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Frontier, Spirit Airlines change fee policies as potentially record-breaking summer travel season begins

The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen more than 18 million people from May 23 to 29 this year, a 6.4% increase from the same period last year.
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Posted at 1:09 PM, May 21, 2024

Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines both made changes you should know about.

On Friday, Frontier Airlines introduced four new fare classes: basic, economy, premium and business.

The highest three fare classes now offer no change or cancellation fees when making travel modifications, other than the fare difference. Passengers will get a future flight credit with the airline when canceling a trip.

For the basic fare option, there will still be a $99 cancellation fee and a $49-$99 change-flight fee.

Shortly after Frontier’s announcement, Spirit Airlines announced the airline had gotten rid of change and cancellation fees.

Previously, travel modifications cost passengers as much as $119.

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Rival airlines — like United Airlines and Delta Airlines — got rid of these types of fees during the COVID-19 pandemic for most fare types.

So what caused these budget airlines to change their policies? Profitability may be one factor.

In April, the Department of Transportation ruled that U.S. airlines must disclose “junk fees”. Under the rule, airlines must tell customers about bag fees, cancellation fees, and change fees upfront.

“DOT’s new rule will save passengers over half a billion dollars a year in unnecessary or unexpected fees by holding airlines accountable for being transparent with their customers,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release.

However, that ruling has been challenged by major airlines who are suing the Department of Transportation.

This all comes as travel is ramping up for summer.

The Transportation Security Administration wrote in a press release that it’s preparing for “the highest passenger volumes the agency has seen at airport security checkpoints nationwide during this summer’s travel season”.

The agency expects to screen more than 18 million people from May 23 to 29 this year, a 6.4% increase from the same period last year.

@scrippsnews ✈️ Are you traveling anywhere this summer? These two #airlines have new policies that you may want to consider when booking your next #flight. #travel #frontierairlines #spiritairlines #news ♬ original sound - Scripps News