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The Street
The Street
Veronika Bondarenko

Frontier follows Southwest in improving its loyalty program

After the customer outcry that came when Delta Air Lines (DAL) -) tried to crack down on its loyalty program, there is not a single airline in North America that is not rethinking how it wants to approach its own.

Some, like JetBlue (JBLU) -) and Alaska Airlines (ALK) -), jumped onto customer frustration by offering to match or even outdo the status for customers who came to them while Southwest Airlines (LUV) -) completely revamped theirs while marketing it as "making it easier" while others are "making it harder."

Related: Competitors pushed Delta to backtrack on its lounge and loyalty program changes

The latest airline to do a full overhaul of its loyalty program is the Denver-based budget airline Frontier (ULCC) -). The biggest change comes down to how one earns the miles that can earn one both points to use for future flights and the status that unlocks bigger rewards and more VIP treatment by the airline.

All that you need to know about Frontier's new loyalty program

Starting from 2024, the points necessary to earn status can be earned by racking up 10 miles for every $1 spent with the airline — the latter is its most distinguishing feature as most airline loyalty programs keep those two point earning streams separate.

More Travel:

"We are making the new Frontier Miles program like no other loyalty program in the airline industry when it comes to earning free flights and getting valuable status quickly and for less," Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said in a statement for press. "If you are someone who travels three or four times a year, you can easily earn a free flight and status with great new benefits in no time."

To reach the first Silver status tier, Frontier travelers will need to earn 10,000 miles or the equivalent of spending $1,000 with the airline. The new tiers are 20,000 miles for Gold, 50,000 for Platinum and 100,000 miles for Diamond — the top status tier includes perks like multiplying miles per dollar spent by 20, free premium seats and no cancelation fees.

Silver, which gives travelers 12x for every dollar spent, the ability to select seats earlier and easier flight changes, is also part of the loyalty program revamp as Frontier currently offers only Elite 20K, Elite 50K and Elite 100K tiers. This means that passengers who do not spend enough for the top tiers of the program will still be able to get some perks for flying with Frontier.

Delta is trying to backtrack but competitors have already edged in

Other changes introduced to the airline's loyalty program include some opportunities to earn status faster by booking flights during certain less popular time windows or using the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard (MA) -) credit card.

Amid such an explosion of airline loyalty program overhauls, Delta has furiously tried to backtrack on its own blunder. 

After initially planning to cap lounge visits for those with access to at most 10 a year and scrap waivers that allowed passengers to earn status faster, Delta CEO Ed Bastian admitted that the airline "probably went too far" and lowered the amounts necessary for different tiers.

But the damage had already been done as competitors saw major opportunity among customers who felt like Delta was milking them and not giving much in return.

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