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Update: Frontier extended its status match for applications through December 31, 2020 (originally December 1). This post has been updated to reflect this extension.
Are you looking for inexpensive domestic and limited international airfare? Is getting from Point A to Point B on nonstop flights a priority? Do you have friends or family with whom you'd like to travel, but they just aren't into miles and points?
If your answer is “yes” to any of the previous questions, you have until December 31, 2020 to get your application in for the easiest and most valuable airline status match I've seen.
Frontier's Status Match Offer
If Frontier Airlines (IATA code F9) serves your home airport, you'll definitely want to look into this opportunity. Frontier is allowing a status match up to its Elite 20K, Elite 50K, or Elite 100K MyFrontier Status. We'll get into why you should be looking shortly. But first, let's check out who'll qualify.
Who Can You Match From?
Frontier is matching elite status from seven different U.S.-based airlines.
Upon first glance, I assumed I'd qualify for Elite 20K. I'm a United MileagePlus Premier Silver as a result of achieving Marriott Titanium Elite status. However, I noticed that you could also match from Southwest Rapid Rewards as well. I'm not A-List with Southwest, but I was pleasantly shocked to learn that Companion Pass is considered top-tier by Frontier!
And why not? Companion Pass holders are likely to be the exact people who Frontier is looking to attract. Last year I mentioned that Southwest moved the goalpost for Companion Pass. Thankfully, you can still get it with one credit card sign up bonus through the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. And that's what I used to earn Companion Pass myself.
Looking for tips about matching and score elite status? There's probably no better group of people to discuss this with than Award Travel 101. On Award Travel 101, we are always looking for ways to improve travel experiences! If you haven't joined Award Travel 101, you should. We already have lots of interesting data points in the thread that will help answer many of your questions about this Frontier status match.
Why You Should Consider a Frontier Status Match
You might be wondering why Frontier elite status would be useful. Heck, you may be wondering why you should even consider flying Frontier. Well, check out these elite status benefits!
As a Frontier Elite 20K or Elite 50K member, you'll enjoy a host of benefits. However, Elite 100K is where things get really interesting! Free carry-on bags, priority boarding, and family (points) pooling are all nice, but Elite 100K also provides a complimentary Discount Den Membership (typically $59.99 annually). This alone will save you a couple of bucks per ticket—and sometimes much more.
However, the most valuable perk is Family Status (the Works bundle). With this, you can score the following benefits for you and up to eight other members (family or friends).
Putting These Elite Perks into Practice
As an Elite 100K member, you receive flight flexibility and refundability—even on the least-expensive fares! That means you're eligible to get all of these elite benefits on bargain-basement airfares. Let's take a look at a couple of examples.
Flying Our Family of Four to Florida for Under $88 All-In
Frontier is known for offering some spectacular deals. For example, I can book flights from my home airport of Cleveland to Tampa for $10.98 per person each way.
Thus, I can fly my family of FOUR each way on a (fully refundable/changeable/cancelable) nonstop fare to Florida. Not only that but I can pick the best available seats and take as many bags—despite paying just $22 round-trip per person. Getting all of these benefits would cost other families $1,287.80 round-trip. However, it costs my family just $87.84 round-trip!
Plus, if the trip didn't work out, I could change or cancel for a full refund as long as I cancel more than 24 hours ahead of scheduled departure. But even if I bailed on the trip inside 24 hours, losing $88 doesn't hurt much!
Explore Frontier's Route Map to Find Cheap Flights
To determine if its route network works for you, Frontier has a handy way to give you ideas of what's possible. Head to the Flights From City page and select your home airport to see the best deals from your city:
Here's another example. Let's say I wanted to visit Las Vegas for a few days.
The next second-cheapest flight on those same dates is from another discount carrier. But the price isn't even in the same ballpark.
We haven't even begun to discuss baggage and seat selection fees on these carriers yet. You can see the fare below is anything but basic!
With Frontier's elite status, concerns over the add-on fees when flying an ultra-low-cost carrier becomes a distant memory!
Although you can't use Chase Travel Portal to book Frontier flights, you can use the Chase Pay Yourself Back tool to reimburse other types of purchases. You can wipe out $27.81 of qualifying purchases for just 1,854 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That's why I’m so excited about flexible point currencies right now!
How to Complete the Frontier Status Match?
If you plan on flying Frontier even once through December 31, 2021, this status match should be on your radar. However, you don't have long. Applications are due by December 31, 2020.
This isn’t a free status match. Frontier charges a $49 application fee to “verify and process your status match.” But first, if you aren't a member, you'll need to join Frontier Miles first.
Next, fill out the Fast-Track to status and submit.
I received the approval for my status match within 36 hours of application. Several Award Travel 101 members reported receipt of confirmation in just over 30 minutes while some reported 48 hours.
I have already used my $100 Airline Fee Credit on my American Express® Gold Card (Note: the Airline Fee Credit is being removed from the Amex Gold as a benefit in 2022) to cover charges from Frontier over the past several years. However, this $49 charge will not qualify for the Airline Fee Credit as Frontier uses a 3rd party. I called in for a manual override, but I was told that I'd need to wait 14 days before they can make any manual adjustments. So, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
This is a gamechanger in my book for domestic and even some limited international leisure destinations. Even if you aren't a huge fan of Frontier, you could still get substantial value with just one flight.
One of the biggest complaints from travelers flying discount carriers is the surprise fees. With this offer, you can reduce or eliminate the fees entirely! If you can match to its Elite 100K top-tier status you can add flight refundability to your list of benefits. This might be useful as a placeholder while searching for alternative options or if you just want to lock in a cheap flight but aren't sure you can actually go.
Frontier is far from perfect, and you may encounter some extra hassle in the event of a schedule change or cancellation. Without the larger network, interruptions may cause havoc to your trips. However, no airline is immune from changes and cancellations at this point, so keep that in mind as well.
Who knows? You might even be able to leverage this with one of the other carriers at some point too!
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