* Carrier takes page from Spirit Airlines
* New seat selection fees also added
April 28 Bargain hunters could find themselves
paying more to fly after Frontier Airlines, a low-cost carrier,
on Monday said it would start charging extra for carry-on bags.
The Denver-based carrier said it simplified its price
structure and cut its lowest economy fares by 12 percent. But
customers taking advantage of the lower fares will now pay $20
to $50 more for a carry-on bag to store in the overhead bin,
depending on whether the traveler books online or pays at the
gate. Customers can carry on one personal item at no charge.
Prior to Monday's announcement, Frontier charged a carry-on
fee for consumers who purchased on third-party websites.
Those who buy an economy fare will also have to pay
additional fees for seats near the front of the plane and with
more leg room. Those charges start at $3.
The new fees are "very consumer unfriendly no matter how
they try to spin it," said Brian Kelly, founder of
ThePointsGuy.com, a website that focuses on frequent-flier
issues. "Booking Frontier is likely going to cost you more."
Frontier travelers who buy the fully refundable and
higher-cost Classic Plus fares are allowed one free carry-on and
one free checked bag and also incur no seat fees.
Frontier, which flies to more than 75 cities in the United
States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico,
said in a statement that the "unbundled" economy airfare will
allow customers to save by paying only for services they want.
In making the changes, Frontier is taking a page from Spirit
Airlines, the Miramar, Florida-based carrier known for
low base fares and extra charges for many other options.
Denver-based Frontier was purchased from Republic Airways
Holdings last year by private equity firm Indigo
Partners LLC, whose co-founder William Franke is a former Spirit
Airlines chairman. Last week, Frontier said Barry Biffle, a
former executive vice president of Spirit, had been named its
"Spirit is known as an airline that will nickel-and-dime you
and they're proud of it," Kelly said. "Frontier is not."
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Diane Craft)