Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Flying My 90th Airline With Frontier Airlines (Part 2: DEN-DFW)

Welcome to my part 2 trip report of Frontier Airlines!


Introduction

Frontier Airlines is a Low-Cost Carrier based in Denver Airport and it is nice to visit its home base. With a great network flying to both east and west coast in the States from this base, one should be able to get from one end of U.S to the other, with a stopover at this home base. I have been reading a lot of trip reports especially involving this airport and I am glad to be able to visit this airport even though the stop-over was not long. 


About Denver Airport 


This airport was opened in 1995, serving many destinations like Latin America, Europe, Asia and of course to other parts of the States. This is the largest airport in North America, with a size of 33,571 acres! The runway 16L/34R is also the longest runway, measuring around 4.88 km, so aircraft of any size, this airport can handle. Another difference between this airport and others is this airport has an elevation of 5,431 feet so that means aircraft need more performance than usual for taking off especially in hot weather. 

Before this airport exists, airlines were using the previous Denver airport, Stapleton International Airport. The reason why that airport could no longer be in used is the lack of gates at the airport (not economical to expand the airport) and also the runways were unable to deal with the bad weather. Basically, the design of the airport was not suitable any longer and it was best to move to another location. With that in mind, 1989 was the year, this Denver airport started construction, but with delays, the airport was finally ready in 1995.

United Airlines, Frontier and Southwest are the main occupants of this airport, with all 3 taking a total of 85% dominance at this point of time.

This is the airside 

I had about 2 hours to hang around before my connecting flight takes off


It was around 6 am at that time, considered to be quite crowded. 




Basic looking terminal, nothing to shout about. Free WiFi is available.


I did some plane spotting while I was there, manage to spot a good number of Frontier's aircraft. 

I did a check on my flight's aircraft. Initially, it was scheduled to be operated by A319, then it was changed to A320NEO but sadly the aircraft turned up at my gate was an A320 CEO. At least this aircraft has winglets on it. 

Not my ride, this is one of the airline's Airbus A320 CEO. 


Doesn't the livery look stunning especially with the different animal livery on the tail of the aircraft?



This is Frontier's Airbus A319 (Below), the airline is currently retiring this model.


My ride: N230FR


At that time, I was looking at this aircraft in disappointment, was hoping for the A320NEO. Next time!


Route: DEN-DFW

Miles: 641


More photos of N230FR


Photo: Szabo Gabor


Photo: Kevin Boydston

Name of aircraft: Betty the bluebird
Aircraft type: Airbus A320-200
Registration: N230FR
Engines: 2 X CFM56-5B4/3
Leased from BOC 
Configuration: Y180
Born in Toulouse 
MSN: 6773 


Departure date: 18 July 2019
Airline: Frontier Airlines
Flight: F9124
Route: DEN-DFW
Aircraft: Airbus A320 CEO
Registration: N230FR
Seat: 9A
Gate: A42
Load: 90%
Departure time: 0757
Duration: 1 hour 25 mins
Boarding: 0719
Pushed back: 0806
Take off: 0838
Scheduled arrival: 1054
Actual arrival: 1110
Departure runway: 25
Arrival runway: 18R

Boarding this aircraft was a more pleasant affair compared to my previous flight. This flight was served by 2 female and a male cabin crew. They were more friendly and hilarious too especially with the announcement. 

For this flight, I chose the normal seat which wasn't too bad for short flights. Definitely tighter than the first 3 rows, but it was worth the sacrifice as I wanted to take window shot photos, the weather was great and I took advantage of it. 

Interior of N230FR

This time I was flying on Betty, the bluebird!


Passengers are encouraged to place their small carry-ons underneath their seats, as the overhead compartment tends to fill up quickly and some may not have space to put their stuff in. 




Tight legroom space but bearable for this short flight 






The airline can consider adding advertisement on it. (below)





We were told to close the windows after the flight to keep the cabin cool, that's a good idea actually. 

The foldable tray is smaller than the normal ones



Legroom space is tight for me 


My Flight experience 

It took a while before we could take off. At the threshold, a lot of aircraft took off ahead of us even though we were there before them. According to the flight deck, it seems there was an issue with the ATC (Not sure about this), but eventually, we took off but landed late at Dallas DFW airport. For this, I don't consider this a fault of the airline. What actually happened between the pilots and the ATC is not clear. At least this flight was more pleasant than the previous. 

Cabin crew were in a good mood so I felt much at ease and for this short duration, I spent the time looking out of the window. I didn't make use of the in-flight service as I wasn't hungry then. This flight like the previous was smooth for most parts of it except when flying through some clouds on arrival. 

What's inside the seat pocket?

Safety card 


Nice comparison with the airline's rivals! What do you think?


Snack menu 




Disposal Bag


Tired-looking me enjoying the Airbus A320 ride


Window shot photos 

The bridge is high enough for small narrow-body aircraft to pass through. 



Soon, we started our long taxi to the runway 




After a long wait, we were finally cleared for take off


Take off in this beautiful weather with the beautiful winglet and engine colour




At this point, we started our descent into Dallas Forth Worth 


Another new destination added to my logbook. This airport has been in my wishlist for a while. 




This airport is a hub for American Airlines and its subsidiaries. 



We reached our assigned gate late but I was not affected, hopefully, the others, with connection, were able to connect to their flights.

My flight report 




My rating: 

Airline's mobile app: 8/10
DEN airport experience: 6/10
Cabin interior: 7/10
Seat comfort: 5/10 
Cabin service: 6/10
Cleanliness: 9/10
Punctuality: 6/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 57/80

Conclusion

I successfully completed both flights without much issue. I am delighted that Frontier is in my logbook for the first American Low-Cost Carrier flown and luckily for me, my flights were only slightly delayed, and nothing worse happened. In-flight service depends largely on the crew, some are top class while others are just there for the $, pretty obvious from the sign language. 

Flying with this airline, I suggest going for the package "The Works" deal, saves you a ton of headache. First 3 rows of the aircraft or emergency rows are my recommendation for those who need legroom space. For normal seats, they are similar to the other Low-Cost Carriers. Flying with this airline requires luck. If you are lucky, everything goes according to plan, otherwise you might face issues especially this airline doesn't work with others to allow passengers to fly with others if flights get cancelled (no other available flight on that day) or claiming compensation from the airline may become a stressful affair for you. I heard that Spirit Airlines is equally as bad or even worse when it comes to this, will find out myself next year.

Would I recommend flying this airline? If you are in no hurry, I don't see why not? But be prepared for delay or even flight cancellation (in bad weather or aircraft going tech and no spare aircraft available). Would I fly with this airline again? Yes, they are not the worst airline I flew so far, but not the best either. However, the airline and a few other airlines need to improve on their customer service especially dealing with service recovery. 

Hope you enjoy this trip report!

For part 1 of this trip report, click here
For my next trip report, click here.

Have a great one!
Charles

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