I just completed my first flights on F9 from Hartford, CT, and I am happy to report I am a new satisfied Frontier customer! I will continue to use F9 as my western gateway medium.
4/22/07 – Flight 314 BDL – DEN – N901FR “Wally” Airbus A319 - total flying time 3:43 @ FL360
We arrived at the counter to check two bags exactly 50 minutes to departure. We were abruptly told by the somewhat impolite agent that we had to sign a waiver that our bags “may not make it” because we were there less than 45 minutes before departure. I quickly advised her that we still had about five minutes before their “deadline” but we still had to sign anyway. This left us a bit uneasy for the next seven hours!
Flight 314 left right on time at 7:35AM EST aboard N901FR, Wally the Wolf. We occupied seats 14 A,B and C. We quickly, and quietly, rotated off of Rwy 6 and headed west. The seat pitch of 33” and width of 18” was sufficient for my 5’11”, 250 lb frame. Since Wally is one of F9’s oldest A319s the seat back headrests would not stay in place and the 1/8th headphone jack for the DirecTV only provided sound on one channel with the provided headphones. My iPod headphones were able to pull in both channels and sounded much better. The baby bus was overall clean and comfortable and the flight crew and attendants were very friendly and pleasant.
Snack and drinks were provided several times and the service was top notch. The 24 channels of DirecTV provided ample entertainment for $5 and an additional $8 to watch the few movies that were available. I ended up watching “Night at the Museum.” The flight status/map was available at no charge as well as some other info channels. F9 carries no cash; everything is done via a CC. This might prove troublesome for youths traveling alone wanting to watch some television.
The only real issue I had with this leg was that N901FR tended to roll back and fourth the entire flight, at times it was pretty noticeable. This left me with the sensation of having sea legs the rest of the day. The air was smooth for most of the flight, just some light chop into our DEN decent.
The crew kissed the tarmac in DEN right at 9:18AM MDT, 30 minutes ahead of schedule, with one of the smoothest landings I’ve experienced!
4/22/07 – Flight 260 DEN - SNA – N907FR “Mel” Airbus A319 - total flying time 2:12 @ FL380
For this leg we occupied seats 11 A,B,C. Again, the staff was very pleasant and the flight was excellent. Snacks, which consisted of Sun Chips or Doritos, and drinks, were again provided. The only chop was immediately after departure, and the rest of the flight was relatively smooth. The clear skies provided breathtaking views of the Rockies and desert landscape. We arrived at SNA at 1:39PM PST, right as scheduled. During the SNA approach to 19R, we had an excellent view of the old McDonald Douglas location and as an added bonus we shared finals with a Cessna 172 bound for 19L.
I was happy to see our bags made it safely to SNA, although one of the tossers broke a wheel on my Pullman. No real biggie, it was time to get a new one anyway.
4/29/07 – Flight 269 SNA - DEN – N940FR “Jack” Airbus A319 - total flying time 2:03 @ FL390
For this leg we again occupied seats 11 A,B,C. We had and on-time departure of 8:05PM PST. Like the previous flights, the staff was very pleasant and the flight was excellent. We lifted off of 19R and broke through the Santa Ana gloom heading towards the Pacific for our turn back to the East. There was no chop and the night view of Las Vegas at FL390 was awesome! More chips and drinks came our way. Before we knew it we began our decent and touched down a smidge ahead of schedule at 10:55PM MDT.
4/29/07 – Flight 313 DEN - BDL – N950FR “(unnamed) dolphin” Airbus A319 - total flying time 3:14 @ FL370
For this red-eye we were on F9’s newest A319, N950FR, and occupying seats 11 D,E,F. We departed DEN at 11:55PM MST. This crew seemed a tad happier than staff on previous flights as they were joking and laughing with some of the passengers and smiled a bit more. They did however run out of pillows before we made it to our seats. At least try and have a few more on hand on a red-eye. There were no bumps the entire flight and I had magnificent night views of the plains and Chicago. More snacks and drinks came our way. At one point warm cookies were served too, a pleasant surprise. I did try and catch as much sleep as I could, but ended up watching the Discovery Channel instead, never could really sleep on a plane anyways. Soon the eastern sky began to glow as the sun peaked and we began our decent into the Hartford/Springfield area. We gently touched down on 24 at 5:08AM EST, 26 minutes ahead of schedule and made our way to terminal A.
I can attest that F9 is a wonderful airline that has a great niche in the low-fare airline industry. I quickly signed up for a Frontier credit card while in DEN so I can accumulate some miles, especially because F9 only requires 15K for a round trip ticket! All of my above flights were full and I was above all excited to see this on the BDL legs. I hope that F9 can succeed at BDL and with the loads I witnessed, I’m pretty sure it will.
Although the staff was pleasant, I would have liked to see more smiles and overall warmness. I could have lived with it, but customers demand so much nowadays, this could be their deciding factor on choosing F9, or WN. My only other wish is that F9 will add one more daily flight to BDL so we don’t have to rely on red-eye returns. That is all!
Thanks F9 for the wonderful voyage!
[Edited 2007-05-04 23:03:49]