The Issue

  • Frontier Airlines needed to breathe new life into their frequent flyer program after a several year hiatus after the 9/11 tragedy.
  • The goal was to capture the business traveler – the highest dollar traveler for the airline. The main competitor, United Airlines, was able to secure the loyalty of their frequent flyer members through legacy miles and redemption both in the U.S. and abroad where Frontier was essentially starting from scratch and offered only U.S. destinations.
  • Frequent flyer miles are a balance sheet item. Frontier needed to make sure that the ‘free’ miles were managed responsibly.


  • Implemented a “QuickAscent” program that encouraged high-level frequent flyer members of other programs to automatically achieve elite “Ascent” status on Frontier.
  • Instituted a new interdepartmental policy for frequent miles. Previously, miles were simply given to the requesting department. With the policy in place, departments purchased miles for their programs and incentives.
  • Created packages for frequent flyer members to bid on using miles such as tickets for local sporting events, golf outing with John Elway, and general merchandise supplied by Frontier Airlines’ sponsors.
  • Created and implemented a “Frontier Loves Colorado” themed campaign to increase awareness of the frequent flyer program and elevated the brand reputation.


  • QuickAscent garnered more than 5500 new members in the first 30-day period far exceeding projections of 1000 new business flyer members.
  • The concurrent balance sheet management of “free” miles helped to mange the airline’s financial liability avoiding blackout dates and keeping service at an elevated level.
  • Internal training led to higher than expected “on plane” enrollments into the EarlyReturns frequent flyer program.
  • The Frontier Loves Colorado outreach helped to create brand goodwill and enrollment in the program.

Apply it to Your Company

  • Membership marketing/lead generation
  • Marketing campaign development
  • Email and direct mail marketing
  • Partnership and sponsorship relations
  • Community relations

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