Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

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Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free promo is getting a lot of buzz with family travel hackers. Anytime I hear the word “free”, my ears perk up. But, I am a skeptical number-cruncher, and as soon as I heard about the promo I had my doubts.

I was reminded of a special “Kids Bowl Free” promo that happens over the summer. It seems that every mom in my Facebook feed is excited about this promo where kids bowl for free at certain local bowling alleys. When my kids were young, our budget was a lot tighter, so anything free was high on my list. However, I discovered that you still had to pay for shoe rental. And, the times available were mostly during lunch and dinner and you couldn’t bring in any outside food. So the “free” bowling could really be somewhat pricey.

I haven’t personally flown on Frontier since I was a kid in the ’80s. But, now that Frontier added some new routes to DFW, I’m intrigued.

So, is this Kids Fly Free promo on Frontier Airlines worth the hype?

Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

Photo credit: Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines Route Map

Before you get too excited about this promo, find out if Frontier even flies to your city or to where you want to visit.

Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

Since the map is really hard to read, you can check out specific city-to-city routes here.

Frontier only flies to a few cities from Dallas, but the airline recently added a Dallas-Orlando route, which is very useful.

Details of Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free

In order to use the Kids Fly Free promo, you must be a member of Frontier’s Discount Den. It costs $59.99 per year. However, only one adult in your family needs to join. A maximum of 6 passengers (3 adults and 3 kids) can fly with one Discount Den membership under this promo.

For every adult that flies, one kid age 14 or under can fly for free if the flight is designated as a Kids Fly Free flight. Flights are limited to certain dates and specific days of the week. The current Kids Fly Free promo dates are:

  • February – 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
  • March – 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
  • April – 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
  • May – 1, 4, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 18, 21, 22, 29
  • June – 1, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
  • July – 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
  • August – 5, 6

When Frontier releases itineraries for later months of the year, more dates will appear.

The promotion is only valid on domestic flights, not international flights. If you change your flights, the promotion is invalid. Flights must be booked on flyfrontier.com.

Kids do not earn Frontier Miles on these free flights. Baggage and seat assignments cost extra. A checked bag costs $30 at the time of booking, and seat assignments cost $6-$20 per seat.

The Math on Frontier vs. Southwest

The only way to really know if this is a phenomenal deal is to do the math with the Kids Fly Free promo and compare the numbers to a competitor. I’m interested to see how Frontier stacks up to Southwest for a trip to Orlando.

For this comparison, I’m using a family of four with two adults and two kids. We want to fly nonstop for a summer vacation to Disney World. Let’s assume we have two checked bags and we all want to sit next to each other.

On Frontier, I found non-stop flights for $164 each way. Note: Flights must be labeled as “Kids Fly Free”.

Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

Since the kids are free, the cost is $164 X 2 or $328 for one-way, $656 round-trip. I need to add in the cost of Discount Den (+$59.99) plus 2 bags (+$120 round-trip) plus four assigned seats (+$48 round-trip).  Grand total for the family of four is $883.99, or on average $221 per family member.

On Southwest, the lowest price each way for the same dates is $160 per person.

Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

Dissecting Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free Promo

Since bags are free on Southwest, I don’t need to add any additional cost in for baggage fees. Also, families can sit together at no extra cost by either using family boarding (for kids 6 and under) or by checking in at 24-hours before the flight to get an early boarding number. So the total cost is $1280 or $320 per person.

I also checked Spirit Airlines for those dates: $1810 without seats and baggage. American Airlines: $1514.

The clear price winner for this specific route and date is Frontier Airlines with the Kids Fly Free promo. If you can fly more than one time on your yearly Discount Den membership, this is an even better deal.

Shortcomings of Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is a discount carrier. You will pay for everything extra, including water.

Frontier is ranked 11 out of 12 on the Airline Quality Rating report. The only airline that ranked below Frontier is Spirit. This means that Frontier has more mishandled baggage and customer complaints and less on-time performance than other U.S. airlines.

For me, Frontier is riskier than other airlines because of its lack of interline agreements and its low number of flights from DFW. Frontier only has one non-stop flight to Orlando a day. If there is a mechanical problem or weather-related problem, we would have a much harder time getting to Orlando on the same day with Frontier. I would never fly Frontier before an important event like a wedding or a cruise. However, I am comfortable flying Frontier for trips and vacations when timing isn’t critical.(See Why My Next Flight Won’t Be on Spirit Airlines).

Bottom Line

Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free promo can be a real money-saver for families with kids 14 and under. Since Frontier flies to Orlando from many cities, this promo could save families a bundle on Disney World vacations. I recommend comparing the final price to other airlines before you buy a Discount Den membership to take advantage of Kids Fly Free.

I fly to Denver with one child a few times a year, so I am going to do the math with Frontier before deciding on using cash or miles for my next trip.

Travel hacking isn’t only about using miles and points for free trips. Paying for bargain flights with cash is also a great way to significantly reduce your vacation budget. And remember, you can always reduce cash travel expenses by erasing travel charges with points earned from a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus,

Does this new Kids Fly Free promo from Frontier Airlines entice you to fly Frontier?

Click here to view various credit cards and available sign-up bonuses

Author: Nancy

Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.

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