Low-cost carriers AirTran and Frontier have formed a new marketing alliance that is the first of its kind between low-fare airlines.
The partnership will link the airlines’ route systems, doubling the number of destinations each carrier can offer. Both carriers will now be able to offer flights nationwide, as AirTran focuses on eastern U.S. destinations from its Atlanta hub, while Frontier’s flights are centered around its Denver hub. Note that the partnership isn’t quite a codeshare arrangement (like the one between Southwest and ATA) in which each carrier could sell tickets for flights operated by the other.
Both airlines’ frequent flyer programs are also affected by the alliance. Members of AirTran’s A+ Rewards program or Frontier’s EarlyReturns can now earn frequent flyer miles or credits for flying with the other airline. Frequent flyers of one program can also redeem free flights on the other airline. For example, an AirTran A+ Rewards member could accumulate 24 frequent flyer credits, and use them on a free flight to any of Frontier’s domestic destinations, and a Frontier EarlyReturns member could exchange 20,000 miles for an AirTran flight.
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