Frontier Airlines is an ultra-low-cost American airline headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Known for its low fares and extensive domestic route network, Frontier does provide service from Richmond International Airport (RIC) in Richmond, Virginia.
This comprehensive guide will examine Frontier’s routes from RIC, flight schedules, aircraft, baggage policies, fees, and amenities to help travelers determine if Frontier is the right airline for upcoming trips from Richmond. We’ll also look at how Frontier compares to other airlines operating out of RIC.
- Frontier Airlines currently offers nonstop flights to 5 destinations from Richmond International Airport.
- Frontier operates a fleet of Airbus A320 family narrow-body jets from RIC.
- Baggage fees, seat selection fees, and other ancillary fees apply when flying Frontier from Richmond.
- Frontier offers a low-cost, no frills flying experience focused on base fares.
- Competition on routes from RIC includes Delta, United, American and Southwest.
An Overview of Frontier Airlines
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Frontier Airlines is a low-cost carrier and the 8th largest commercial airline in the United States. Frontier operates a hub at Denver International Airport and focuses on offering discount fares across its route network of over 100 destinations in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
The airline was founded in 1994 and today operates a fleet of nearly 100 Airbus narrow-body jets, primarily A320ceo and A321neo models. Frontier is known for its distinctive animal-themed aircraft tails and unique marketing campaigns. It targets budget-conscious leisure and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) travelers looking for the lowest base fares.
To offer low base fares, Frontier Airlines charges separate fees for all extras including checked baggage, carry-on bags, seat selection, snacks, and drinks. This unbundled, ancillary fee approach allows Frontier to reduce its base fares and provide low prices that compete with other discount carriers like Spirit Airlines.
Overview of Richmond International Airport
Richmond International Airport (RIC) serves the Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area which includes the state capital of Richmond. RIC Airport offers nonstop flights to over 50 destinations on 9 major carriers. In 2021, RIC served over 4 million passengers.
Located just 7 miles from downtown Richmond, RIC is the primary commercial airport for the Richmond-Petersburg region. The airport has two active runways and two passenger terminals. Airlines operating from RIC Airport include American Airlines, Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, Frontier, Allegiant, and Contour.
RIC is based in an area with a population of over 1.3 million residents. The airport predominantly handles domestic flights but does offer some international service to Caribbean leisure destinations. Richmond International Airport provides nonstop service to major hubs across the United States.
Does Frontier Airlines Fly from Richmond? Routes & Schedules
Yes, Frontier Airlines does currently provide passenger service from Richmond International Airport (RIC). As of February 2023, Frontier offers nonstop flights on 5 domestic routes out of RIC:
- Richmond to Denver
- Richmond to Las Vegas
- Richmond to Orlando
- Richmond to Philadelphia
- Richmond to Atlanta
Frontier has been steadily expanding its service from Richmond over the past few years. In June 2022, Frontier launched its new nonstop routes from RIC to Denver and Las Vegas. These new additions joined existing nonstops to Orlando, Philadelphia, and Atlanta that were already part of Frontier’s schedules from Richmond.
Most Frontier flights from RIC operate on a daily basis with multiple weekly frequencies depending on the route. Schedules do fluctuate seasonally with fewer daily flights often offered during off-peak travel periods or winter months.
Here is an overview of Frontier’s current route network from Richmond International Airport as of February 2023:
Richmond to Denver: Daily nonstop flights offered on this route utilizing Airbus A320 aircraft. Flight duration is approx 4 hours from Richmond to Denver.
Richmond to Las Vegas: 5 weekly nonstop flights provided on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Route served by A320 jet aircraft with approx. 5 hour flight time.
Richmond to Orlando: Daily nonstops flights to Orlando International Airport. Flight duration to Orlando is under 2 hours onboard Frontier’s A320.
Richmond to Philadelphia: Frontier offers daily nonstop service to Philadelphia International Airport on this route. Flight time is around 1 hour 40 minutes.
Richmond to Atlanta: Multiple daily frequencies offered on nonstop flights between Richmond and Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport. Takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes when flying directly.
In addition to these nonstop routes, Frontier does also offer connections to other destinations from Richmond by combining flights and stopovers in Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia or Atlanta.
The best way to find Frontier’s most updated schedules and fares from Richmond Airport is to check their website at FlyFrontier.com. Schedules can change frequently so it’s always prudent to validate flight times close to travel dates.
Aircraft Fleet Flying from RIC
All Frontier Airlines flights from Richmond utilize Airbus A320 family narrow-body jets. These modern, fuel-efficient planes are well-suited for Frontier’s primarily domestic route network.
