May 23, 2008 / 6:48 PM / 11 years ago

Frontier Airlines to charge $100 for flying antlers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bankrupt Frontier Airlines said on Friday it will increase the charge for taking antlers on its planes to $100 from $75.

Colorado-based Frontier is the latest airline to announce new fees in an attempt to counter the cost of record oil prices, which have roughly doubled in the past year.

“During hunting season, people do bring antlers back in cargo” said a spokeswoman for Frontier. “If you look at some of the other airlines, they also have an actual antlers fee, so it does happen,” she added.

Frontier said it also plans to charge a $25 fee for a second checked bag, cancel half-price infant seats and take no more bookings for pets traveling in airplane cabins.

The fee for children traveling alone on Frontier flights will increase to $50 from $40.

“Unfortunately, we need to review our fee structure to help offset this incredible increase in fuel,” said Frontier Chief Executive Sean Menke.

LIGHTER SEATS

Frontier is also taking measures to reduce aircraft fuel burn, including new software that optimizes flight tracks based on air traffic and weather conditions, installation of lighter leather seats, and the use of more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Frontier received U.S. court approval last month to operate in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The airline, founded in 1994, competes with Southwest Airlines Co and JetBlue Airways Corp from its hub in Denver.

Sky-high fuel prices and a weakening U.S. economy have stalled the U.S. airline industry’s modest recovery from the 2001-2006 downturn.

Seven small airlines have filed for bankruptcy or stopped operating in the past five months.

AMR Corp Chief Executive Gerard Arpey said on Wednesday the airline industry as it is constituted today was simply not built to withstand oil prices at $125 a barrel.

Crude oil futures were trading around $131 on Friday.

AMR Corp’s American Airlines, the world’s largest airline by traffic, said on Wednesday it plans to charge $15 for many passengers’ first checked bag, an unprecedented move by a major U.S. airline.

Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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