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If you’ve ever seen the fares offered by ultra-low-cost airlines, then you know that it can be very tempting to purchase a ticket from one of them. Carriers like Frontier Airlines, Allegiant, Sun Country, and Spirit frequently offer extremely cheap flights — you may see airfares below $50.

But as you’ve probably heard by now, their business model is to offer extremely low fares but to make it up by charging very high fees for nearly everything possible, including carry-on bags, checked bags, and seat assignments. These airlines are also notorious for packing seats into their aircraft, so passengers have extremely limited space for their knees, unless they pay extra.

But what if it were possible to enjoy extremely low fares but have the fees waived for everything else? Frontier Airlines, although an ultra-low-cost carrier, now has a status match offer that will allow you to enjoy its low fares without all of the fees.

How Frontier Airlines Status Match Works

Frontier airplane in the sky


When you hold elite status with a loyalty program from one of the over 45 eligible airlines, hotels, and cruise lines, this Frontier offer will grant you the equivalent status in the Frontier Miles℠ program.

For example, a person holding Hilton Honors™ Silver status can match to Frontier Miles Elite 20K, while those with Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond status can match to Frontier's Elite 50K. Also, those with Southwest® Rapid Rewards® A-List status can match to Frontier's Elite 20K, and those with A-List Preferred match to Elite 50K. And if you have a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, then Frontier will match you to its top-tier Elite 100K status.

You may already have a qualifying status with an eligible travel provider, even if you don’t travel frequently, or can get it very easily. Many hotel credit cards offer complimentary status. For instance, the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors credit card offers all cardholders entry-level Silver status. There are also hotel cards that offer top-tier elite status to cardholders who meet an annual spending requirement (or even to all cardholders).

And if you’re an American Express Platinum® cardholder, then you can receive Hilton Honors Gold or Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status — just by requesting it.

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The Benefits of Having Frontier Airlines Status

Having elite status with Frontier Airlines allows you to enjoy the benefit of low airfares without the burden of paying most of the fees or any at all. Its entry-level Elite 20K status offers you a free carry-on bag, free seat assignment, and priority boarding. You even get access to extra-legroom Stretch seating at check-in, when available.

Frontier normally charges steep prices for a carry-on bag purchased in advance or at check-in — you could pay around $50 or upwards of $100 (costs will vary). Seat assignment costs range as well. I've seen them for as low as $5 to as high as $28, and Stretch seating between $16 and $56, depending on the flight and how it is purchased.

If you match to Elite 50K status, then you receive all of the benefits of having Elite 20K status, as well as 50% off a Discount Den® membership and Stretch seating at the time of booking. Plus, these benefits apply to everyone in your booking, called Family Seating.

Having top-tier Elite 100K status grants you all of the previously mentioned benefits, plus a complimentary Discount Den membership. You also receive a free checked bag for you and your whole family, which equals incredible savings because of Frontier's common high prices for checked bags.

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How to Get the Frontier Airlines Status Match

Frontier airplane on ground at airport


To receive the status match, you just have to apply for it before the end of the year — December 31, 2023. Go to — you’ll be asked to supply your full name, email address, and Frontier Miles membership number. Like all airlines, you can join Frontier’s program for free if you’re not a member. You’ll then be asked which airline, hotel, or cruise line program you hold status in, your status level, and membership number. Finally, you upload a picture of your physical membership card or a screenshot when logged in to the account that you hold status with.

In my experience, the application took less than five minutes, and I received top-tier Elite 100K status within 24 hours because I matched my Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. This offer is only valid until the end of 2023. Once matched, you will receive your Frontier elite status until the end of 2024, unless you requalify.

What’s the Catch?

Unlike most airline’s status match programs, Frontier Airlines charges for it. The fee is $99 to match to Elite 20K or 50K, and $149 to match to top-tier Elite 100K. If you have status matched with Frontier since November 1, 2020, you pay an additional $50.

This is a significant cost, but it can be easy to make up because of the savings you can incur for just one or two flights. This offer is especially attractive to those who have taken advantage of Frontier’s popular GoWild! All-You-Can-Fly™ pass.

Bottom Line

Frontier Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier that sells highly discounted seats but charges passengers for many, many fees for things that are free on other airlines. This can sometimes work out in the passenger’s favor, but not always. 

But through the end of 2023, passengers can match their elite status held with certain airlines, hotels, or cruise lines. Once you have elite status, you won’t have to pay most, or all, of Frontier’s fees. For those willing to pay a little up-front, you can save a lot later while enjoying Frontier’s extremely low airfares. 


Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist who specializes in covering credit cards, award travel and other areas of personal finance. As one of the nation’s leading experts in the credit card industry, Jason’s work has been featured at mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Business Insider.