Comparing inflight service on Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit in the age of coronavirus
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Flying during the age of the global pandemic isn’t going to resemble what it looked like before March of this year.
Almost every airline around the world now requires face coverings to be worn inflight. Many U.S. airlines are proactively blocking middle seats, and some are even capping the capacity of their planes to promote safety and social distancing.
Additionally, inflight service protocols have been modified across the board, so your inflight experience is going to vary widely based on what carrier you choose. I’ve already compared premium transcon flights in the age of coronavirus, so now let’s take a look at how the experience differs across America’s ultra-low-cost carriers.
For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Allegiant Air inflight service
The Las Vegas-based carrier isn’t changing much of its inflight service procedure. All customers will receive a complimentary health and safety kit upon boarding, which includes a single-use face mask, disposable gloves and two sanitizing wipes.
During the flight, there’s now just one service through the aisle to minimize crew and passenger interactions. Flight attendants wear gloves during inflight service and all food and beverage items are pre-packaged and factory sealed when served.
Unlike some of the larger, full-service U.S. airlines, Allegiant isn’t changing the food and beverage selection available for purchase on most routes. Instead, it’s debuting a fully digital menu through the Allegiant mobile app (and it can be viewed here).
Four destinations — Las Vegas, NV (LAS), Orlando, FL (SFB), Tampa/St. Pete, FL (PIE) and Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) — will see a new test menu, including some lower-priced individual snacks, and refreshing alcoholic drinks like a White Claw Hard Seltzer or Cutwater Tiki Rum Mai Tai.
Frontier Airlines inflight service
Frontier is actively reducing crew and passenger interactions, and that’s going to come at the expense of keeping you well fed or hydrated. According to a spokesperson for the airline, “to limit touchpoints between passengers and crew, at this time we are only offering bottled water for sale. No food items or beverages other than bottled water are currently available.”
Water will set you back $2.99 for a 16.9-ounce bottle. And if you’re flying with Frontier, be sure to stock up on some nosh before boarding your flight.
Spirit Airlines inflight service
Spirit’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage contains just the bare essentials.
You will be required to wear a mask when flying on the biggest low-fare airline in the U.S., but there’s nothing listed about the inflight service. We repeatedly reached out to the airline to ask for more details about any modifications, but haven’t heard back.
Fortunately, TPG reader Marty was kind enough to share his recent experience flying between Las Vegas and Dallas (DFW). There were no printed inflight menus, and passengers were asked to let the flight attendants know what they wanted to purchase.
The crew was happy to show their iPad that contained a digital version of the menu. Most food and drinks were stocked, though some had run out by the time the crew got to Marty’s row.
If you’re trying to narrow down your choice of preferred low-cost carrier, you may want to consider how each is handling food and beverage service during the pandemic.
Allegiant and Spirit have kept their menus intact, and Frontier has dropped everything but water. All items are individually wrapped and sealed, so you need not worry about cross-contamination.
Nonetheless, as TPG’s Brian Kelly recently remarked about his United flight from Newark to Los Angeles, you should definitely stock up on snacks and drinks before boarding a flight during the coronavirus pandemic.
Featured photo: Aboard Frontier Airlines, by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees