Flying home from a foreign country can be confusing, especially when the process changes. Since Frontier Airlines has updated their check-in process, ALG Vacations® has gotten quite a few questions from travel advisors and their customers about how it works and what it’s like. So to make sure we’re answering accurately, we put boots on the ground.
ALG Vacations® BDM Sandy Meyer not only personally flew a Frontier ENVF for an accurate process experience, but also spoke with a Frontier Airlines agent to answer the FAQs that travel advisors have been asking since the check-in process changed. Here’s what we found when we Asked a Pro.
1. Make sure you have their email address.
It’s absolutely critical that your passengers’ email addresses are listed in their Frontier profile, even if and when they’re booking with a travel advisor. They need to have their own Frontier account with a registered email address that they check regularly, as notifications about flight changes and reminders will be sent via email. Therefore, if they don’t provide an email address, they won’t receive any direct updates. They also won’t get told of options that may pertain to their flight, and may risk having to pay a fee when trying to check in.
Other benefits outside of cost savings and timely updates are that it may help with refunds if they need them for purchased seats and bags, and notifications of deposited Frontier credits should those apply.
And tell your clients not to worry about getting too many emails. Let them know it’s easy to change their subscription preferences to reduce the quantity they receive. Once they log into their Frontier account, they can go into their preferences to adjust their frequency and opt out of special offers or programs. Or, even easier, they can click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of whatever email they receive.
2. All passengers much check in prior to arriving to Cancun International Airport (CUN).
Checking in can be easy as long as they have their record locator numbers and access to the Internet. “You might want to suggest that clients download the Frontier app before they travel,” Meyer suggests. This way, they have more immediate access on a mobile-friendly interface as opposed to going to FlyFrontier.com.
Another option is to check in from the Frontier email notification.
“Upon booking in VAX, ask your passengers for an email address they will have access to while they are traveling. Then add that email address into the booking. This will make it so that they will receive a notification in their email from Frontier that will say ‘It’s time to check in for your flight to XYZ.’” Meyer shares.
It’s important to note, she says, “When you are checking in online, you may receive an error message that might make you think you’re not checked in. But if you read the message,” Meyer assures, “it just states that you have to pick up your physical boarding pass at the counter.”
3. Opt for self-service at the kiosk.
Your drop-off point will be Terminal 4 at CUN. As soon as you arrive, head toward the kiosks in an area labelled A. Look for this sign, then choose a kiosk that shows Frontier as an option.
“Once you arrive at the kiosk, it will ask for your Rec Loc (record locator) and ask if you are checking a bag,” Meyer says. If the traveler is in fact checking a bag, the kiosk will provide instructions and print out a luggage tag. The luggage tag will have instructions printed on the sticker of how to affix it to your baggage handle and where to stick the bar codes.
As soon as all tags and stickers in place, the passenger will need to proceed to the Frontier BAG DROP counter. This detail is critically important as waiting on the regular line will not only extend your wait time, but also may incur agent assistance fees.
At this counter, the staff will weigh the checked bag, verify passports, and finally print the necessary hard copy boarding pass – all at no extra charge.
4. Avoid the Frontier Agent Assistance queues.
Self-service is the way to go with a Frontier flight. “If you don’t check in prior to arriving at the airport, you will need to proceed to the Frontier Agent Assistance line. These lines can be long and you will get charged the ticket counter agent assistance fee of $25 per person,” Meyer warns. That fee is as of publishing; like any other fees, it’s subject to change.
Alternatively, you may end up wasting your time by having to queue up twice. If you make it to the front of the counter and decide you don’t want to pay the service fee, Meyer tells us that they will ask you to step aside to check in online. You’ll then need to line up for a kiosk in order to get a bag tag, and then do the bag drop on yet another line.
5. Assistance isn’t all or nothing.
During the online check-in process, customers have the option to pay for agent assistance ahead of time at a slight discount. Meyers says, “If you choose this option, you can proceed to the Agent Assistance line to check in as soon as you arrive at the airport.” No other steps will be needed.
But that doesn’t mean you’re entirely on your own if things go awry at the kiosk. Frontier does place agents near the kiosk area to help if needed, Meyer assures us. “This makes it no different than having to use the kiosk for other air carriers!,” she says. Tagging in assistance while tagging your bags won’t cost you extra.
6. Carry-on only has a similar process.
If you’re traveling with only a carry-on bag, check in online but skip the kiosk. You still have to proceed directly to the Frontier Bag Drop line to get your boarding pass printed.
7. Measure your bags, then measure them again.
This last bonus piece of pro advice is from my own personal experience.
As with all Frontier flights, check and double-check again that your bag is the appropriate size. Frontier is incredibly strict with their baggage rules and will often have you drop your carry-on or personal item into the luggage sizer immediately before boarding. If it doesn’t slide in easily without “encouragement,” the gate agent may force you to pay a fee on the spot in order to board.
According to their guidelines, a personal item should be no more than 14” x 18” x 8”, which is smaller than some travel backpacks. Carry-on bags can’t exceed over 35 pounds and “standard” carry-on suitcases may not always fit in the overhead compartment. Checking your dimensions makes sure that you’ll be able to get it on board and avoid the hassle of last-minute fees, gate-checking, or other inconveniences. Plus, it can help you make the best decision regarding whether you should struggle to fit everything in a smaller suitcase and pay more to keep it with you, or take the roomier bag and take the pre-purchased checked bag discount, which allows you to take more with you and pay less.
8. Give it a try!
ENVFs like those ALGV offers in partnership with Frontier are typically the best values you can get for leisure travel to our top sun-and-sand destinations. This new process really isn’t as complicated as you may think, and there are ways to avoid additional fees. Benefits for consumers include:
- Access from over a dozen gateways across the U.S.
- Nonstop flights scheduled for max time in-destination
- Special discounts on air-inclusive vacation packages
- Price matching for best fare
- Early access to ticket sales
- Waived baggage fees and seat assignments with select flights
Plus, they offer a host of benefits to travel advisors who sell them.
Our pros advise that vacationers go ahead and give Frontier ENVFs a shot. They may find themselves pleasantly surprised with more money in their pockets and extra hours on the beach!
We all know how important it is to Plan with a Pro when it comes to travel. After all, Travel Advisors Get You There. But equally important is making sure advisor pros are supported and surrounded by pros themselves, particularly when it comes to topics peripheral to travel. That’s where TravelBlogue comes in as we Ask a Pro on your behalf to provide you with tips and advice from fitness, health, nutrition, mental health, beauty, wellness, and travel gear experts from around the world … and put it all at advisor fingertips.