The specific A320 models operated by Frontier that fly from Richmond Airport include:
- A320ceo: The current engine option A320 can carry 150 passengers in Frontier’s dense, all-economy layout.
- A321neo: New engine option A321 with seating for 220 passengers. Offers more capacity on busier routes from RIC.
- A321XLR: Frontier’s newest addition is the extra long range A321XLR arriving later in 2023 allowing new longer routes.
The Airbus narrow-bodies feature comfortable slimline seats and for an additional fee, customers can select seats with extra legroom. Frontier’s A320 family aircraft also offer in-flight WiFi available for purchase.
Passenger amenities found onboard Frontier’s Airbus fleet include onboard power outlets, snack and beverage service available to buy, and streaming in-flight entertainment that can be accessed via personal devices.
Baggage Policies and Fees on Frontier from Richmond
Frontier Airlines follows an à la carte, unbundled business model when it comes to checked baggage and carry-on luggage. Fees are charged for checked bags, large carry-on bags, and advance seat assignments when traveling on Frontier from RIC.
Here is an overview of Frontier’s baggage fees from Richmond:
- 1st Checked Bag: $40 per bag if paid for online at check-in. Goes up to $60 per checked bag if paid for at airport.
- 2nd Checked Bag: $55 per second checked bag when paid for online. $75 at airport.
- Carry-On Bag: $40 per carry-on bag. Free for Frontier Elite Members only. Personal items like purses, laptop bags, small backpacks can be brought on free.
- Checked Sports Equipment: $150 roundtrip for ski or golf bag. Other sports equipment is $125 roundtrip fee.
- Advance Seat Selection: $15-45 per one-way flight depending on seat. Exit rows and Stretch seats cost extra.
- Disabled Passengers – One companion and passenger with disabilities can check bags for free.
Baggage sizes and weight restrictions apply as well. Checked bags can weigh up to 50 lbs and carry-ons bags must be able to fit under the seat.
These baggage fees contribute significantly to Frontier’s ancillary revenues. Tactfully choosing to travel light with just a free personal item can avoid baggage charges on Frontier from Richmond.
Frontier’s Amenities and In-Flight Experience from RIC
As an ultra-low cost carrier, Frontier offers a basic, streamlined service in the air focused primarily on providing low base fares. Here is what to expect when flying Frontier from Richmond:
- No Complimentary Food or Drinks – Food, soda, coffee, alcohol, and other beverages must be purchased onboard Frontier flights from RIC. Snack boxes available from $9.
- Free Small Soda for EarlyCheck-In – Adult passengers who complete Frontier’s discount carrier-style check-in process early online do receive a free small fountain soda onboard.
- Streaming In-Flight Entertainment – Frontier offers free movies, TV shows and gaming that can be streamed to personal devices inflight through their ViaSat satellite WiFi.
- In-Flight WiFi Available for Purchase – WiFi passes cost $8 one-way for messaging/email or $13 for full internet access. Speeds can be slow at times when coverage is spotty.
- Slimline Seats in All-Economy Cabin – Seats have 30-32″ of pitch and are narrow. Extra legroom or Stretch Seats cost extra. First rows and exit rows have most space.
- No Assigned Seats – Seats are unassigned by default during check-in. Passengers can pay fees to select seat assignments and sit together.
- Credit Card Surcharges – Frontier charges a $5 processing fee when using a credit card for onboard purchases instead of debit card or cash.
The overall vibe on Frontier is functional and simple. Travelers choose Frontier primarily for its inexpensive fares. The airline provides a reliable low-frills experience between Richmond and its destinations.
How Frontier Compares to Other Airlines from RIC
Richmond International Airport is served by many airline options beyond just Frontier. Here’s a look at how Frontier compares on factors like fares, routes, and amenities versus the other main carriers operating from RIC:
Fares – Frontier offers the lowest advertised base fares from Richmond. Spirit Airlines is typically the only other airline with fares as low as Frontier’s. Major airlines like Delta, United and American charge higher fares.
Route Network – Delta, American and United fly to more overall destinations from RIC given their large connecting hubs. But for direct flights, Frontier provides solid low fare options on routes like Denver, Orlando and Atlanta.
Amenities & Extras – Frontier only provides basic amenities whereas American, Delta, United and Alaska offer more complimentary drinks, snacks, and other comforts onboard. But they charge higher fares to cover costs.
Baggage Fees – Frontier’s baggage fees are on par with Spirit Airlines. Southwest allows free checked bags which is a major perk. Major airlines have lower checked bag fees than ULCCs in general.
Legroom – Budget carriers like Frontier and Spirit have less legroom in their seats. Southwest and legacy carriers like United, Delta and American tend to offer a bit more seat pitch.
