I think that everyone needs to be really nervous about Southwest acquiring Frontier Airlines.
Once the airport moved from Stapleton to Denver International Airport, DIA was one of the most expensive airports in the country to fly in or out of. There was one reason for this. No competition.
Once the move was made, United became the dominant carrier and Continental removed Denver as a hub city. There was really no one else here to keep United’s prices in check. And then came along Frontier.
They started small and expanded smartly. And they built loyalty as a hometown airline that was different. They are a discount airline where you can reserve your seat, they offer television on their flights, they fly nice airplanes (Airbus), and they have a friendly and professional staff.
Frontier Airlines makes flights enjoyable and the many flights I make to the east coast go quickly because I can watch television and keep up on world affairs as I am in the air.
Southwest has none of that.
Southwest flies an older model plane (737) and every square inch is taken with seats, even seats that face backwards. They don’t offer television on their flights and the main drawback, you can’t reserve a seat.
Whenever I have flown Southwest it has been stressful making sure that I get my boarding pass right at 24 hours before my flight so I can be in the A boarding group. Otherwise I have no chance to get an aisle seat.
The main thing is that we will lose competition within the Denver air market. We will be down from three major airlines to two. To me that is not enough to keep prices reasonable.
To all the naysayers out there, Frontier Airlines does not need to contract. While they have been in bankruptcy they have turned it around and are making money. Yes, they are profitable.
I hope Republic wins the bidding for Frontier Airlines, because those of us in Denver will lose if Southwest acquires Frontier.