Frontier Airlines Boarding Policy Guide [2021]

Frontier Airlines has a pretty straightforward boarding process for the most part. What’s great is that there are a few opportunities that allow you to get priority boarding even if you do not have elite status and I will talk about some of those below.

In this article, I will break down everything you need to know about the Frontier Airlines boarding policy.

Frontier Airlines boarding groups order

  • Special Services
  • Zone 1 Boarding (Priority Boarding)
  • Courtesy Boarding
  • Zone 2 Boarding
  • General Boarding

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Special Services

The very first group to board is special services which includes individuals in need of boarding assistance. This includes passengers who need a wheelchair or other similar type of equipment.

This is also the time when unaccompanied minors were allowed to board but effective November 1, 2018, Frontier Airlines no longer accepts children traveling alone under the age of 15 years of age.

 Related: Guide to Visiting Airports & Flying with Vision Impairments

Zone 1 Boarding (Priority Boarding)

If you purchase a carry-on bag you can get priority boarding. Remember, Frontier Airlines is a low-cost carrier which means that you have to pay for things like carry-on items.

Assuming you pay your baggage fees online during booking, a carry-on will be about $39 and your first checked bag will be about $34. To view the latest baggage fees read more here.

Passengers who purchased the Works or Perks can also take advantage of priority boarding. For those of you who don’t know, the Works is a special package that offers:

  • Carry on bag
  • Checked bag
  • Seat selection
  • Priority boarding
  • Flight flexibility
  • 100% refund ability

Meanwhile, the Perks offers:

  • Carry on bag
  • Checked bag
  • Seat selection
  • Priority boarding

You can read more about these packages here.

If you have elite status with myFRONTIER Miles, you can also get priority boarding.

There are three different levels of elite status with Frontier Airlines:

  • Elite 20k: Earn 20,000 Qualifying Miles or 25 Segments
  • Elite 50k: Earn 50,000 Qualifying Miles or 50 Segments
  • Elite 100k: Earn 100,000 Qualifying Miles or 100 Segments

Unlike other airlines where it is common to have many elite members on virtually every flight, on Frontier Airlines, you may not see as many elite members which means you can board even quicker if you are elite.

Courtesy boarding

Courtesy boarding is available to families traveling with small children. On the main website it says children under three years old but on the Barclays website for the Frontier Airlines MasterCard it mentions children under the age of five. So you may need to clear this up with an agent at the gate.

This boarding group is also designated for passengers requiring additional time or assistance.

Zone 2 Boarding (Priority Boarding)

You can get Zone 2 priority boarding by holding the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard.

Just make sure that if you have the card you are logged in when booking your flight or that you have your membership account added to your reservation.

Keep in mind that you can spend your way to elite status with the Frontier Airlines MasterCard.

The terms from the Frontier Airlines MasterCard state:

All “ZONE 2” passengers board after military passengers, elite status members, “Meet and Assist”, passengers with disabilities, or passengers with children under the age of 5, who need extra time down the jet way and ZONE 1 passengers. Only the primary cardmember is eligible for this benefit.

General Boarding

General boarding will be the last to board the plane. Within general boarding there may be smaller groups which will typically board from the back of the plane to the front.

A lot of people dread being in general boarding because they are the last to board and therefore often don’t have space in the overhead storage bin.

This can happen to you when flying Frontier Airlines but because there are fees for carry-ons and checked bags are cheaper, you often see that there is more space available in the overhead storage compartments on Frontier Airlines flights.

Discount Den?

The Discount Den does not offer you priority boarding but it does provide you with some other valuable perks which include:

  • Special access to cheaper fares
  • Cheaper fares available to up to six people on the reservation
  • On valid Kids Fly Free flights, one kid under 15 can fly for free for every adult Discount Den fare purchased
  • Be the first to hear about news 

Related: Frontier Airlines Discount Den Review

Stretch seats

Stretch seats provide you with more legroom and are essentially the “economy plus” of Frontier Airlines. You can find the seats on different aircraft including: A319, A320, and A321 and they can be located in the front of the plane and also in the exit rows.

Sometimes you can receive a free upgrade to the seats but other times you will have to purchase them and the price can range pretty dramatically. I’ve seen prices range anywhere from $16 to $56.

It all depends on your route and when you purchase. If you purchase the seats during the booking process online you will likely get the cheapest price. However, if you wait until you arrive at the airport then you might see the price shoot way up.

Don’t get the stretch seat confused with the “big front seat.” The big front seats are essentially the business/first class of Frontier. The seats are a good deal wider than the stretch seats and also only sit in rows of two much like a traditional domestic first class.

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Priority security

You can also get priority access in the form of priority security if you fall into one of the groups below:

  • You have additional needs
  • You are traveling as an Elite member of myFRONTIER Miles
  • You have purchased a carry-on bag
  • You have purchased the WORKS℠

In my experience, I prefer to just use TSA Pre-Check to gain access to an expedited security line. TSA Pre-Check is extremely convenient and also comes with the following benefits:

  • Shoes can stay on
  • Belt can stay on
  • Light jackets can stay on
  • Laptops allowed to stay in bag
  • Liquids (3-1-1 Rule) can stay in bag

Showing up for boarding

Knowing what your boarding zone is, is just one part of getting to your destination. The other component is making sure that you arrive at the boarding gate in time for your flight.

Here are the guidelines that Frontier supplies for domestic boarding:

  • 45 minutes prior to your departure, check in for your flight and for your bags will be closed.
  • 30 minutes prior to departure the boarding process will begin.
  • 20 minutes prior to departure, there will be a call for final boarding.
  • 15 minutes prior to departure, the doors will officially close.

Note: The timing will be a little bit different for international flights. For example, you will need to be checked in with your luggage no later than 60 minutes prior to departure for an international flight.

You will be able to find your departure time and boarding time on your boarding pass.

Just be aware that these times can change after you check in so always keep an eye out for the latest times on the display panels found throughout the airport terminals.

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard

Card art of the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard.

I mentioned the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard earlier and here is a look at more of the benefits.

  • Welcome bonus (ranges)
  • 5X on Frontier purchases
  • 3X on restaurants
  • 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn toward Elite Status
  • Earn a $100 Flight Voucher
  • Unlock Family Pooling
  • Priority boarding
  • Award redemption fee waiver
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $79 annual fee (not waived)

Frontier Airlines boarding FAQ

Where can I see my boarding group?

Your boarding group should be visible on your boarding pass. Check the bottom right corner although it could appear in different areas.

How to get a window seat on Frontier?

The best way to guarantee a window seat on Frontier Airlines is to select your seat at the time of booking.

Do you have assigned seating on Frontier?

Frontier Airlines will allow you to select your seat at the time of booking. However, if you do not select a seat you will be randomly assigned a seat from whatever seats remain at check-in.

Does my group or family get to sit together?

Frontier Airlines will try to keep your party together but the only way to guarantee it is by selecting your seats at the time of booking.

How much does it cost to select my seat on Frontier?

The price to choose your seat for standard seating may range from $17 to $55.

When does boarding begin for Frontier Airlines?

Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to departure on domestic flights.

Final word

As you can tell, the boarding process for Frontier Airlines is pretty straightforward. If you truly care about where you sit, my advice would be to select your seat beforehand, especially if you want to stay together as a group.

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