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How this $59.99 membership can pay for itself after booking one flight

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 8/7/2020 Stella Shon
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Frontier Airlines is a Denver-based, low-cost carrier that flies to over 100 domestic and three international destinations. In addition to offering low fares, Frontier offers more ways to save on travel through their Discount Den Fare Club. At $59.99 per year, members have exclusive access to DEN deals, Frontier’s lowest fares and more.

The savings are even greater for families or if you tend to travel in groups. So long as the member is on the reservation, any discounted fare can apply to up to six travelers on your reservation. Additionally, Frontier’s “Kids Fly Free” program is only available to Discount Den members. On select flights, a child age 14 or younger can fly free with the purchase of an adult Discount Den fare.

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Frontier claims that members save an average of $114 per year, which is almost double the cost of a Discount Den membership. The premise is that members will enjoy savings on flights that outweigh the cost of the annual fee.

While Frontier won’t provide the most glamorous flying experience you’ll ever have, it’s arguably one of the most economical ways to travel. If you’re simply interested in getting from Point A to B, flying Frontier can be cheaper than a tank of gas. You’ll have extra change to spend while you’re at the actual destination.

In this guide, we’ll go through the benefits of Discount Den Flying Club and assess whether it’s not worth joining.

Related: Two Tickets for $26: The Math Behind a $60 Kids Fly Free Frontier Membership

In This Post

How to sign up

First, you must sign up to be a member in Frontier’s frequent flyer program, Frontier MILES. Once you log into your MyFrontier account, you can then enroll in Discount Den. If you don’t have an account, you can set one up during the purchase process.

Keep in mind that you must be at least 18 years old to join  Discount Den. You’ll also pay the $59.99 fee upfront, giving you access for an entire year. Although the membership will renew automatically for the following year, you can cancel any time. Keep in mind that the membership fee is not refundable.

Again, while the Discount Den membership is not transferable, other members can still take advantage of the low fares when traveling on the same reservation. So, only one person in your party needs membership for everyone to reap the benefits.

Related: The best airline credit cards of 2020

How to book

As a Discount Den member, you can take advantage of as many Discount Den fares as you want – the more you fly, the greater the savings.

To see how a normal Frontier fare stacks up against a Discount Den fare, simply conduct a route search on Discount Den fares are typically $10-30 cheaper than Frontier’s standard price, so it will take anywhere from 2-6 flights in one year to make the membership worth it. Again, this can be easily done if you fly often or if you tend to travel with multiple people.

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Points Guy

Related: The best credit cards to use on low-cost carriers

Kids Fly Free

The “Kids Fly Free” program is a family-friendly feature of the Discount Den Flying Club. While only valid on select flights, the benefits of this program can be quite advantageous. By booking an adult Discount Den fare, you can also book one child under 15 completely for free on the same reservation. The following restrictions apply:

  • Only round-trip, nonstop domestic flights are eligible for this offer.
  • You must purchase tickets three days in advance.
  • Valid for travel Monday through Thursday, and Saturday through Dec.16, 2020 and Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Dec. 17, 2020 through Sep. 8, 2021.

There are also a good number of blackout dates to be aware of. These are the current dates ineligible for the Kids Fly Free promotion from now through Sept. 2021:

  • Sept. 3-7, 2020
  • Oct. 8-12, 2020
  • Oct. 16-18, 2020
  • Nov. 19-Dec. 1, 2020
  • Dec. 18, 2020-Jan. 4, 2021
  • Jan. 14-18, 2021
  • Feb. 11-15, 2021
  • March 5-7, 2021
  • March 12-14, 2021
  • March 19-21, 2021
  • March 26-April 5, 2021
  • April 10-11, 2021
  • May 27-31, 2021
  • June 26-July 13, 2021
  • Sept. 2-6, 2021

There are also route-based restrictions on Kids Fly Free fares:

Trenton, NJ to/from Philadelphia, PA Oct. 29-Nov. 8, 2020
Chicago, IL to/from Orlando, FL Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021
Cleveland, OH to/from Fort Myers, FL Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021
Cleveland, OH to/from Phoenix, AZ Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021

Denver, CO to/from

Nashville, TN,

Miami, FL,

Myrtle Beach, SC,

Pensacola, FL,

Tampa, FL

Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021
Islip, NY, to/from Orlando, FL Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021
Milwaukee, WI to/from Orlando, FL Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021
Philadelphia, PA to/from Tampa, FL Dec. 17, 2020-Sept. 8, 2021

Keep in mind that you can’t retroactively apply this offer, as the free child’s ticket must be booked on the same reservation as the adult.

To search, simply plug in your round-trip with the correct number of adults and children on the intended reservation. As seen in the screenshot below, it’s made obvious when the Kids Fly Free offer applies to your trip.

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Points Guy

Related: Frontier Airlines’ Kids Fly Free: The definitive guide 

Alternatives to Discount Den

Frontier’s main competitor, Spirit Airlines, offers a similar program to Discount Den called the $9 Fare Club. For $59.95, members save on flights and get up to 50% off checked bags.

The fare savings can be substantial. On a test search, we found one-way fares between Los Angeles (LAX) and Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) for $82.09. Meanwhile, the $9 Fare Club fares were $52.14 – that’s a discount of 36%.

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Points Guy

Related: How to avoid airline bag fees on family trips

Is it worth it?

I personally wouldn’t recommend purchasing a Discount Den membership until you’re ready to book a Frontier flight. Then, compare your savings from the standard fare to the Discount Den fare. If your round-trip results in savings of $60 or more, then you might as well take advantage of the year-long membership. Just don’t forget that the membership automatically renews every year.

Additionally, if you travel often with family or with the same group of people, then it might be worth signing up. Only one member really needs the Discount Den membership to take advantage of the rates.

Otherwise, if you’re booking Frontier in a one-off situation and don’t think you’ll fly them again in the same year, the membership probably isn’t worth it. As the Discount Den Flying Club only applies to cheaper flights, it won’t help you save money on any other amenities while flying with Frontier.

Bottom line

For approximately the cost of one round-trip, Discount Den can be quite lucrative if you’re a frequent Frontier flyer. Again, only certain travelers will benefit from this membership, so assess your own needs accordingly.

While the Discount Den Flying Club gets you access to exclusive discounts and low fares, keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay for extra charges. If you’re bringing on a carry-on or a checked bag, the fees can add up quickly on low-cost carriers like Frontier.

And while travel is quite limited right now due to the coronavirus, you might want to hold off on buying a Discount Den membership until it’s safe to travel again.

Featured Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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