Frontier Airlines has long described itself as a “quality of life” airline for pilots. That description tries to create the impression that a more favorable work-life environment offsets or makes up for its lower pay and benefits. Close examination of many non-pay features shows the fallacy of this claim.
Reserves – No pilot wants to be on reserve any longer than necessary, and management sometimes argues that Frontier pilots serve less time in a reserve status than other pilots. First Officers are currently on reserve for about a year from their date of hire depending on domicile.
Captain Upgrades – The most junior awarded Captain has been on property for 3 years.
Domicile Choices – Frontier has four pilot domiciles — DEN, ORD, MCO, and LAS.
Hotels – Hotel stays are a way of life for pilots and the quality of layover stays is a key ingredient in job satisfaction at most airlines. Frontier Airlines uses hotels that are largely inferior to the hotels at which other pilots stay, and primarily use airport location hotels – even for long layovers. In fact, around 65% of our hotels are at airport locations. Consequently, Frontier pilots don’t have as many food, activity, or entertainment options as other pilots on long layovers. The quality of our hotels often leads to inadequate rest. Frontier pilots file more grievances over the overall quality of our hotels than any other contract provision.
The location of this sign is approximately 500 yards from the Frontier LAX layover hotel, where crews are required to get day rest before our numerous red-eye departures.
Red-eye Flying – Every airline has trips that operate on the “back side” of the clock, or overnight, but Frontier Airlines has begun to increasingly rely on back-side flying. That trend is growing with the opening of the new LAS domicile.