Frontier Offers New Option for Seatmate-Averse Fliers

Keep the middle seat next to you empty by paying for UpFront Plus fee
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2024 1:50 PM CDT
Want to Keep That Middle Seat Clear? This Airline Lets You
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/PrathanChorruangsak)

Let's be honest: Most of us have hoped that the seat next to us on the plane remains empty, with some even going so far as to place personal items on nearby seats to discourage way-too-close neighbors. Now, one budget airline will allow you to pay for that privilege and guarantee seating serenity: Frontier Airlines is offering an UpFront Plus perk, which will leave the middle seat open in select rows for passengers who pony up the fee.

  • Details: The upgrade is available only in the first two rows of Frontier planes, with interested parties nabbing either a window or aisle seat, reports Quartz. The airline notes that UpFront Plus passengers will not only get a bit of extra elbow room, but also added legroom—an airline rep tells CNBC that they'll see an extra 4 or 5 inches—and the benefit of being among the first to receive in-flight service and to exit the plane.

  • Cost: Frontier is advertising a $49 fee for the service, though that appears to be just the introductory cost—it applies only to flights booked by next Wednesday, and only for flights April 1 through April 30. Frontier isn't spelling out how much it will cost after that, but The Points Guy tried to price out seats further into the future and found the cost to be "dynamic," depending on the flight. In the example provided, a June flight from Atlanta to Tampa offers a Standard tier seat starting at $24, while an UpFront Plus seat starts at $146.
  • Comparison: Thrillist details what it would cost to buy an UpFront Plus ticket, versus simply buying a second seat. The upshot: It's worth it to go for the UpFront Plus. Frontier also offers two other seating options, Preferred and Premium, that fall between Standard and UpFront Plus.
  • Budget airline boon: Fees like this are key for airlines like Frontier, which offer a lower base fare but then tack on extra charges for everything from carry-on bags to allowing passengers to pick where they sit. In 2023, Frontier brought in an average of nearly $74 per passenger in added charges.
(More Frontier Airlines stories.)

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