Airline travel across the U.S. is picking up as summer vacationers attempt to get back to normal, and with it Americans are being reminded of the airline fees they long decried before the pandemic forced them to stay home.
One airline quietly snuck a new fee into their ticket charges last month — and the fee was exposed Tuesday by Miles to Memories.
Frontier Airlines imposed a new “Covid Recovery Charge” back in May, company spokesman Zach Kramer told USA Today. Multiple major airlines in the U.S. — including Frontier — took billions in taxpayer dollars in the form of COVID relief.
The airline quietly added $1.59 to all bookings for every segment of every flight each way for every passenger, ABC News reported.
According to Frontier Airlines’ website, the charge covers expenses the company has incurred implementing COVID-19 prevention measures.
From the website:
Covid Recovery Charge: The Covid Recovery Charge offsets added costs to Frontier due to implementing Covid-19 related measures, such as increased sanitation and cleaning onboard the aircraft and in the airport, shields at the ticket counters and gate areas, and personal protective equipment for employees.
USA Today pointed out that the fee is not an easy one to spot when booking a flight on the airline’s website.
“The CRC is already added to the promoted total fare at FlyFrontier.com, therefore, it is not an unexpected charge later in the booking process,” a spokesperson for Frontier Airlines told ABC News.
Will this new fee be a trend? At least one travel analyst doesn’t think so.
“Budget airlines have historically been the most adventurous in testing out new fees,” Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, told ABC News. “And Frontier’s COVID Recovery surcharge is true to form. While this surcharge is unlikely to be replicated by other airlines, the big question is whether yet another fee will push some Frontier customers to book elsewhere.”