Frontier to add Las Vegas flights to Washington, D.C., Cleveland

Frontier Airlines, the Denver-based carrier that is remaking itself as an ultralow discounter similar to Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines, will add new Las Vegas service in September.

The airline, which currently averages six round trips a day between Denver International and McCarran International airports, will add flights from Washington’s Dulles International Airport and Cleveland.

Nonstop service between Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas begins Sept. 8 with four flights a week. Frontier will run those flights Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Flights will leave Washington at 8:20 p.m., arriving in Las Vegas at 10:25 p.m. The return flight leaves McCarran at 11:20 p.m., arriving in Washington at 6:45 a.m. the next day.

Frontier’s Cleveland service will begin Sept. 11 with two flights a week, Thursdays and Sundays. Flights leave Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport at 7:10 p.m., arriving in Las Vegas at 8:35 p.m. The return trip leaves McCarran at 11:20 p.m., arriving in Cleveland at 8:35 a.m. the next day. Fares on Frontier’s website are listed as low as $119 each way on both routes.

Frontier’s two-tiered pricing model includes fees for bags, carry-on luggage, seat selection and change fees for rebooking flights in its economy pricing. The more expensive “Classic Plus” pricing includes one free bag to check, no carry-on fees, seats with more leg room and and no change fees.

Frontier will fly the routes with 168-passenger Airbus A320 twin-engine jets.

The new Washington and Cleveland service is part of an expansion to those cities. Frontier recently announced flights to 14 destinations from those cities.

Frontier, which flies to 78 cities nationwide, announced major operational changes in April after its parent company was acquired by Indigo Partners. Among the changes was the decision to enter the ultralow airline market embraced by Allegiant and Spirit. Allegiant, which has been profitable with the model for 45 straight quarters, says it’s successful because customers can pick and choose from its a la carte menu of services with fees and not pay for things that aren’t important to them. Critics say the airline has too many fees that confuse customers and it’s almost impossible to avoid some fees for services customers don’t want.

Frontier’s current schedule of 39 flights a week to Las Vegas ranks it the 12th busiest carrier at McCarran. The airline flew 137,100 passengers in the first quarter of 2014.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow him on Twitter @RickVelotta.