Pilot applicants should be aware that airline recruiters and management pilots often paint a very different picture from the reality that exists on the line. As a potential new Frontier Airlines pilot, there are some other critical features of work at Frontier that you want to include in your evaluation of potential employment and any comparisons between Frontier and other airline jobs.
This page includes more insight on other miscellaneous contract provisions and/or employment related issues.
- Training Contract Required – As mentioned before, Frontier is the ONLY carrier in the United States that requires new hire pilots to sign a 2-year training contract. If you leave within the first two years, the contract requires you to pay up to $23,000 if you leave the company.
- No Training Hotel or Transportation Provided – Unlike other airlines, Frontier doesn’t provide any hotel or transportation to new hires during the initial training period. New hires pay these costs on their own, and the hotel costs near the training center in DIA are high.
- The Time to Upgrade is Getting Longer – Without a major order for additional aircraft, the future Captains needed to staff the Frontier fleet have already been hired by Frontier.
- Minimal Retirements – With a young pilot group, Frontier is expecting approximately 5 retirements per year for the foreseeable future while other carriers are expecting as much as 500-1000 retirements per year for the next 20 years.
- Limited Pass Travel on Other Airlines – There is no reciprocal pass travel agreement with United or Delta, so Frontier pilot families can’t use reduced cost travel on those carriers.
Don’t Count on Frontier as a Stepping Stone – Only about five pilots a month (or .5% of the pilot group), leave Frontier for a legacy carrier each month. Other options like regional career progression programs or preferential hiring may be a more efficient route to the major carriers.
Other Current Contract Provisions are Deficient – Until a new pilot collective bargaining agreement is completed, Frontier pilots are working under a bankruptcy contract that includes many sub-standard industry provisions. They include: (1) 50% deadhead pay instead of 100% pay like other airlines; (2) paid parking only in your domicile; (3) no min day pay; a less valuable trip rig than other airlines; (4) a long-term disability plan that pilots pay for in part, and whose monthly benefit is capped at a lower dollar figure than other similar airlines; (5) job security provisions less comprehensive than other pilot groups; and many other provisions that need major improvements to bring Frontier pilots into the pattern of their peers.
It’s critical that pilot applicants understand the pros and cons of any and every employment offer. Frontier pilots are more than willing to talk further with you to help you understand pilot life at Frontier. We are working hard to negotiate a new contract that makes substantial improvements, but in the meantime, it’s good advice to “look before you leap.”
Frontier pilots wish you the best in your career! If you have questions, please feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org