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Rick Robinson: Fly Frontier for a Great Flight (and a Better CVG)

Back in my days at Eastern Kentucky University, I occasionally took the Greyhound back home. Watching Morgan Freeman expatriate the US via a bus trip to join Andy DuFresane in Mexico makes bus travel seem epic. My experiences on the road were hardly so romantic. Surrounded by chain-smoking passengers, we seemingly stopped at ever little town between Covington and Richmond. But what the hell, I could get home for under ten bucks. 
 
I’ve always equated low-fare air carriers to my college days of Greyhound Bus travel. In exchange for a cheap seat, many air-carriers puddle-jump from airport-to-airport in old equipment picking-up and dropping-off as they go – turning a several hour flight into a day-long, gritty ordeal.
 
When Frontier Airlines started serving my weekly commute with a direct flight to DC, I decided to give the service a try. My expectation of the flight was that the $92 round-trip fare would be well-worth the hassle of flying on a Greyhound Bus with wings. I was wrong. From check-in to landing, flying Frontier Airlines out of CVG was an excellent experience.
 
The Airbus 320 I recently flew to Dulles was so clean I thought it was new or recently refurbished. Not so, said the affable flight attendant. They just happen to take company pride in the appearance of their planes.
 
The seats are a little tight, but the adjustable, wrap-around headrest helps compensate when in the air. And if you want more leg-room, you can buy a seat with more. And that’s the point with Frontier – anything you need besides a clean aircraft to get from here to there is available for a price. Want an aisle seat with extra leg room – pay a fee. Check a bag – pay a fee. Want a drink – pay a fee. 
 
The fees on Frontier are not excessive. A shot of Jamison’s was cheaper in the air than it was that evening at my favorite pub.
 
And, unlike other low-fare carriers, Frontier does not stop at every airport along the way. They fly direct to multiple locations out of CVG and use a hub-and spoke system for others.
 
The cycle of low-fare carriers at CVG has been repetitive over the years. People use the new carrier until Delta drops fares to compete with those low-cost routes. Then they return to the legacy carrier for Frequent Flyer points. Once the low-fare carrier pulls out, Delta jacks its fares back up.
 
#FlyFrontier is not the “silver bullet” to cheaper fares at CVG. But using Frontier for your upcoming flight will result in a good travel experience that helps expand menu of flying choices in our community.
 
For more columns and stories by Rick Robinson, click here.

For more on Rick Robinson's award-winning books, visit his Amazon page here and his website here.