruments or sports equipment such as a snowboard or surf board, overweight charges could be applied if the bag weighs more than 40 pounds but oversize charges will not. If you check a bicycle, a flat fee of $75 per direction is charged regardless of size and weight.

How to avoid or reduce Frontier Airlines baggage fees

For as many rules as there are when it comes to Frontier Airlines baggage fees, there are almost as many ways to reduce or avoid the extra cost. Here’s how.

1. Only pack a personal item

This is the best option to avoid paying any extra baggage fees. Since the Frontier baggage allowance does not include any carry-on luggage, that means sticking to your personal item only.

If you’re traveling for a few days, you can likely fit enough clothes into a medium-sized backpack. There are plenty of packing techniques that help maximize every nook and cranny of your personal item so you won’t need any excess baggage.

Also, consider purchasing toiletry items when you arrive at your destination or using laundry facilities while you’re away.

2. Pay for baggage during booking

If you must pay for baggage, it’s best to do so at booking. This is when baggage pricing is at its cheapest, and you have the most time to figure out a game plan for packing. As soon as you finalize your purchase, baggage fees will go up. You could pay more than $20 extra per bag if you change your mind later.

3. Buy a specialty fare

Purchasing a specialty fare saves the most on baggage and other perks. Frontier Airlines calls its specialty fares “the WORKS” and “the PERKS” bundles. These options are only available for round-trip airfares, and they include one carry-on and one checked bag for every passenger on your booking.

Screenshot of Frontier's bundles flights

Assuming you don’t have any oversize or overweight fees when you check in, these bundles offer savings on bags in addition to other perks, like priority boarding and choosing a seat. Depending on where you’re flying and how much baggage you’re bringing, you can easily save over $100.

However, if you’re confident that your baggage needs can be restricted to either one carry-on or checked bag, purchasing a specialty fare could cost you more. You can still pay to choose your seat without purchasing a bundle if you wish, but a bundle may not be worth it if you don’t need that carry-on and checked bag. When you’re booking your flight, check all options to see which will be most cost-effective for you.

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4. Join the myFRONTIER loyalty program

Frontier Airlines has a frequent flyer program that’s free for everyone. Each mile you fly with Frontier Airlines counts as one mile to redeem for rewards. Once you hit 20,000 miles, you'll become an elite member, and you’ll be given a free carry-on bag on every flight. When you reach 100,000 miles, you’ll reach Elite 100k status and also be eligible for a free checked bag.

To earn miles quicker, consider applying for the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® so your everyday spending can pay off in free bags and other travel rewards. You can earn 5X miles on purchases on Flyfrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases, and 1X miles on all other purchases. Also, cardholders are given a $100 flight voucher if they meet certain criteria on each account anniversary, terms apply.

5. Bring your military documentation

If you qualify as active duty military personnel, then make sure to bring your military ID with you to check-in. Frontier Airlines baggage fees are waived for all active duty, reserve, and national guard service members on one carry-on bag and up to two checked bags.

And it gets better: The first two checked bags are exempt from oversize and overweight fees as long as they don’t go over the maximum limits.

Keep in mind that these benefits don't extend to spouses, family members, or travel companions of active military members. 

6. Get airline fee credits and other perks with a travel rewards card

There are lots of other travel credit cards that have perks you could use on Frontier Airlines flights. One example is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. 

While it doesn't directly get you a free bag, you can earn a generous welcome bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. That translates to $750 worth of travel when booked through the Chase portal. 

For more information, check out our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

If you want to start more simply, then check out the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. That allows you to earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

These and many of the other best travel credit cards provide other useful perks as well, such as no foreign transaction fees.

FAQs about Frontier baggage

Are backpacks free on Frontier?

Small backpacks that fit under the seat in front of you are free of charge. To bring a backpack without paying any fees, it must not exceed 14” x 18” x 8”.

Does Frontier weigh carry-on bags?

Your carry-on bag must be less than 35 pounds in order to bring it with you on the plane. It should also not exceed 24” x 10” x 16”, including the wheels.

How much does Frontier charge for carry-on bags?

The fee for carry-on bags depends on when you pay for your baggage and your route. You’ll see the cheapest rate for a carry-on bag at the time of booking. If you need to pay for baggage after that, you can find out the price for baggage by entering your last name and confirmation number into the bag price checker or logging in to manage your booking. You can also see estimates for routes you haven’t yet booked.

Bag prices get more expensive the longer you wait to pay. For example, a flight from Newark to Los Angeles in January 2020 would have a $38 carry-on bag fee if you paid during booking, a $42 fee before check-in, a $55 fee at the ticket counter, or a $60 fee at the gate. Note that these fees are per direction.

Using a rewards travel card to cover these fees is a smart idea. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card provides a generous $300 annual travel credit that goes a long way toward covering all of your baggage fees wherever you choose to fly.

How do I add baggage to my Frontier flight?

To add baggage to your Frontier flight online before you check in, visit the Manage Your Trip section of Frontier’s website or mobile app and scroll down to “My Trip.” Click Review/Change to manage your booking and pay for baggage.

You can also add baggage to your flight at the time of booking. It’s smart to pay for your baggage as early as possible since you’ll pay more per bag the longer you wait.

Can you add baggage after booking on Frontier?

Yes, you can add baggage at any point after booking up until you get to the gate. However, you’ll pay less if you add your baggage during booking. The most expensive option would be to wait until you get to the gate to pay for your baggage.

You can also add baggage online, on the app, or you can pay at the airport kiosk or ticket counter.

One way to get help covering these fees is to pay for your baggage with your Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card because it receives up to $100 in airline incidental statement credits each year for qualifying purchases, such as seat upgrades and baggage fees.

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Bottom line

Now that you know all the tricks to avoid and reduce Frontier Airlines baggage fees, it’s time to decide where you want your next destination to be. You might start with fitting everything you need in your free personal item. 

If you have a great experience with the airline, it’s definitely worth checking out the loyalty program so you and your baggage can spread out more without emptying your wallet. And don't forget to make sure you've got the right credit cards in your wallet.

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Lauren Stewart Lauren Stewart is a freelance writer and personal coach. Get to know her!

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