Frontier’s unlimited flight passes are chaotic, but might be worth it

Frontier’s unlimited flight passes are chaotic, but might be worth it

You’ll get your money’s worth and more — as long as you can be flexible.

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Frontier plane on ground at airport with sunset in background

The unlimited seasonal pass applies to both domestic and international destinations.
Credit: Devasahayam Chandra Dhas / Getty Images


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UPDATE: Aug. 10, 2023, 1:00 p.m. EDT This post has been updated to reflect current pricing for the summer all-you-can-fly pass as well as newer availability of the fall and winter all-you-can-fly pass and a monthly pass.

Frontier is letting passengers fly as much as they want all summer (or fall, or winter) for a flat rate that rivals the average cost of a single round-trip domestic flight.

The GoWild! all-you-can-fly summer pass, which first became available in February 2023, is the original shorter version of Frontier’s already-existing annual pass. Rather than $999 for unlimited flights throughout the summer (Frontier’s “retail price” for a summer pass), the one-time purchase of a GoWild! pass (plus one cent in fees for each trip) unlocks unlimited flights to both domestic and international Frontier destinations. Frontier serves more than 100 airports across the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America, with new locations frequently being introduced to the lineup.

Anyone who snagged the GoWild! pass in the month or so after its debut only had to spend $399. Pricing has gone up since then, going for $699 for much of the spring until a drop back to $499 in May. Though it was a pretty solid steal at any price point because of how popular and expensive summer travel can get, Frontier has a better unlimited deal now that we’re closer to the cooler months.

Back by popular demand, Frontier is also offering a $299 fall and winter version of its GoWild! unlimited flight pass to pick up where the summer pass leaves off. This pass covers Sept. 2, 2023 through Feb. 29, 2024, so there is some overlap with the summer pass, which expires on Sept. 30. The fall and winter pass is $299 — a full $100 cheaper than the summer pass ever was. Both seasonal passes offer(ed) roughly five months of unlimited travel, but at this point in the year, it’s obviously wiser to opt for the pass that covers the remaining portion of 2023 and early months of 2024.

Unlimited monthly travel with Frontier is also an option if you need less commitment. Frontier announced a monthly GoWild! pass at the end of July 2023, which is free for the first month (aside from a $49 enrollment fee) and renews for $149 monthly after that. Your unlimited monthly pass begins the day you purchase it and runs for 30 days each period.

On paper, any of the seasonal passes sound like an amazing deal. Many of us have begrudgingly coughed up a similar amount for a single roundtrip flight at least once. That was probably an extra-common experience during the unprecedented airfare spikes in 2022. Bankrate’s assessment of last year’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average price of a “good deal” roundtrip domestic flight was $398 — up $100 from 2021. There’s no question that an ultra-accessible summer pass could be a serious vacation hack at a time when everything, travel-related or not, is more expensive.

But you’d still be right to be skeptical. Frontier’s reputation for arbitrary baggage fees and sketchy customer service — plus the general drama of canceled flights by all airlines that has plagued travel for a while now — makes the premise of unlimited flights sound too good to be true.

side view of a frontier plane with Go Wild all-you-can-fly graphic

If you travel past the yearly vacation or two, the GoWild! pass could save you a ton of money.
Credit: Frontier Airlines

Frontier’s new summer pass is legit, but not without its caveats

The first piece of fine print to consider is the lack of wiggle room the pass affords planning-wise. GoWild! only covers domestic flights booked *checks notes* the day before and international flights booked 10 days or less before. No booking past 24 hours means no booking roundtrip. Instead, you’d technically have to book your flight back on the last day of your trip, and 1. Hope that Frontier has a flight home that works for your schedule and hotel or rental check-out times or 2. Be down to pay for a non-Frontier flight. (Connected itineraries are included granted there are still seats available.)

Not all airports participate, either. For instance, Frontier does not serve LAX. The “unlimited” calendar is also subject to blackout periods, including Memorial Day itself and the Friday before, the Fourth of July and surrounding days, and other random dates that could throw a wrench into plans.

If something goes wrong, don’t count on live customer service

All airlines come with their fair share of cancellation or delay woes. While lower-cost airlines like Frontier and Spirit face the brunt of inconvenience-related airline memes, Frontier actually canceled fewer flights than Southwest, American, and United between the summer of 2021 and 2022. It was also one of the airlines with the least mishandled baggage issues.

If something does go awry during your Frontier journey, however, good luck with a timely resolution. Back in November 2022, Frontier decided that a live customer service phone line wasn’t that important. Customers with concerns can either try the ever-helpful live chat tool online or talk to an employee at the airport.

Frontier’s baggage policy has…baggage

Unless you can pack everything you’ll need in a bag that fits under the seat in front of you, you’ll be paying more than “$0.01 in airfare plus applicable taxes” per flight.

While most airlines only make you pay for checked luggage and allow a personal item and a carry-on item for free, Frontier charges for the carry-on. (So does Spirit.)

The policy is stingy yet tolerable if you don’t fly that often. But for the amount of flying that you’ll likely be squeezing in to make the GoWild! pass worth the money, you could end up spending an extra few hundred bucks on top of the pass price over the course of the summer.

Budgeting for a carry-on bag is also more of a rough estimate than a confirmed calculation with Frontier. This is because the airline changes what it charges for non-personal items depending on your flight date, time, distance, etc. A carry-on could cost as low as $30 if you add it at the time of booking, though that number can reach between $50 and $90. It depends on how Frontier’s Bag Price Checker is feeling that day.

Social media is full of Frontier passengers complaining that they were charged for a carry-on that they swear is personal item-sized. While dimension restrictions are listed online and sample compartments to measure your bags should be present at your gate, many people have been hit with surprise fees right before getting on the plane.

Is the GoWild! summer pass worth it?

If you were already planning to do quite a bit of jet-setting this summer or would be on the move if it were more affordable, $399 to $699 for all or most of your plane tickets is hard to pass up. The pass is also a no-brainer if you were already researching a big dream destination trip and know that your flight would have been more than the price of a GoWild! pass anyway.

But you’ll have to be OK with flying by the seat of your pants. Plane pun very intended.

Whether the (lack of) advanced booking notice is enough cushion depends on your specific plans — and your stress levels. For flights within the U.S., not being able to book more than 24 hours in advance means booking a roundtrip flight is off the table — so you’ll need to factor in the possibility of not having solid return plans when you leave. That may not cause as much of a scramble if you’re visiting someone with a flexible schedule. But if you’re dealing with a rental with strict checkout times or a hardcore cancelation policy, a backup plan with backup funds is necessary.

The fine print, annoying baggage fees, and general planning chaos don’t take away from the props Frontier deserves for making travel this accessible — especially during inflation. The GoWild! pass could present serious exploring opportunities for people who weren’t frequent travelers before, or could be someone’s key to traveling abroad for the very first time. Now, get on that passport application.

Leah Stodart

Leah Stodart is a Senior Shopping Reporter at Mashable. She covers shopping trends, gift ideas, and products that make life easier, specializing in vacuums, TVs, and sustainable swaps. She graduated from Penn State University in 2016 and is watching horror movies or “The Office” when she’s not shopping online herself. You can follow her on Twitter at @notleah.

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