Frontier proved to me on this flight that they can play with -- and beat -- the big boys. Comfortable, pleasant, efficient... I got exactly what I paid for:
Flight: F9 811
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Tail Reg: N901FR
Getting to the Austin airport was easy - parked, went into the Terminal, which is a great building, and checked in. Frontier checkin at Austin is handled by Delta at Delta's counter, which was sort of strange, but a necessity, I suppose.
Clearing security was a cinch and I headed to gate 6.
The Frontier A319 landed on time and offloaded a pretty full plane and quickly was turned. Our flight was about 40% full (which concerns me as a Frontier shareholder) and we boarded quickly.
One complaint was that the Delta staff handling the boarding didn't know what airline they were handling - they had to go off-mic and look at the name "Frontier" and then also go off-mic to remember the names of the elite FF levels (Ascent and Summit).
Once on board, the plane was terrific - clean, new, well-kept, bright, and warm. The seats are comfortable (although they could recline more). The A319 fleet gives you 33" of pitch, and you can tell that you have a little more room. They have footrests, too, although that seemed pointless.
One thing in the forum was that people indicated that Frontier's A319s have Audio and Video IFE equipment, but it's not used. Maybe on other A319s in the fleet, but not this one. It was pretty plain-jane.
I was assigned seat 13D, but since the plane was pretty wide open, I moved to seat 5A before takeoff.
We departed runway 35L and got up in the air pretty quick - 3000 feet or so... I was really impressed. Climb was comfortable, and shortly after takeoff, the FA's came through with drinks and snacks. The FAs were EXCEPTIONALLY friendly and very pleasant.
The weather, however, was not so pleasant: pretty much constant moderate chop all the way through to Denver. The pilots did turn off the Seat Belt sign for a little bit, but turned it back on 5 minutes later and told us that it would remain on until we got to Denver, but that if we had to use the facilities, we could as long as we made it brief and were careful.
Later in the flight, they announced that everyone should stay seated and not even get up to use thejohn. The bumps got pretty bad for a bit but calmed down.
After they calmed, the FA's made the rounds 3 more times -- yes 3 -- before we arrived in Denver asking if anyone else would like another snack or can of soda. I was VERY impressed with the onboard service. It was terrific.
Landing in DEN, we landed on runway 16 -- the pilot greased it pretty well. I missed what gate we came in on, but we were greeted by 3 other F9 planes waiting for gates. Turns out that there was a security breach and they cleared the A concourse -- nobody could come or go. So, we waited for 15-20 minutes and had a good time waiting. Again, the FAs were pleasant and tried to help pass the time.
The only negative thing I can say about Frontier's service to Denver is Baggage Claim. This entire airline is crammed onto one carousel -- so there are 6 or 7 flights at once on one carousel, and no flights at all on the two adjacent ones. That seems a little silly to me.
All in all, I was very impressed. Nice service, terrific prices, and a good operation overall. Makes me feel much better about being a shareholder, too... Frontier gave me exactly what I paid for, which is more than UA/AA/DL/NW etc., can say...