Posted By RichC on July 11, 2015
It was a quick and inexpensive flight to Florida this past week to do a little tropical weather prep aboard Encore. Summer is the time of year that “commuter cruisers” double their line, remove sails and store an extra windage in case hurricane winds target the area … besides I really was looking forward to seeing a couple friends.
Speaking of inexpensive, I opted to fly on Frontier Airlines for the first time, against my son’s warning ($109 RT from CVG to FLL – cheap than I could drive it). I figured it was just me and how bad could it be? Well, in hindsight, probably tolerable … but cheap airfares do come at a cost. Thankfully it’s not “cattle class” (previous post) or a new “face to face” seat design as an article in CNBC illustrated in a recent article. Stlll, the nickel and diming and noticable “no frills” was noticable. For the most part I’m an advocate for paying for just was you want … but you really need to be aware that you are playing the game.
First, buying the ticket in advance and having some flexiblity in days of travel and airport choices are the key. Second, attention to what you need to take with you and how to pre-purchase your carry-on or checked bag. I decided to “trust” that my check bag would arrive and packed everything except a “free small personal item” in my 50lb (maxed out) roller duffle. I decided I could forgo selecting my own seat AND the “package of peanut” and soft drink and could sit quietly for 2-1/2 hours even if I had the rear center seat (I was assigned a rear window seat). All the extras come with a price … and pre-purchasing with your ticket “would” be the cheapest way to add them.
I was still surprised when I did find my seat … it wasn’t much more than a plastic “fixed” (no recline) amusement ride seat with a little foam wrapped in faux-leather – pretty firm and noticably austere … although now that it is behind me, maybe the savings was worth it?