Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Airline Infuriates Passengers After Adding Hidden 'Covid Recovery' Fee

Frontier faces blowback after customers find out about extra surcharge.


In an attempt to keep up with the surging demand of passengers embarking on long-awaited summer travel, many airlines have been going to desperate measures, such as asking for volunteers to take on extra shifts. Other have flat out canceled flights during summer months due to lack of staff.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Even discount airlines, once reliable for lower fares (if more stressful journeys), are finding it difficult to reach equilibrium, and Frontier Airlines' latest move is proof of just that.

Related: Delta Air Lines CEO: New Hires Must Be Vaccinated for Covid-19

The airline has quietly added a "Covid Recovery Charge" on its website among a long list of other arguably extraneous fees, including High Cost Airport Charge and Carrier Interface Charge. As the site explains, "The Covid Recovery Charge offsets added costs to Frontier due to implementing Covid-19 related measures." (Never mind that the government announced a $25 billion bailout for the airline industry late last year.)

The measures call for "increased sanitation and cleaning" on planes and in the terminal, at ticket counters and for employee PPE.

According to the company, the fee was subtly integrated back in May, coming in at $1.59 per ticket.

Related: JetBlue Founder Launches Airline With $39 Flights

"The CRC is already added to the promoted total fare at, therefore, it is not an unexpected charge later in the booking process," a Frontier spokesperson told ABC News this week.

Understandably however, customers were not happy upon realizing the news.

"Nickle and diming customers at every turn is a sure fire way to lose them," one customer wrote on Twitter.

The discount airline filed to go public this past March, raising $570 million in its market debut in April of this year.

Frontier Group Holdings Inc. (ULCC) is currently down about 5% year over year.

Related: American Airlines Will Let Travelers Use Digital Vaccine Passports

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks