Frontier, an American ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), is offering an all-you-can-fly pass that gives you unlimited flights for 5 months this summer for US$399 (≈ C$531). A really amazing concept, for sure. It would be perfect to go on a long unique adventure, but in practice, Canadians will need help to take advantage of it.
I was invited on the news on TV yesterday to talk about this pass with Mario Dumont this morning, so I thought I would share the details here as well.
Overview of the Frontier unlimited flights pass deal
Here are the essentials:
- Frontier is a ULCC
- There are no extras included with all their flights
- Just a seat and a small backpack
- Their pass gives an unlimited number of flights
- It’s called the GoWild! Pass
- The flights are actually 1¢ each
- It’s valid for almost 5 months
- From May 2, 2023 to September 30, 2023
- There are 15 excluded blackout dates over 152 days
- It costs US$399 (≈ C$531)
- You have to pay taxes on the tickets of course
- Taxes are US$15 (≈ C$20) per one-way ticket in the USA
- It varies for international destinations
Here are the details on how to enjoy it and where you can go:
- Frontier’s international network is quite limited
- Mexico, Central America, Caribbean
- Frontier does not serve Canada
- They serve airports a few hours away
- The terms say you must be a resident of the USA
- You could circumvent that with a friend in the USA
And here are the logistical details:
- Reservations are confirmed pretty last minute
- The day before for domestic flights in the USA
- From 10 days before for international flights
- The pass is obviously only valid for 1 person
- The person who purchases it
- The pass will be auto-renew annually
- Just cancel it before if you don’t want
- There is also an annual version of the GoWild! Pass
- Valid for 1 year from May 2, 2023
- Costs US$1299 (≈ C$1730)
- Available on the official Frontier website
- The quantities are limited
Analysis of the Frontier unlimited flights pass deal
So for us Canadians, it’s not so interesting since Frontier doesn’t serve Canadian airports directly.
The full list of possible departure points is below, but Buffalo (BUF) is relatively close if you live in Toronto, as is Seattle (SEA) if you live in Vancouver. From other cities, it’s a bit more of a long drive.
If you don’t mind that, there’s a major restriction and then there’s the matter of whether it’s even worth it.
Can you buy the Frontier unlimited flights pass?
The terms say you need to be a resident of the USA.
Their form for the unlimited flights pass doesn’t allow you to use a credit card not issued in the USA. To be very clear, like with any airline in the world, you can buy their flights with a Canadian credit card: I did it many times with Frontier, as recently as in November.
I’m not sure why they discriminate this way with their unlimited flights pass, but if you have a friend in the USA, I guess you could ask them to pay for you and then you can refund them.
I would be very surprised if they asked for proof of residence at the airport, considering you don’t even need to show ID at the gate to board a domestic flight in the USA.
(It’s so easy to spot my fellow Canadians — and other foreigners — who don’t fly within the USA often because they’re the ones who always have their passport ready at the boarding gate when all you need is your boarding pass: it’s another one of the many travel tips that are so simple but that most people just don’t know!)
Should you buy the Frontier unlimited flights pass?
You need to take a lot of flights to make the Frontier unlimited flight pass worthwhile. Let’s say you take just 10, that’s still US$40 per flight before taxes, so US$55 total per one-way flight.
That’s not that exceptional. That’s more expensive than some of the flights we spot almost every day on our deals page from Canadian airports thanks to our own ULCCs.
However, if you’re planning on spending an entire summer (or at least a long stay) on an adventure, it could be amazing. Personally, I would love to leave on a whim and discover many destinations depending on which ones have seats available. A real modern-day adventure.
However, to be honest, I would do it in Europe instead (and this is coming from a fan of the USA who has visited 47 of the 50 states).
I’ve already paid $20 or so for several flights in Europe, taxes included, so it can be not much more expensive than that unlimited flight pass when you’re good at finding cheap flights (i.e. just being flexible, like everything else in the travel world, if I want to sum up that new hour-long webinar in 2 words).
And in Europe you have infinitely more options of destinations accessible with cheap flights if you are flexible. And a lot more change of scenery! And variety.
I’m not particularly attracted to Frontier’s international destinations personally that’s for sure, but even for someone who likes Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, the cheap flights in Europe are more interesting because Frontier has a very limited network outside the US.
Also, to give just one example, I once flew Frontier in the USA for US$14 one-way, so $28 roundtrip from Austin, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s a 2-hour flight for very cheap.
The base fare was actually $0 that time with that good deal I had found, even cheaper than the unlimited flights pass’ 1¢ and that was without having to pay US$399.
Frontier is already cheap even without the unlimited flights pass! That’s the beauty of ULCCs.
Details of the Frontier unlimited flight pass
Here’s more info if you’re interested.
Inclusions in the Frontier unlimited Flight Pass Inclusions
The incredible growth of ultra low-cost carriers is the best thing that ever happened to the aviation industry. Because ULCCs have lowered ticket prices for everyone (and not just for those who fly ULCCs).
