Is Frontier Airlines good for autistic children?

All experiences are based on our own travel and we receive no compensation for this post.  We write all about family travel focusing on the unique challenges of traveling with a child with autism.  For us, that means special gluten-free diets and sensory conditions. Every time we travel, we need to consider what is best for our child.  It makes sense while booking one of the largest budget airlines, we decide if Frontier Airlines good for autistic children.

Frontier Airlines: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

We are accustomed to Autism family travel.  We’ve flown Frontier Airlines many times to Orlando and Denver.  The experience has usually been tolerable but occasionally we’ve had a rough time.

One particular flight, I flew alone with both boys.  My son was particularly frustrated with his earphones and kept unplugging them.  The iPads volume was low, but the flight attendant became angry and yelled directly at my son to plug in the headphones.  He became extremely agitated and was vocalizing and stimming.  She demanded that he calm dow and I hold him to make him be quiet.

If you know anything about autism, you know that sometimes holding someone during an emotional outburst is one of the worst triggers.  In his case, he buried his face in my chest and blocked out the noise and lights, but this could have ended very badly.  Autism doesn’t let my sweet son choose how to process the flow of sensory information.

A plane window with the words 'Is Frontier Airlines Good for Autistic Children?'
Photo source: Steve Halama from Unsplash

What are the sensory conditions for Frontier Airlines?

Let’s talk about Autism.  This flight is very cramped, and you have to pay for everything.  While there are a few gluten-free choices, my picky eaters wouldn’t touch any of them.  Come prepared.  Bring your child’s favorite drinks and snacks, bring earphones and a tablet, and bring a safe toy or weighted blanket to help soothe your child on this flight.  Flying with autism can be hard- but at least it’s free on Frontier Airlines.

On yet another flight, my son’s ears started to hurt, and he starts gently knocking his forehead with his fist. Another flight attendant told my son to stop. It’s frustrating because I almost always have my son nearly calm when he intervened. In each of these cases, he wasn’t yelling, screaming, or hurting anyone. I wish there were more autism awareness.

The other issue is that their flights often get delayed. I have had a flight set to arrive in the afternoon the day before I have to work and go to school. I always give us a day of leeway now. My children and I have gotten delayed terribly. We were supposed to arrive at 3 PM, and we wound up getting kicked up at 11 PM.

How does Frontier Airlines Price their Flights?

Frontier is a great deal cheaper than most airlines. Unless you use all the bells and whistles of flying a commercial airline, you’re better of going value. With Frontier, you only pay for the perks that you want. Do you always skip the snacks and drinks passed onboard? Great- Frontier will save you tons of money!

 Photo Credit: Tomas Del Coro

Most commercial airlines roll the cost of snacks and drinks right back into your ticket.  If you fly Frontier, you are getting a bare bones budget. Since we are gluten-free and have specific drink preferences, it never made financial sense for us to be paying for it!

If you’re going to fly Frontier, forget bringing a suitcases.  Frontier charges by the bag and increases the price of each bag the closer you get to your flight.  By squeezing clothes into a book bag, you can avoid paying these fees. You can carry two personal items for free, but be sure to refer to the Frontier website for the dimensions.

Can Kids Fly for Cheap?

Child airfare prices are a product of yesteryear for domestic American flights.  The air industry has established a new normal– if they are two or older, there are no discounts, and no one flies free.

The only good news is that the price of the ever climbing airfare is finally starting to fall.  Finding a deal is possible, but it usually takes a ton of research and a little bit of good luck.

Can kids fly free?

The good news is that yes, they now can.

The thought of flying at no cost sounds like a pipe dream.  However, it is now possible due to Frontier Airlines new promotion: Kids Fly Free! For only $60, kids fly free all year by joining Frontiers Discount Den travel club.

Attention parents– is not a drill.  Your little children will fly free ALL year.  There IS small print– notably limited dates (primarily Tuesdays and Wednesdays), you must purchase a membership to their discount club, and there is no guarantee how long that this will last.

But currently on Frontier Airlines?

  • One child can fly free for every adult that flies through the Discount Den travel club.
  • There is a caveat that children can only fly free on valid “Kids Fly Free” flights.
  • You can use one Discount Den membership to purchase tickets for up to 6 people, as long as they are on the same reservation as you.

If you are planning any family trips this year, it is an amazing opportunity to check out!  Their fares are absolutely free.

What is the child age limit for a flight ticket?

The child must be less than 15 years old on the date of travel to fly for free. Babies under two can always fly free on an adult’s lap but may be able to get their own seat under the rules of this promotion.

You cannot combine this deal with any promo code. The good news is that having the Discount Den gives you cheaper rates anyway!

Kids can fly free most Tuesdays and Wednesday’s.  The offer is valid for specific dates.

While all airlines have a long way to go with how they treat autistic children, we’ve never had a bad experience with Frontier.  Is Frontier Airlines good for autistic children?  So far, yes- we think so.

What’s your experience? Sound off in the comments.

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I'm married to my High School sweetheart and a Disney loving mom to four children, one with autism. We have the wanderlust. I'm a total birth nerd, midwife, and special needs advocate.

2 replies on “Is Frontier Airlines good for autistic children?”

  1. Great article! It’s disappointing to hear about the flight attendant’s reprimand. There should not only be training for special needs children (and adults), but their concerns should be addressed calmly to the parent, not the child,

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