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Program Score Card: Frontier EarlyReturns

by on August 12, 2010 · 0 comments

in Low Cost Carriers, Program Score Cards

Denver based Frontier Airlines recently acquired (through parent holding company Republic) Midwest airlines, so the two regional low cost carriers will merge to provide a formidable, though much smaller,  competitors  Southwest and United. Unlike Southwest however, they operate on a hub system, meaning almost all flights will run through Denver and Milkwaukee.

Currency=  EarlyReturns Miles (Sign up link here)

Earning:

Flights: One mile for each mile flown (bonuses for elite status)

Credit Card:
Personal Mastercard:
No annual fee: 10,000 mile sign-up bonus, 1 mile for every $2 in purchases (Apply)
$59 annual fee: 25,000 mile sign-up, 1 mile for every $1 spent (Apply)

Parners: Marriott, Hertz. Alamo, National, American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner (1:1 ratio), Points.com

Redeeming: Since Frontier only flies domestically and to the Mexico/Costa Rica and they only have coach awards.
25,000 miles for a roundtrip
35,000 for Mexico/Costa Rica
45,000 for flex US award
55,000 for flex award to Mexico/Costa Rica

Expiration: Points expire after two years of no activity- any activities re-extends all miles

Positives-
+Simple earning structure, based on mileage flown (benefits long-haul flyers)

Negatives-
- Limited earning partners

Elite Status:

ascent level:

  • 15,000 Frontier flight miles
  • 20 Frontier flight segments
  • Benfits: 25% bonus miles, free DirecTV, Priority Check-in, Free STRETCH seats, last minute award availability

summit level:

  • 25,000 Frontier flight miles
  • 30 Frontier flight segments
  • Benefits: all of ascent, plus free in-flight cocktails, waived fees, free confirmed changed flights and 50% bonus miles

Overall Summary:
Frontier has an average program. The rules are customer friendly and the redemptions straight forward. Beyond that, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about.

I find there to be a dearth of points-earning partners. Additionally, in a mileage based earning system, its hard to really accrue a lot of miles if there aren’t many long-haul flights. I anticipate it takes most people at east 12 roundtrips to get a free ticket- which is less generous than Jetblue and Southwest.

In order for Frontier to beef up its presence in the loyalty point arena, I think they need to build out more partnerships with points earning and redeeming partners and add some interesting aspects of the program (like companion passes or off-peak awards)

Overall scores:

Points: B-
Elite Program: B-
Overall Grade: B-

First steps for EarlyReturns to get the overall score moving towards an A:
1) Inject some creativity into the program
2) Partner with a large airline that will allow international redemptions
3) Get more hotel and travel partners- a shopping mall should be a no-brainer

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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