Confirmed – Save Money By Buying Frontier Tickets At The Airport!

The image shows a person holding a Frontier payment receipt. The receipt includes details such as the issue date (08Oct17), the confirmation number (blurred), the received date (08Oct17), the agent (ai266818), the received by (AI266818), the payment status (Approved), and the total amount (118.40 USD). The receipt is white with black text, and the total amount is highlighted with a red box. The background appears to be a gray surface.

A couple weeks ago, I came across an article by Travis at One Mile At A Time suggesting that it should be possible to save money on Frontier flights by purchasing your tickets at the airport counter. I had an upcoming Frontier flight that I was looking to book, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to put his hypothesis to the test!

Frontier’s Website Convenience Fee?

Travis was able to breakdown an example Frontier airfare and identify a little something called a carrier interface charge, or CIC.

The image is a screenshot of a flight booking website showing flight options from Milwaukee (MKE) to Tampa (TPA). The selected date is Monday, December 13th, with a highlighted price of $68. There are two flight options listed:

1. Departure at 6:15 AM from MKE, arriving at 9:55 AM in TPA, with a duration of 2 hours and 40 minutes, flight number 1206, priced at $68 for members and $79 for non-club members.
2. Departure at 7:02 PM from MKE, arriving at 8:42 PM in Denver (DEN), with a duration of 2 hours and 40 minutes, flight number 439.

The top of the image shows a navigation bar with prices for different dates, and a cart icon indicating a total of $156.40.

Essentially, this charge is just a website convenience fee, but Frontier has done an incredible job at burying it so far within the “Taxes and Carrier Imposed Fees” line that most people (including myself) never realize that it is even there!

The image shows a breakdown of taxes and carrier-imposed fees for a flight. The listed items include:

- US1 - U.S. Transportation Tax: $3.1x
- CXC - Carrier Interface Charge: $19.00 (highlighted in red)
- AY1 - U.S. Passenger Security Fee: $5.60
- ZP - U.S. Domestic Flight Segment Tax: $4.10
- XF - Milwaukee, WI (MKE) Passenger Facility Charge: $5.20

At the bottom, the grand total is displayed as $78.20.


The CIC is a tax-exempt fee, and therefore there must be a way to avoid it!

Travis guessed that way is to pay for your Frontier tickets at the airport…. but is he right!?

At the Airport

For some, going to the airport is a hassle. For me, I live just 10 minutes from the TPA airport and happened to be headed there anyway to pick up my in-laws!

I love the airport… seriously!

The image shows an information area at an airport. There is a large sign with the word "Information" and a digital screen below it displaying a welcome message for Tampa International Airport. The screen provides information about ground transportation, parking, and airport amenities. In the background, there are people at a check-in counter for Frontier Airlines. The area is well-lit with a modern design. The image shows a Frontier Airlines check-in counter at an airport. Several people are standing in line, waiting to check in or interact with the airline staff. There are multiple check-in stations with computer screens, and the area is organized with stanchions and ropes to manage the queue. The floor is carpeted, and the ceiling has recessed lighting.

Rather than pick them up curbside, I arrived a bit early, parked in the short-term garage and headed to the Frontier ticket counter to score some cheap[er] flights for my wife and I.

While I waited to speak to an agent, I searched the exact flights I needed on google flights:

Online – 2 one-way tickets = $157 total ($79 each)

Screenshot of a mobile phone displaying a Google search result for flights from Milwaukee (MKE) to Tampa (TPA). The top of the screen shows the Google search bar with the query "google.com" and a cityscape image of Tampa. Below, there is a flight option for December 4th with Frontier Airlines, departing at 6:15 AM and arriving at 9:55 AM, with a note that carry-on bags are restricted. There is also an option to track prices and a section for baggage information. At the bottom, there is an advertisement to book with Frontier for $157 and a "SELECT" button. The browser interface shows options for back, forward, share, bookmarks, and tabs.

If the tickets can be purchased online at $157, and there is ~$20 per ticket in CICs, I would expect that my total purchase for the same exact flights should be around $40 CHEAPER when I purchase at the ticket counter…


The image shows a hand holding a payment receipt from Frontier. The receipt includes details such as the confirmation number, issued date, received date, and the total amount paid, which is highlighted in red as 118.40 USD. The receipt also contains other information like the payment method and approval status.

Frontier Ticket Counter – 2 one-way tickets = $119 total ($59.50 each)

Final Thought

You CAN save money by buying Frontier tickets at the airport counter. To the tune of ~$20 per segment!

Big thanks to Travis at One Mile At A Time for uncovering this and saving me an easy ~$40 on my upcoming trip. I will never purchase a Frontier ticket online ever again!

AYP Tip – This same process can be utilized to save money on Spirit Airlines as well!

Did any of you out there know about Frontier’s ~$20 carrier interface charge? Do you plan to purchase your Frontier tickets at the airport from now on?

Happy Travels!


The image shows a simple white line drawing of a paper airplane on a blue circular background.


  1. Great to hear this can be done w/ Frontier as well! I just did this with Spirit this morning and it was painless – I saved $30 on a one way ticket and spent less than 15 minutes total at the airport. The 90 minute flight ending up costing just $15. I noticed Spirit also doesn’t charge their “Unintended consequences” fee or fuel surcharge for tix booked at airport counter.

  2. I’ve bought tickets at the airport with both Spirit and Frontier in order to save on this fee. It’s a great tip! Like you said, Frontier calls it the “carrier interface charge”. Spirit calls it a “passenger usage charge”. It always seems to be an $18.99 charge each way with Spirit and usually is $19 each way with Frontier but I’ve seen it as low as $10 with Frontier on flights that are online deals. So be careful and check the itemization online before going to the airport to make sure of how much you’ll actually save, especially if you have to drive out of the way to get there! It’s also good to remember the savings is on the standard fare, not the discount den or $9 fare club rate. By the way, I’ve read that this is true for any discount airline. I’ve never booked tickets for Allegiant because they don’t fly out of my airport, but they show an electronic carrier usage charge of $13 each way for booking online, so presumably, you could save by buying their tickets at the airport as well.

    1. Thanks for sharing! Makes sense that this would apply to Allegiant as well so I️ will have to check that out of and when I️ decide to fly them!


  3. Frontier website says Bag Prices is
    1) $35 for carry on, $30 check bag during booking, on website
    2) $50 for carry on, same for check bag at airport ticket counter

    Has anyone test to see which price they gonna charge if I buy a check bag during my booking at the counter?

    1. Hi there. Sooo I went to the airport today to test this theory and it worked. The flights was cheaper by $19 each way. I asked about the luggage. Employee said if you do it with me it’ll be $50 but if you do it online you’ll either get a $25 or $30 fee. If you’re looking to save just buy the tickets here and buy luggage online.

  4. Yep, confirmed. My family (2 adults and 4 kids) are going to Miami for kid winter break. 6 round trip tickets are costing us $190 total!!!

  5. They charge the airport price for baggage. Here is an example.

    Save $20 by booking at the airport.
    If you book a checked bag on Spirit.com DURING ONLINE BOOKING
    If you add the bag after purchase (including after buying tickets at airport)
    If you buy the bag at the airport (including if done when buying ticket)

    So if you plan on paying for a checked bag, going to the airport only would save you at most $10. But NEVER pay for a bag when buying tickets in person-do it afterwards.

    This is the same for Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant. Be careful!

  6. Does anyone know if one has elite status with Frontier or Spirit, that they can get same free bag, seat, perks by buying at the counter?

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