For leisure travelers who can pack light and don’t mind paying extra for drinks or seat upgrades, Frontier provides excellent value from Richmond given its ultra-low fares. Their nonstop route network from RIC focuses on top vacation spots like Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Atlanta.
But travelers wanting luxuries like free checked bags, roomier seating, premium cabin options, and airport lounges get more of those benefits when flying Southwest, Delta, United or American Airlines instead. It comes down to preferences in trading off low fares for amenities.
Tips for Flying Frontier from Richmond
Here are some top tips for travelers when flying Frontier from Richmond International Airport:
- Book early – Frontier’s lowest “stretch” fares are only released well in advance. Last minute tickets will be expensive.
- Pack light – Avoid Frontier’s checked and carry-on bag fees by just bringing a personal item like a backpack.
- Don’t buy extras in advance – Add-ons like seats and bags are cheaper when purchased at online check-in rather than earlier.
- Sign up for Discount Den – Join Frontier’s email list for special promo code deals.
- Utilize mobile app – Get boarding pass on app and avoid printer fees. Easier to buy seats/bags too.
- Bring neck pillow & blanket – Makes the no-frills flight more comfortable.
- Master the rules – Learn Frontier’s policies on bags, boarding, cancellations as they differ from other airlines.
- Price out total trip – Factor in all potential fees when comparing to other airlines to determine the best deal.
- Bring food/drink – Outside food and unopened drinks can be brought onboard to avoid having to pay for them inflight.
Taking advantage of Frontier’s straight-forward system and additional services à la carte allows travelers to fly affordably from Richmond to popular destinations around the country on a tight budget.
Frequently Asked Questions About Frontier Airlines at RIC
What destinations does Frontier fly to from Richmond?
Frontier offers nonstop flights from Richmond International Airport to Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Atlanta as of February 2023. They provide direct flight options to major leisure destinations and connecting hubs.
How early should I arrive for a Frontier flight from RIC?
Frontier recommends arriving at Richmond Airport at least 2 hours before scheduled departure when checking bags, or 90 minutes early for carry-on only passengers. Allow extra time during peak travel periods.
Can I take food or drinks on a Frontier flight from Richmond?
Yes, food and non-alcoholic drinks can be taken onboard as long as they were not purchased after the security checkpoint. This lets flyers bring snacks and avoid paying for refreshments inflight.
Are WiFi and entertainment free on Frontier from RIC?
Streaming entertainment is free, but Frontier charges for internet access. Inflight WiFi passes cost $8-13 on flights from Richmond depending on data needs. Speeds can be slow at times.
How much extra legroom do “Stretch Seats” offer on Frontier?
Frontier’s Stretch Seats provide an extra 5-7 inches of legroom between rows for a fee at booking. Exit rows also have expanded legroom. Regular seats have 30-32 inches of pitch.
Does Frontier serve complimentary drinks and snacks from Richmond?
No. As an ultra-low cost airline, Frontier offers a buy on board menu for food, drinks and snacks. Prices range from $3 for soda to $9 meal boxes. Only early check-in customers get a free regular fountain soda.
Is there an airport lounge at RIC for Frontier flyers?
Unfortunately there is not a Frontier-operated lounge at Richmond Airport yet. The Club RIC Airport Lounge is open to any airline passengers willing to pay the entry fee.
What aircraft models fly for Frontier from Richmond?
Frontier operates Airbus A320 and A321 narrow-body jets from Richmond Airport. Their all Airbus fleet provides a modern, comfortable ride. The specific aircraft depends on the route and passenger demand.
How do I contact Frontier to change or cancel a flight from RIC?
You can call Frontier’s customer service line at 801-401-9000 or reach their social media team on Twitter or Facebook. Be aware their call center agents may charge fees for changes.
Flying Frontier Airlines from Richmond
In summary, Frontier Airlines does provide regularly scheduled passenger flights from Richmond International Airport to 5 destinations including Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Atlanta as of early 2023.
The low-cost carrier flies Airbus A320 family jets from RIC and offers a streamlined flying experience focused on base fare prices. Extras like bags, onboard food and drinks, and seat selection all cost extra with Frontier.
While Frontier doesn’t have as extensive a route network as legacy rivals, its affordable nonstop options to top vacation spots complement the service offered by other airlines from Richmond. Savvy travelers willing to pay a la carte can get from Richmond to popular Frontier cities across America on a budget.
But the value proposition varies person to person. Those wanting premium amenities may prefer flying Southwest, Delta, United or American from RIC despite Frontier’s cheap base fares. However if price is the priority above all else, Frontier can’t be beaten from Richmond today.