But the business model is so unfamiliar to most travelers, since it’s different than what they’ve ever flown.
It includes just a seat and a small backpack that has to fit under the seat in front of you.
No full-size carry-on luggage, unless you pay extra. You have to travel ultra-light with ultra low-cost carriers. I’ve done it dozens of times, it’s easy for short trips, but it requires more effort for a longer trip, that’s for sure.
And when I say it includes a seat, it’s any seat. You don’t get to choose it unless you pay extra. You sit where they tell you to sit. You’ll survive. That said, I do have a pro trick about that, I’ll share it soon.
It doesn’t include a meal. It doesn’t include service with a human to check in, it’s 2023 so if you don’t want to do it yourself online easily, you’re going to pay extra for that employee’s time that you waste. And so on.
In short, it doesn’t include any extras at all.
It’s made for those who want to travel for less. It gives you the option to travel for less if you want. And their flights are so much cheaper that usually, even with some extras, it’s still cheaper than airlines that aren’t ULCCs.
You can read the details in our ultimate guide to ultra low-cost carriers.
Airports to take advantage of the Frontier unlimited flights pass
For Canadians, it is quite limited as you have to drive a bit to get to an airport served by Frontier.
Here is the list of airports for those who live in Montreal (and the distance):
- SYR: Syracuse, NY (4h00 from Montreal)
- SWF: New York-Stewart, NY (4h55 from Montreal)
- BOS: Boston, MA (4h58 from Montreal)
- ROC: Rochester, NY (5h30 from Montreal)
- BDL: Hartford, CT (5h43 from Montreal)
- PWM: Portland, ME (5h50 from Montreal)
- PVD: Providence, RI (6h30 from Montreal)
- LGA: New York-LaGuardia (6h36 from Montreal)
- ISP: New York-Islip (7h18 from Montreal)
Here is the list of airports for those who live in Toronto (and the distance):
- BUF: Buffalo, NY (2h40 from Toronto)
- ROC: Rochester, NY (3h30 from Toronto)
- DTW: Detroit, MI (4h40 from Toronto)
- SYR: Syracuse, NY (4h40 from Toronto)
- CLE: Cleveland, OH (5h30 from Toronto)
- GRR: Grand Rapids, MI (6h00 from Toronto)
Here is the list of airports for those who live in Western Canada (and the distance):
- FAR: Fargo, ND (3h45 from Winnipeg)
- MSO: Missoula, MT (7h20 from Calgary)
- SEA: Seattle, WA (3h20 from Vancouver)
Destinations available with the Frontier unlimited flights pass
As always, there are 2 main easy ways to see the flights offered from each airport or on each airline.
For those who are like me and like to read, the Wikipedia page for each airport has the list of direct flights offered from there on each airline and the airline page has the complete list of destinations.
For those who are visual, the Flight Connections tool shows you a map of all direct flights from an airport or carrier.
For example, here is the complete Frontier network.
There are quite a few destinations of course, in the United States (including the island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean), Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and The Bahamas.
Cost of the Frontier unlimited flights pass
The number of flights included is unlimited, but you have to pay US$0,01 per one-way flight. With taxes of US$15, that’s not much per flight!
You always have to pay taxes because the government always wants to take a piece of everything and Frontier has to give it to the government. You can’t expect Frontier to pay the taxes out of their own pocket for you and pay you to travel!
The taxes for international flights vary depending on how each country’s government likes to tax the flights. The amounts are all different of course.
The pass costs US$399 but will auto-renew at US$999 if you don’t cancel it after your summer. So be sure to set a reminder. Being well organized is 1 of the top 7 pro tips for traveling for less in our free ebook with 100+ tips in total and it’s useful here too.
The annual pass costs US$1299 and renews at US$1999 if you don’t cancel it.
Validity of the Frontier unlimited flights pass
For the summer pass, it is valid from May 2, 2023 to September 30, 2023.
There are 15 excluded blackout dates out of 152 days:
- May: 25, 26, 29
- June: 29, 30
- July: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9
- August: 31
- September: 1, 4
The annual pass is valid for 1 year starting May 2, 2023, with additional blackout dates listed on the Frontier unlimited flights pass website.
Booking logistics with the Frontier unlimited flights pass
Obviously, Frontier’s goal is to monetize seats that haven’t sold out, so that’s why you can book domestic flights just the day before.
They give you 10 days for international flights at least.
You have to book on the Frontier website of course, and it’s dependent on the available seats.
Want to get more content on cheap flight deals?
Frontier’s unlimited flights pass is great for those who live in a city served by the American ultra-low-cost carrier or those who want to go on a long adventure and have an American friend. Just make sure you fly a lot of flights to make it worth your while!
What would you like to know about the Frontier unlimited flights pass? Tell us in the comments below.
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