The Guide to Frontier Airlines Stretch Seating

If you want a few extra inches of pitch and the ability to recline, you'll want to pay for Frontier's better seats.

Dan MillerJanuary 15, 2021
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Frontier Airlines offers ultra-low-cost fares with only the flight included. If you want to choose your own seat, check a bag or even bring a carry-on, there’s a fee. If you want to pick your own seat (even a middle seat in the back of the aircraft), you’ll need to pay extra. Even the complimentary snacks and soft drinks that some other airlines hand out come with a charge on Frontier Airlines.

This pricing model is great if you’re a budget traveler who wants to pay only for the things important to you — things like legroom.

If you like the idea of a la carte savings, but consider legroom a priority when you fly, you should know about Frontier Airlines’ stretch seating. Here are the basics on this Frontier Airlines add-on, plus a look at whether it’s worth the cost.

What is Frontier Airlines stretch seating?

Most seats on Frontier Airlines’ flights have between 28 and 31 inches of pitch, the distance from the back of your seat to the back of the seat in front of you. That’s slightly below the average pitch of 30 to 31 inches found on other airlines.

Frontier Airlines Stretch Seating comes with an extra 5 to 7 inches of pitch. These seats also recline, unlike the other seats on Frontier Airlines, and they offer bigger tray tables. Frontier typically offers five or six rows of stretch seating on its aircraft, including the exit rows.

How much does Frontier Airlines stretch seating cost?

The cost of Frontier Airlines stretch seating depends on a couple of different factors, most notably how long the flight is and when you book. On some flights, stretch seating starts at $16 each leg. On longer flights that you book later, this perk can cost well over $56. You'll have to check your individual flights for specific pricing as it varies by route and length.

If you have a connecting flight, you’ll need to pay for stretch seating for each leg of your flight.

If you want to pick any seat while flying Frontier you’re going to pay something, so take that into account when deciding if the stretch seating option is worth it for you.

Nerdy tip: If you’re planning on checking bags or bringing a carry-on, consider instead booking either the Works or the Perks bundles. These bundles include seat selection, bags, priority boarding and, in the case of the Works bundle, flight flexibility and refundability.

How to get stretch seating for free

There are a couple of ways that you can get Frontier Airlines stretch seating for free.

Earn elite status

Frontier Elite 20K status lets you pick a seat for free and you can pick Stretch Seating for free when you check in. If you have Elite 50K or Elite 100K status, you can pick Stretch Seating for free when you buy the tickets and you get Family Seating, which allows up to eight passengers on the same reservation to pick any seat, including Stretch Seating, at the time of purchase.

Use credit card perks wisely

Another way you can get Frontier Airlines stretch seating for (sort of) free is to use airline incidental credits from an American Express card. These cards pay you back (in the form of a statement credit) when you purchase certain airline incidentals, including seat upgrades, up to a certain limit every year. Terms apply.

You have to select your preferred airline at the beginning of the year, or when you sign-up, so if you have one of these cards and want to use the credit for Frontier Airlines perks, be sure to select it as your preferred airline.

Cards that offer these credits for airline fees include:

Terms apply.

Frequently asked questions

Most Frontier Airlines tickets do not include complimentary seat assignments. This means you have two options: Pay for a seat or skip seat selection. By skipping seat selection, you might get stuck in a middle seat or separated from your party — but it’s free. Frontier also offers “stretch seating” with extra legroom for an extra charge.

You can select your seat on Frontier, but it will cost you. You always have the option to skip Frontier Airlines seat selection for free.

Generally, you should only pay for a seat on Frontier if you want to avoid the middle seat, or if you’re traveling with family and don’t want to get separated. Frontier will make selecting (and paying for) a seat appear like the default option, but remember: You can always opt out.

The cost of selecting a seat varies by route and seat type, from $17 to $55 each way for standard economy seats. In our analysis, we found that Frontier charges an average of $36 for seat selection on a roundtrip fare.

Small bags and personal belongings that can sit under the seat in front of you are allowed for free on Frontier, but you will get charged a fee for overhead carry-ons, such as roller bags and larger backpacks.

The bottom line: Is paying for stretch seating worth it?

Whether or not Frontier Airlines stretch seating is worth it depends on your situation. The seats with more legroom are definitely better than the regular seats, especially if you have a longer flight. If you're not working toward elite status or an AmEx cardholder, then the best thing to do is look at the difference in cost between the stretch seating and other seats and decide if it’s a perk you want to splurge on.

They can be especially worth paying for if you're booking a long Frontier flight or already tend to feel uncomfortable in other airlines' economy seats.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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