JetBlue vs Frontier: Pros And Cons
JetBlue and Frontier, both prominent players in the U.S. airline industry, cater to different travel needs. While JetBlue is known for its superior amenities and service, Frontier appeals to budget-conscious travelers with its affordable fares.
Frontier stands as an ultra low-cost airline, prioritizing affordability but offering basic amenities. In contrast, JetBlue emphasizes top-notch customer service coupled with advanced in-flight technology for a superior experience.
Founded in 1946, Frontier Airlines initially served the Rocky Mountain Region. After shutting down in 1986, it was re-established in 1990 by a different group, operating from Denver's Stapleton International Airport. Today, it's among the leading ultra low-cost carriers in the U.S. and ranks as the ninth largest airline globally.
JetBlue, launched in 2000, aimed to enhance passenger comfort and modernize the flying experience with updated technology. It currently stands as America's seventh-largest airline in terms of passengers and is lauded by the public as one of the best low-cost airlines.
Frontier lets passengers customize their flying experience. Their base fare, averaging $185 on the East Coast and about $500 cross-country, only pays for your seat. You can then select:
- The Perks Bundle ($45) - a personal item, a carry-on, a checked bag, seat selection, and priority boarding.
- The Works Bundle ($100) - all perks from the previous bundle plus flight flexibility and a refund option.
- A flexible choice where costs can accumulate. For instance, premium seats can reach $60, while checked baggage starts at $40. For more detailed fares, visit Frontier’s website.
JetBlue offers the “Blue Basic” fare, typically $300 for the East Coast and $500 cross-country. This includes a carry-on and a personal item, but extras have additional costs. Their other options are:
- +$30 from Blue Basic, includes advanced seat selection.
- Blue Plus for +$60, gives seat selection and one checked bag.
- Blue Extra costs +$100, adds advanced seat selection, early boarding, and flexible ticket changes.
Both airlines provide varied options catering to different travel needs and budgets. Choose what suits you best!
Frontier’s personal items should fit under the seat. Dimensions: 8" depth x 18" width x 14" height. Carry-on can not exceed 24" x 16" x 10" in size. Typically costs $40 when selected during booking. Checked Baggage - maximum of 62 linear inches (L+W+H) and 50 pounds. Fees start at $40 for the first bag.
JetBlue offers similar rules to baggage as Frontier. Personal items should fit under the seat. No specific dimension, but typicaly a purse, briefcase, or small backpack. Carry-on should not exceed 22" x 14" x 9". Included in all fares. Checked Baggage must be not over 62 linear inches or 50 pounds. Blue Plus includes one free checked bag, while Mint includes two. Otherwise, fees are $35 for the first and $45 for the second. Oversized items are priced at $150 each.
For both airlines, travelers are advised to check baggage policies on their respective websites as they are subject to change and may have additional stipulations.
Deciding on an airline often hinges on the in-flight experience, as comfort, service, and amenities play a crucial role in passenger satisfaction. A budget airline, Frontier aims to provide the essentials. As a result, their seats are basic, fixed in a slightly reclined position, and the tray tables are compact. There's no in-flight entertainment system, so remember to bring your own. Some travelers feel a bit restricted, but opting for an exit row or an aisle seat can improve your experience. On the plus side, Frontier's cabin cleanliness is noteworthy, having garnered awards in the past.
The airline boasts spacious standard seating equipped with individual live TV screens. Many travelers vouch for the comfort JetBlue offers, particularly appreciating the generous legroom in economy – reportedly the most among U.S. carriers. The overall experience aligns more with mainstream airlines, whereas Frontier might remind you of carriers like Spirit.
As for the premium options, Frontier's Premium Seatings are labelled as "stretch" seats. These are situated at the front and cost an additional $60 when booked online. They offer a bit more space, akin to regular economy seats on other airlines. The main benefits include a spacious seating experience and priority boarding.
Positioned at the front, Mint offers luxurious chairs that convert into beds and come with privacy sliding doors. They're adjustable, have a massage function, and feature headrest TVs for diverse entertainment. Service is elevated with a curated menu from esteemed NYC chefs, an extensive drinks selection, and a tailored music playlist for dining. Passengers enjoy plush pillows and blankets, high-quality toiletries, noise-cancelling headphones, and a parting gift of gourmet nuts. However, Mint is exclusive to certain routes, including specific cross-country, Latin America, Caribbean, and London flights.
With Frontier, it's a classic case of you get what you pay for. Your base ticket essentially guarantees a seat on the plane, with everything else – from onboard snacks to entertainment – being an additional charge. To sidestep these extra costs, consider packing your own snacks, a filled water bottle, headphones, a laptop, and a book to stay occupied.
On the other hand, JetBlue offers a more comprehensive service. Whether you're flying Mint or Economy, you'll have access to a diverse food menu, complimentary Wifi, and in-flight entertainment. While there are premium options available for meals and beverages, the offerings present good value for the price point.