Frontier Drops Middle Seat Fee Following Criticism

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Frontier Drops Middle Seat Fee Following Criticism

Only days after announcing their “More Room” initiative, Denver based low budget carrier Frontier have announced they will scrap the program amid criticism they were attempting to profit off customers anxieties of contracting COVID-19.

The program would have allowed Frontier passengers to purchase an aisle or window seat in a “More Room” row, where the middle seat would be guaranteed to be empty, for a fee of at least $39. Criticism on social media was rampant with many referring to the deal as a cash grab, an opinion shared by many congressional leaders with one calling it “outrageous” and a method of “capitalizing on fear”.

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle refutes these claims and says his company “simply wanted to provide our customers with an option for more space.” Continuing, he assured the fee would be cancelled and that the seats would be blocked from booking. 

Air travel in the USA has dropped more than 90% from last year as a result of the pandemic meaning many flights are empty. However, with fewer flights operating there are also some cases where aircraft are full, rendering social distancing almost impossible.

Airlines have said they will block middle seats when possible to create adequate space between passengers. Frontier sought to offer it as a guarantee. The chief executive insists that his customers are safe on board his aircraft due to the measures they have already taken and has revealed Frontier will start checking the temperature of everyone boarding within two weeks.

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