Frontier Airlines announced that this summer it will become the third U.S.-based airline to charge passengers a fee to bring carry-on bags into the cabin. Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air already impose a carry-on fee.
But Frontier added a twist.
Passengers can avoid the fee ($25 if paid in advance, $100 at the gate) by booking the flight directly through the airline, at FlyFrontier.com. (There is also no charge if the bag fits under the seat.)
By directing fliers to book with FlyFrontier.com, the airline avoids the booking fees it pays when passengers buy tickets through travel sites such as Expedia.com or Orbitz.com.
“I suspect we will see other airlines study this move and perhaps copy it in the future,” said George Hobica, founder of the consumer website Airfarewatchdog.com. “This is an effective way to force consumers to book directly with the airline.”