I hate to admit it, but doing a full review of the Frontier Airlines A319 economy experience has been on my to-do list for longer than I care to admit. I’m a glutton for punishment, I know, so I booked the reservations and hoped for the best.
Arriving in Denver as early as possible was important because of how short this trip was going to be, and I wanted to make sure that I’d have plenty of time on the ground to relax and explore Colorado a bit.
Therefore, I was a bit disappointed to discover to find that the earliest flight on Frontier out of San Diego was 9:55am. Seriously? I haven’t been following this airline all that closely over the years, but I seem to recall that they had a much more robust schedule in and out of San Diego in years past. What the heck happened?
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Denver, CO (DEN)
Saturday, June 20 2015
Seat: 19A (economy)
I decided that I wanted to try shooting a video trip report along with the pictures and words you are looking at here, so it did take a bit of work to get the shots I needed. It ended up taking less time than I thought (thankfully) and I had 30 minutes to spare after it was all said and done.
Here is the video portion of this trip:
For those of you who prefer to read and look at pictures instead, that content is below.
My full review of Frontier Airlines A319 economy class from San Diego to Denver
I was in the car and on the way down to the airport slightly before 8am, and to be honest, I would have left earlier if it weren’t for the fact that Frontier now departs out of terminal 1 here at SAN. I’m a total airplane and airport nerd, and I actually enjoy the ambiance of a nice airport. But…I hate terminal 1. It’s small, super cramped, and there’s nothing to do but sit and wait once past the security checkpoint. I try not to spend any longer in there than necessary, and I timed it pretty well this particular morning.
Arrival at Terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport
The boarding process for flight number 556 to Denver
It was total chaos around gate 12 as they started the boarding process, but I had a zone 1 boarding pass and I took full advantage of that in order to escape the crowds. Speaking of boarding passes, they actually print “carry on bag” right on the stub if you happened to purchase the right to a carry on bag (which costs $30, by the way).
I thought that was a pretty good idea, because that way, it’s easy for the gate agents to know who should and shouldn’t have a bag with them. I wonder how many people try to slip one by them? Since I boarded early, I didn’t get to see anyone get called out.
My first impressions of Frontier Airlines A319 economy class seats
The interior of this A319 was pretty much what I expected a Frontier Airlines airplane to look like. Green seats! I’ll admit that it actually looked pretty good, and much more interesting than the gray and blue that all the other airlines seem to use.
Seat pitch was surprisingly normal. Frontier Airlines is proudly considered to be an ultra low cost carrier, so I was expecting the worst here. It didn’t feel any tighter than what I would experience on any of the legacy carriers, so that was a big plus right off the bat. Much better than what I experienced on Spirit Airlines last January.
It was a full flight over to Denver today, but they managed to get this A319 loaded and pushed back right on time. That made me happy, as any sort of delay would have likely ruined my already tightly-scheduled day. Thank you Frontier! The bummer was that there were a lot of families with small children on this flight so peace and quiet was not happening.
The departure out of San Diego
Since I knew to expect nothing in terms of entertainment and refreshments in flight (everything costs money on these low cost carriers), I took the time to just sit and do nothing for the first time in a long time. A little bit of napping, mixed with a bit of picture and video taking, and it ended up being a really nice ride over to Denver that went by in a blink of an eye. For those of you who prefer me to be a bit more exact in my explanations, flight time was a very short one hour and 52 minutes. I’m not sure, but I think that might have been my quickest flight ever to Denver out of San Diego.
The food (sucked)
The arrival into Denver
As was expected this time of year, the descent and approach into DEN was very bumpy. Skimming over the Rocky Mountains and dropping down into the flat plains surrounding Denver is always beautiful, but I know that the turbulence around these parts can get pretty scary at times with the winds whipping up and over the mountain ranges. It wasn’t the bumpiest approach I’ve ever experienced at DEN, but we were getting pushed around pretty good all the way down.
We hit 34L right on time under beautiful clear skies, and I got off that flight thinking how much I preferred the standard seats of Frontier over the sardine can-like experience of Spirit. I wonder what the seats up front (with more leg room) are like? I’ll find out on my return flight to San Diego!
In summary, I quite enjoyed my first ever flight on this airline. Frontier Airlines is pretty good in my opinion, though it is a fairly bare-bones experience (and it’ll definitely feel that way if the only other airlines you’re used to are behemoths such as Delta or United).