Low fare carrier Frontier Airlines starts service in Knoxville

Low fare carrier Frontier Airlines starts service in Knoxville

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ALCOA (WATE) - Low fare carrier Frontier Airlines is beginning service this summer at McGhee Tyson Airport.

Officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the airport.

Frontier will begin non-stop flights between Denver and Knoxville on June 6, according to its website.

Passengers at McGhee Tyson can also fly between Knoxville and Denver on United Express. To compare prices and available dates, you can check the Frontier website and the United website.

Frontier also announced on Wednesday that it will start service to Provo, Utah on June 7 and Sioux Falls, South Dakota on June 21.

Another low fare carrier, Vision Airlines, announced service between Knoxville and Destin, Florida in January. Those flights begin on March 25.

"I enjoy Frontier. I've flown with them quite a bit when I was out west. I thought it was a good option. The fares were reasonable," said passenger Joe Heckman.

Casey Robertson usually drives all the way from Chattanooga to fly on Allegiant, another low fare carrier.

"It works out for us because my grandmother lives in the Keys so if there is a $20 flight, we take advantage of it. We buy. We don't even use it sometimes," Robertson said.

If you want those low prices, Heckman says you have to be flexible. "I have to schedule my trip very specifically because I have to leave on a certain day when they are flying to a certain area and I have to come back on a certain day. You know it's not like Delta where there is a flight every couple of hours," he said.

Heckman also learned the hard way that there are extra charges on low fare flights if you select a seat or check bags over a certain weight. 

Dannie Varlan, of East Tennesseans for Airfare Competition, urges passengers to try the new airlines.

"It would be disastrous to any future possibilities. If we can't support them, then they are going to say we are not going to bother," Varlan said.

Varlan says low fare carriers simply push prices down by increasing competition.

Frontier airlines has about 550 daily departures and arrivals from its three hubs: Denver International Airport, Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport and Kansas City International Airport.

Frontier serves more than 70 destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica and has around 5,500 employees.

The airline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc., has operated for 16 years.

Frontier Airlines also made a $2,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. The food bank warehouse, which serves 18 counties in the area, was severely damaged by flash flooding on Monday.

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