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Frontier rolls out new business fare


Budget airlines probably don’t immediately come to mind when you picture business travel. But Frontier Airlines is hoping there’s room to change that perception.

The Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier announced a new business travel program that’s a clear attempt to woo corporate travelers.

Frontier unveiled the new “BizFare” Thursday, which will be available to travel agencies, primarily as an option for companies booking flights through a travel agency.

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The airline’s BizFares are quite unlike any other fare type you’d find if you just went to book a typical flight on Frontier’s website — or that of one of its low-cost competitors, like Spirit Airlines.

BizFares include a carry-on bag, extra-legroom seat assignment and plenty of flexibility to change itineraries, each of which is typically classified as an “add-on” that costs extra under the budget airline business model.

Frontier BizFares

DAVID SLOTNICK/THE POINTS GUY

Frontier’s BizFares, offered through its Biz Travel for Less program, are designed, in the company’s words, to “help companies save money on business travel and deliver a convenient, rewarding experience.”

Fares start at $129, which is quite a bit higher than you’d find as a consumer booking a ticket on Frontier. However, there’s a lot more packed into that fare than you’ll find on other Frontier ticket types.

All BizFares include:

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  • A carry-on bag
  • A Premium seat assignment
  • No change or cancellation fees
  • Priority boarding and guaranteed overhead bin space
  • Same-day confirmed ticket changes
  • Frontier Miles earnings of 10 miles per dollar spent (this is consistent with standard tickets for non-elite members)

These fares will be available to all travel agencies with access to the Global Distribution System, a Frontier spokesperson told TPG. That means they will likely be available to travel agencies and those booking through corporate accounts — and probably won’t be available to most travelers who book through Frontier’s website.

Part of a larger strategy shift

The announcement of a new business-oriented fare program comes just over a week after Frontier unveiled a major shift in its route map which, TPG reported, amounted to something of a strategy shift for the airline.

Although Frontier has long catered to leisure travelers, the 54 new routes the carrier announced last week will see it go head-to-head with major legacy carriers at their hubs in the coming months — think Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), as opposed to popular vacation destinations like Las Vegas and Florida.

Clearly, the revamped, more business-friendly route map goes hand in hand with Frontier’s new effort to attract corporate travelers.

“We believe our new network design will provide more destination options as well as additional frequencies on our most popular routes,” CEO Barry Biffle said in a statement announcing this latest news Thursday. “We are excited to deliver even more value to business travelers and travel managers.”

Bottom line

It’s shaping up to be a year of big changes for Frontier. After unveiling a major overhaul of its loyalty program and shaking up its route map, the airline is hoping business travelers might consider flying the budget carrier with bundled fares that offer the types of benefits they’d commonly enjoy on one of the larger carriers — from more spacious seats to early boarding and the ability to bring a full-size carry-on without paying an extra fee.

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