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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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.
Each passenger is allowed to bring one free personal item on board. The maximum dimensions for your personal item is 14 inches x 18 inches x 8 inches (height x width x depth), and the item must fit underneath the seat in front of you.
Carry-on luggage may not be included in your airfare. For many Frontier travelers, if you want to bring a carry-on bag, you’ll need to pay an additional charge of $37 to $60 to have it in the cabin. These bags may be stowed in the overhead bin or under the seat. Carry-on bags 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 complimentarily 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.
Passengers have the option to check bags for a fee with Frontier Airlines as long as the bags are the proper size and weight. You can expect to pay $34 to $60 for your first checked bag, $39 to $55 for a second bag, and $85 to $95 for three or more bags.
Baggage fees vary based on when you pay for your checked bag. For example, a checked bag from Albany, New York, to Los Angeles, California, that is paid for at booking will be $33, but the price increases to $50 if you pay for your bag when you arrive at the airport check-in, and you’ll pay $60 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) and there's a 50-pound weight limit. Bags that exceed this will be issued an oversized or overweight baggage fee — or both. The maximum size and weight for any checked bag is 110 linear inches and 100 pounds, respectively. Oversized and overweight bags will incur an additional fee of $75 each. All bags are subject to these fees.
Some checked bags may fall into a “special baggage” category and have their own regulations. For example, if you’re flying with sports equipment, overweight charges could be applied if the bag weighs more than 50 pounds but oversize charges will not. If you check a bicycle, a flat fee of $75 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 other 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 their 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.
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.
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 be eligible for a free checked bag, too.
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 at restaurants, and 1X miles on all other purchases. Also, cardholders are given a $100 flight voucher if they meet certain terms on each account anniversary.
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.
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.
While it doesn't directly get you a free bag, you can earn a generous welcome bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. That translates to $1,250 worth of travel when you book it through the Chase travel portal. And that covers a whole lot of bags!
If you want to start more simply, then check out the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. This card offers the ability to "erase" your travel purchases, which could mean erasing your Frontier baggage fees.
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 site 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 by calling customer service before or during check-in. 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 American Express® Gold Card and then redeem your Membership Rewards points for a statement credit.
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.