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Frontier Airlines adds COVID charge as travel ramps back up

The airline says the fee is meant to offset sanitization and PPE costs.

Airlines are starting to get their groove back after a rough year of pandemic-affected business. And while the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't gone anywhere, more Americans are feeling comfortable getting back on a plane, but those flying Frontier Airlines will notice a new fee on their bill to reflect modern travel. 

The airline has instituted a "COVID Recovery Charge." According to the airline's website, the surcharge, "offsets added costs to Frontier due to implementing Covid-19 related measures, such as increased sanitation and cleaning onboard the aircraft and in the airport, shields at the ticket counters and gate areas, and personal protective equipment for employees." Both ABC and USA Today have reported that the surcharge is just $1.59, but that figure has not been independently confirmed. 

The pandemic was just as hard on the airline industry as it was many others. Very few new fees were implemented at the height of the pandemic. In fact, many airlines got rid of fees, like Delta, which has permanently done away with change fees for all seats above "Basic Economy," in an effort to convince more people to fly during the pandemic.

Earlier this week, American Airlines said they'd be forced to cancel 50-80 flights a day through mid-July due to a labor shortage. 

This all comes at a time when demand for airline tickets is finally back to pre-pandemic levels. Just a few weeks ago the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2 million passengers in one day for the first time since March 2020. At its lowest point during the pandemic, TSA screened just under 88,000 individuals on April 13, 2020.