Sometimes you book a flight that you later realize you need to cancel. If you do so within 24 hours of booking a trip with Frontier Airlines, you'll be eligible for a full refund, as long as it's at least seven days before departure.
It’s a lot more complicated if you need to cancel once that initial window has passed — and you might not get your money back.
But don’t give up hope during what's likely to be an already annoying situation. Here’s how to cancel a flight on Frontier Airlines and possibly get a refund, or at least a future flight credit.
Can you cancel your Frontier Airlines flight?
You can always cancel a Frontier Airlines flight, but it might cost you.
In some scenarios, you can cancel for free. For instance, standard fares can be canceled for a full refund within the first 24 hours after booking if the ticket was purchased least 168 hours (that’s seven days) before departure.
You're also guaranteed a full refund for a cancellation if you purchased the Works bundle for the fare when booking. This optional upgrade also includes goodies such as one checked bag and early boarding.
Unsurprisingly, Works bundles incur an additional cost that varies by destination and date, so calling it a "free" cancellation is a bit of a stretch. Those with Frontier Elite 100K status do get the Works bundle for free, though.
If you don’t upgrade to the Works bundle, you can still cancel your itinerary. You’ll retain the value of that itinerary, minus carrier charges and a cancellation fee, as a travel credit with the airline.
Yet here lies the problem: Frontier cancellation fees can often amount to more than the ticket cost.
What are the Frontier Airlines flight cancellation fees?
If you paid for the upgrade to the Works (only available at the time of initial booking), it costs nothing to cancel your flight, and you’ll get a full refund.
For most other flights, you can’t get the cash price refunded starting 24 hours after booking. However, you can get a credit (minus applicable fees) for future travel.
Frontier's flight cancellation fee is $99 per passenger, per direction, regardless of when you cancel outside of the freebie 24-hour booking window.
How to cancel your Frontier Airlines flight
The easiest way to cancel most Frontier flights 24 hours after the initial booking is on the Frontier website. From a logged-in account, navigate to the My Trip page and access the Manage My Booking tool. There’s also a live chat feature.
For tickets purchased with a Works bundle, you have two options:
Request a future flight credit. Straightforward; however, you must use the credit within one year of the original date of purchase. It’s also a single-use travel credit, so if your next flight is cheaper than the first, you won’t receive money back for the difference.
Request a full refund to the purchasing card. You’ll have to complete an online refund form.
Use Frontier’s online refund request form to get your money back for most scenarios, including if Frontier cancels your flight.
» Learn more: How to get a Frontier Airlines refund
How to change your Frontier Airlines flight instead
For all non-Works fares purchased directly through Frontier, you might be better off changing your flight versus canceling. Change fees are typically far lower, sometimes even $0.
Once again, Works bundles won’t incur change fees. For other flights, you could be on the hook for a change fee if you change your flight 24 hours or more after booking.
Frontier’s flight change fees per passenger in each direction are as follows:
Flights changed 60 or more days prior to departure: $0.
Flights changed between seven and 59 days prior to departure: $49.
Flights changed six days or less prior to departure (including same day): $99.
Even though change fees are sometimes lower than cancellation fees, paying the fee isn’t always worth it. On top of paying the change fee, you’ll also owe any difference in fare, assuming the new flight is more expensive. And if the new flight is cheaper, you won’t get the difference back.
Given how high change fees can be, especially at the last minute, it might make sense to forgo the original ticket and book a new one, particularly if you can take advantage of one of Frontier's many fare sales.
» Learn more: Is a Frontier Airlines Discount Den membership worth it?
What if Frontier Airlines cancels your flight?
If Frontier Airlines is the party that chooses to cancel your flight, you have more power.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, travelers are entitled to a full refund if the airline calls off your flight, regardless of the reason, and you choose not to travel on another flight paid for by that airline.
Airlines must provide refunds promptly within seven business days if the passenger paid by credit card, and within 20 days if the passenger paid by cash or check.
Those refund requests can be made directly with Frontier.
» Learn more: What to know about flight delay compensation
Other options for getting your money back
If Frontier Airlines won’t help you, travel insurance might. This optional insurance can be purchased separately from your airfare. Prices and terms of what’s covered vary by provider. It typically costs between 5% and 10% of your total trip cost, according to insurance comparison site Squaremouth, a NerdWallet partner.
But you might not even need to pay for trip insurance because many credit cards offer travel insurance as a built-in benefit to customers who pay for their trip on that card..
» Learn more: 10 credit cards that provide travel insurance
Sometimes not even trip insurance will guarantee a refund. Unless you’ve purchased a Cancel for Any Reason policy, which is usually more expensive, you’re only entitled to a refund if you cancel for a covered reason. Covered reasons vary by insurer but generally include situations such as severe weather, severe illness, injury or death. And even in those scenarios, you can’t just fake a cough; you’ll usually need proof from a doctor.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card