Really, Frontier? This Is What You Call A Sale? Why Even Bother?

by SharonKurheg

Who doesn’t love a good sale? Whether it’s a set amount off, or discount of a certain percentage, if you get to save a decent amount of money in the end, it’s all good, right?

And then every once in a while you come across a sale where you just scratch your head and think, “HUH? Why even bother?” Such was the case with Frontier Airlines recently…

I got this email from Frontier the other day for a 25% off promotion they had going on:


OK yeah, the sale was pretty limited. It was only running for 3 days. It was only good for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, during a period of not quite 1 & 3/4 months, and with a blackout date. But still, it was 25% off, y’know? So just for fun, I clicked on the BOOK NOW button to see what they had to offer. I was greeted with this:

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 3.04.07 PM

OK, so far so good. Same info as what was in the email.

But then…THEN…they had the Terms & Conditions. And that was just, well, stupid. Yeah, they had all of the regular small print T&C, with stuff about taxes, no exchanges for previously purchased tickets, blah blah blah. But they also had a list of the markets that were excluded from the offer. And holy crap, what a list!


Yup…ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN MARKETS were excluded from the sale, in each direction. So, 228 flights in total. Which is…a lot. And the thing is, there was nothing anywhere that said what markets WERE included.


So say I live in Orlando (because I do) and because of this great sale of theirs, I want to find a flight. Obviously, if I try to punch in a location that’s on the “exclusion” list, like Orlando to Chicago, it doesn’t work.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 5.04.29 PM

This is the response I got:


I know the print is small. It says, “Sorry! The promo code that you entered is not valid for your current search. Promo codes often are restricted to certain days of the week and on certain routes. Please check the details of the promo code and adjust your search accordingly”

Sooooo…..I started trying to figure out flights out of Orlando that ARE included in the sale. That means scrolling up and down to compare where Frontier planes fly out of Orlando (on the top of the page) and the “excluded” list (in the Terms & Conditions on the bottom of the page). Scroll up, scroll down. Scroll up, scroll down. Scroll up, scroll down. What a pain in the keister.

But then I found a flight I’d like – Orlando to Austin. It’s not on the excluded list and it’s a route they fly. So I punched in all the info…I made sure the flights were on a Tuesday or Wednesday and weren’t in the blackout date period.

Just for fun, at first I purposefully DIDN’T use the SAVE25 code, so I could learn how much the flight usually is, and I got these prices:



$49 (standard price – I’m not in the Discount Den) one way. OK, got it.

So then I punched in all the same info but included the discount code. And I got this:

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 5.02.22 PMScreen Shot 2019-02-10 at 5.03.40 PM

$45 standard price. A whopping $4 difference.

Now, I realize that the price of these ultra-low carriers is more taxes and fees than anything else. So I could see the one-way flight itself only costing $20 or so, and all the rest of the charges are taxes and fees. But really…if this big “25% off” sale of Frontier’s is only going to be, in this case, $4 to go halfway across the country, and you have to waste all your time scrolling up and down to even find that sale price, really, why even bother?

Actually, you know what? I won’t.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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