6 Ways to Avoid or Reduce Frontier Airlines Baggage Fees [2024]

SAVING & SPENDING - TRAVEL
Your guide to avoiding and reducing Frontier Airlines baggage fees.
Updated April 18, 2024
Fact checked
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When you fly with Frontier Airlines, you'll typically need to pay for carry-on and checked bags. The airline's bare-bones fares don't include a complimentary baggage allowance. Carry-on bag fees range from $59 if purchased during booking to $99 if paid at the gate. Fees for the first checked bag can range from $59 to $99, depending on when you pay. 

To save the most, we recommend paying for your bags online while making your reservation. Savvy travelers can sometimes skirt these fees by sticking to just a free personal item that fits under the seat. Certain credit cards and elite status with Frontier can also help offset baggage costs. But in general, expect to budget extra for any larger bags with this ultra-low-cost carrier.


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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.

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 lbs or less
  • Size: N/A
  • Weight: 41 to 50 lbs
N/A N/A $75 N/A
Overweight Bag 51 lbs or more
  • Size: N/A
  • Weight: 51 to 99 lbs
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.

Warning
It was recently revealed that Frontier incentivizes its employees to collect baggage fees at the gate for personal items and carry-on bags that exceed their size requirements. To avoid surprise fees, double check your bag's measurements before heading to the airport.
 

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, including handles, wheels, and straps. If your personal item is larger than those dimensions, you will have to pay an additional fee.

It's important to note that a personal item is different from a carry-on bag, for which Frontier charges a separate fee if you want to bring one and store it in the overhead bin.

Frontier’s carry-on baggage policy

With Frontier Airlines, carry-on bags are not included in the base fare. You'd need to pay a carry-on baggage fee of $59 to $99 to bring a bag into the cabin to store in the overhead bin or under the seat. Paying this extra fee upfront when booking is cheapest versus at the airport or gate.

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.

Exceptions are made for things like diaper bags for infants, coats, prayer mats, and medical devices that meet size/weight rules. All carry-on contents must comply with TSA regulations, prohibiting weapons and following the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. 

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

Frontier’s checked baggage policy

Frontier Airlines charges fees to check bags, ranging from $59 to $99 for the first bag, $79 to $89 for the second, and $99 to $109 for three or more bags. The fees increase the later you pay. It's cheapest to book online and most expensive at the departure gate.

Checked bags can't exceed 62 linear inches (height + width + depth) in total dimensions or 40 pounds in weight. 

Frontier’s oversized and overweight baggage policy

Frontier Airlines charges additional oversized and overweight baggage fees for bags that exceed their standard size and weight limits. The maximum allowable size is 110 linear inches, while the maximum weight is 100 pounds. Oversized or overweight bags incur fees of $50-$100 per bag, per direction of travel.

Some special item categories like musical instruments, sports equipment, and bicycles have their own fee structures as well. For example, overweight charges may apply to heavy sports gear over 40 pounds, while bicycles have a flat $75 fee per direction regardless of size/weight. These additional oversized/overweight fees apply to all checked bags that don't meet Frontier's regular baggage restrictions.

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.

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.


FAQ 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 inches x 18 inches x 8 inches.

How much does Frontier charge for baggage?

These are the baggage fees Frontier charges:

Bag typeSize limitWeight limitFee range
Personal item 14 in x 18 in x 8 in or less N/A Free
Carry-on bag 24 in x 16 in x 10 in or less 35 lbs or less From $59 to $99
First checked bag 62 linear inches (H + W + D) or less 40 lbs or less From $59 to $99
Second checked bag 62 linear inches (H + W + D) or less 40 lbs or less From $79 to $89
Third checked bag 62 linear inches (H + W + D) or less 40 lbs or less From $95 to $109
Oversized bag 63 to 110 linear inches N/A $75
Overweight bag 50 lbs or less N/A 41 to 50 lbs $75
Overweight bag 51 lbs or more N/A 51 to 99 lbs $100

Does Frontier weigh carry-on bags?

Frontier may weigh your 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 inches x 10 inches x 16 inches, including the wheels.

How much does Frontier charge for carry-on bags?

Frontier Airlines charges for carry-on bags. The fee for a carry-on bag ranges from $59 if purchased during booking to $99 if paid at the gate. The size limit for a carry-on bag is 24 inches x 16 inches x 10 inches, and the weight limit is 35 lbs. Keep in mind that Frontier charges baggage fees per direction, meaning you would pay two baggage fees for the same bag on a round flight.

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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Avoiding Frontier's baggage fees: bottom line

Flying with Frontier Airlines typically means paying fees for both carry-on and checked bags, unless you can stick to just a free personal item that fits under the seat. To minimize these costs, pay for any required baggage as early as possible when booking your ticket online.

To avoid or offset Frontier's baggage fees, we recommend 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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Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

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Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
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on Bank of America’s secure website

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Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

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

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