I purchased the Frontier Go Wild! All You Can Fly Summer Pass, and it just ended. Here are all the factors I considered prior to buying it, primarily: booking restrictions (24hrs?), destinations, additional costs, and departure airports. If you came here from a Facebook post, skip to the good stuff.
OVERALL SAVINGS: $4,086.26
Pass Cost: $399
Number of Flight Segments: 33
Number of Airports Visited: 20
Home Base Airport: Orlando (MCO)
Backup Home Base Airports: Tampa (TPA), Jacksonville (JAX), Atlanta (ATL)
NEW States Visited (9): Massachusetts, South Dakota, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, South Carolina, Colorado, Rhode Island, Connecticut
Repeated Destinations: Puerto Rico, DC, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans
Am I Renewing? YES!
The pass allowed me to see states that I don’t know WHEN I would have prioritized seeing (ie: South Dakota, Wyoming, Rhode Island, etc). It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn to be a little less "Type-A" when traveling. It enabled me to meet so many new people from around the world, have so many new experiences (ie: crabbing, feeding Bison, moonshine tastings), and best of all: have one of the most amazing summers ever.
While you could use your Go Wild! Pass for international flights, I exclusively used mine for domestic flights. I tried once to get one international flight, but it never became available unfortunately. I also had already been to all of Frontier's international destinations, so I wasn't pressed.
It did come with its pros and cons, but for ME, the pros definitely outweighed the cons (plus I got multiple flights that would have cost $450+ for less than $30). I liked it so much so… that I purchase the Fall/Winter pass AND renewed my pass for next summer as well. No regrets :)
Okay, let’s get into the nitty gritty of the pass. First things first, yes you are flying Frontier — so if you’re gonna complain about flying a budget airline, you don’t even have to read any further. But if you’re down to save some coins, then keep reading.
I purchased the pass in early February and it was supposed to be active from May 1 through September 30. That’s FIVE MONTHS! Literally unlimited free* flights for five months for $400 in itself is crazy. Then on top of that, Frontier actually gave us access a couple weeks early. ANDDDDD we got to book flights in advance (which isn’t actually how the pass works - but I didn’t complain). If you look at my spreadsheet, you’ll see my first 11 flights were booked days or weeks prior to the flights. This was due to a promo they ran that allowed you to book any flights you wanted using your pass for a certain amount of time.
Once that time was over, the pass was able to be used as intended — by booking domestic flights the day before (and international flights 10 days before). Now, one thing Frontier was (likely intentionally) unclear about, was when that “day before” starts. Their wording said you had to book 24 hours before the flight (which would assume that if a flight you wanted was at 9pm on a Thursday, you would only be able to book starting at 9pm on a Wednesday). That, however, was incorrect. You can actually book your flight starting midnight-ish the day before (which means if I’m trying to book a flight for Thursday, I would stay up late on Tuesday night until just as the clock shows Wednesday to book that Thursday flight - no matter if it was at 5am or 10pm). Now, initially I thought you had to wait until 2:01AM EST (which is 12:01 MST - Denver, Colorado time where Frontier is headquartered). In some cases, I have tried at midnight EST and they availability didn’t show; but there are also cases where it did show at that time — so to be honest, I’m still not sure which it is. I just try both to be safe lol.
But in terms of using the pass… oh baby I DIDDDDD THAT! Before buying it, I looked very closely at the destinations Frontier flew to. At the time, I didn’t know for sure that I wouldn’t be taking summer classes, but I did know my schedule overall would be more flexible during the summer. For a while now, I loosely had a goal to visit all 50 states; so if Frontier didn’t fly to enough destinations of interest to me, then I wouldn’t have bought it. After getting the pass, though, I made that goal more formal: visit all 50 states by 2025. BUT, since Frontier flew to 10+ states I had never visited meant that this could be a good opportunity for me.
Additionally, I looked into how much the taxes would actually cost. That * near free earlier means that its not actually free of course (because what really is free in the states). You are required to pay taxes on the flights. In the example below, the flight would have been $136 (~$92 in airfare and $44 in taxes). My biggest concern prior to purchasing was if I would have to pay the Carrier Interface Charge (CIC) every time I booked a flight. I have another blog post about what the CIC is and how to avoid it (spoiler alert: going to the airport). If the CIC was included in the taxes I would have had to pay for each Go Wild! Pass flight, I would NOT have bought it.
But, after scouring the terms and conditions, I found out Go Wild! Pass holders were also exempt from the CIC fee. So then when I checked out various domestic and international flights, I was able to predict that taxes for each segment would be between $15-30 -- and I was good with that. In the example below, you see using the Go Wild! Pass reduces the airfare down to one penny and the taxes down to $14.90 (which aligns with the majority of the line items in my spreadsheet above). Now because the pass was a new concept for Frontier, I couldn't confirm my predictions until it went live -- but I was very close.
Besides possible destinations and costs, departure airports were the next thing for me to consider. I live in a mid-sized town in north Florida with a tiny regional airport — so of course Frontier doesn’t service my airport. BUT, I live within four hours of two Frontier hubs (MCO and ATL), and two other Frontier serviced airports (JAX and TPA) so that gave me the kind of flexibility I needed in case getting back to one airport had less availability than the others. Now, this does mean that I spent a good amount of time and money getting to/from the airports… but I was going to do that anyway to avoid spending $300 on one-way flights from my home airport so might as well save some money on flights while doing it.
Once I knew I wasn’t taking any classes this summer, I tossed around the idea of moving to Denver temporarily for the summer. By making Denver my home base, I thought it would be easier for me to use the pass because that's their headquarters location. This possibility theoretically made sure I would get great use from the pass. I later learned Denver was actually one of the hardest places to fly through during the peak of summer. For one reason or another, I decided I wouldn’t do the whole summer relocation idea; but, I did spend multiple nights in the Denver Airport (and other airports like Atlanta and Orlando as well).
Anywho, this blog post is getting super long so I think I’ll stop it here and do a different summer trip recap post. I went on sooo many trips this summer and they were all enabled by my Go Wild! Pass. It did come with its pros and cons, but for ME, the pros definitely outweighed the cons. I liked it so much so… that I purchase the Fall/Winter pass AND renewed my pass for next summer as well. No regrets :)
I will post the questions I got most often as a separate post here, though. Please let me know if y’all have any other questions because I am more that willing to share my thoughts/experiences.
Ciao for now,