Frontier Boarding Zones Explained

Without elite status, you're going to have to shell out some cash to get a better boarding position on Frontier.
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Written by Alisha McDarris
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The boarding process with any airline can be long and frustrating. And being in a later boarding group can cause anxiety if you’re worried about not being able to fit your free (possibly packed-to-overflowing) carry-on in the overhead bin.

Knowing when to board and what group you belong in is paramount to orderly boarding with Frontier and other airlines, as is knowing how to upgrade that boarding group to ensure you get to stash your bags, sit down and settle in before takeoff.

How many zones does Frontier have and how can you better your position? Here are the Frontier boarding zones, who is typically in each one, and how to make a change.

Frontier boarding groups

There are seven boarding groups on Frontier flights, only four of which are technically named zones. Each is called in the same order every time and is based on your seat location on the plane, status and whether you purchased an upgrade or carry-on luggage.

Other groups are voluntary for those traveling with young children or who need additional assistance. Check your boarding pass to see which one you’re in, and if you believe you require a different group, let the gate agent know.


Frontier elite members

Other passengers

Passengers with special needs


  • Those who need boarding assistance get to board first.

  • This includes anyone using a wheelchair or who needs mobility or other assistance getting onto the plane and to their seat.

Board First

Elite Diamond members.

  • Customers who purchased a premium or business bundle fare, or flyers who purchased a carry-on bag via a Board First upgrade may be assigned to this boarding group.

Zone 1

Elite Gold and Elite Platinum members.

  • Passengers who purchased economy, premium or business fare bundles.

Courtesy Boarding


  • Families with children younger than 3.

  • Passengers who may need more time getting to their seat.

Zone 2


  • Passengers sitting toward the back of the plane or passengers who have purchased Zone 2 priority boarding.

Zone 3


  • Passengers seated in the middle of the aircraft.

Zone 4


  • Passengers seated toward the front of the plane.

How are Frontier boarding groups assigned?

The boarding zone you’re assigned to depends on a few factors.

The first involves your status within the Frontier Miles frequent traveler program. Elite Diamond members get Board First priority while Elite Gold and Elite Platinum members board in Zone 1.

But it’s not just elite members who get to board earlier; if you paid a carry-on bag fee, you may get access to Board First or Zone 1 boarding, too.

The Board First zone isn’t so much assigned as it is purchased. While you can’t buy priority boarding outright, you can upgrade to Board First during booking for a fee when you purchase a carry-on. Or you can opt to purchase a premium or business bundle, which include Board First.

Frontier priority boarding Zone 2 includes the first passengers to board after all the passengers who purchased upgrades, and are typically those located in the back of the plane. The rest of the numbered zones board in order, from the back of the aircraft to the front.

Courtesy boarding and passengers with special needs boarding work on the honor system or by request once you arrive at the gate; it’s not assigned or available as an option during booking.

How to get priority boarding on Frontier flights

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®
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There are several ways to upgrade your boarding position. The first is to become a Frontier Miles elite member, which you can do by earning at least 20,000 miles by flying or with the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® .

If status isn’t within reach or you’re not quite there yet, you can purchase a number of upgrades during booking:

  • Economy fare bundle: If you pay for an economy fare bundle, you'll get to board with Zone 1.

  • Premium or business fare bundle: If you pay the upcharge to book a premium or business bundle fare, you'll get Board First privileges.

  • Board First: During checkout, you’ll be offered the option to add on a carry-on plus Board First. You can also select to pay for a carry-on separately, but you cannot purchase Board First without paying for a bag.

Frontier doesn’t usually offer status matches that would allow you to use status with a partner airline to get perks like early boarding. In fact, the airline doesn’t maintain any traditional airline partnerships, so status with other programs won’t get you any perks here.

» Learn more: Frontier baggage fees

Bottom line

Since Frontier is a low-cost airline with no airline partnerships, rare status matches and no premium cabin on its aircraft, there are few ways to upgrade your boarding position other than by purchasing add-ons.

So before you show up at the airport bummed by how long you have to wait to get on the plane and stow your bag, know the various Frontier boarding zones and how to move yourself up the list.

(Top photo courtesy of Frontier)

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