Frontier Airlines was incorporated on February 8, 1994, by a group that included executives of the original incarnation of Frontier Airlines in response to the void left by Continental Airlines' 1993 shutdown of its Denver (Stapleton) hub. Scheduled flights began five months later in July 1994 using Boeing 737-200 jetliners on routes between Denver and four destinations in North Dakota: Bismarck, Minot, Fargo and Grand Forks. By January 1995, Frontier had expanded its route network from Denver and was serving Albuquerque, New Mexico; Billings, Montana; Bismarck, N.D.; Bozeman, Montana; El Paso, Texas; Fargo, N.D.; Great Falls, Montana; Las Vegas, Nevada; Missoula, Montana; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tucson, Arizona with 737's. Like the original airline of the same name, the new Frontier operated a hub at Denver (DEN) and for the first nine years used the slogan "The Spirit of the West" which was displayed above the windows and just behind the cursive letters "Frontier" on the fuselage of their aircraft. In 1999, Frontier signed agreements to begin purchasing and leasing Airbus A318 and A319 jet aircraft and had also added Boeing 737-300 jetliners to its fleet as well. Also by September 1999, the airline was serving destinations from coast to coast in the U.S., having expanded its route network to include Atlanta (ATL); Baltimore (BWI); Bloomington/Normal, Illinois (BMI); Boston (BOS); Chicago (MDW, Midway Airport); Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW); Phoenix (PHX); Los Angeles (LAX); Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP); New York City (LGA, LaGuardia Airport); Orlando (MCO); Portland, Oregon (PDX); Salt Lake City (SLC); San Diego (SAN); San Francisco (SFO); and Seattle (SEA), all served from its Denver hub.
In January 2008, Allegiant opened its sixth base at Washington's Bellingham International Airport. The airline bases two McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft in Bellingham as part of the expansion. Routes served exclusively from Bellingham include Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix. Expansion in Bellingham has been largely driven by its proximity to Greater Vancouver, British Columbia.
In September 2009, JetBlue made changes to its TrueBlue program. In the new program, members receive three points for every dollar spent toward a flight, excluding taxes and fees, plus an additional three points for every dollar spent on a flight if booked online directly on the JetBlue.com website. Additional points are awarded if the member uses the Barclay's issued JetBlue Mastercard credit card to purchase the flight. The price of flights in points depend on the fare of the flight in U.S. dollars. The new program launched on November 9, 2009.
jetBlue expanded service to the Caribbean, including to St. Maarten and Puerto Plata commencing January 10, 2008. With these additional destinations, jetBlue serves a total of twelve Caribbean/Atlantic destinations including Aruba; Barbados; Bermuda; Cancún; Nassau; Aguadilla; Ponce; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Santiago; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Like Ryanair, the low-cost airline founded by the Ryan family of Ireland, who also have invested in Allegiant, the airline seeks ancillary revenue to supplement ticket revenue. These ancillary fees include those for checking luggage, carrying on luggage (other than a small personal item), buying food and drinks on board, obtaining advance seat assignments, and more. Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher said in 2009, "We collect $110 from you at the end of your trip. If I tried to charge you $110 up front, you wouldn't pay it. But if I sell you a $75 ticket and you self-select the rest, you will."
March 27, 2012: Flight 191 en route from New York City, to Las Vegas performed an emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport after the captain, Clayton Osbon, was locked out of the cockpit and subdued by passengers after he started acting erratically and ranting about terrorist. It is believed that Osbon suffered from an unspecified mental breakdown, and was treated by Northwest Texas Healthcare System. There were no fatalities.
As jetBlue gained market share, they found a unique positioning where they competed with other low-cost carriers (e.g. Southwest, and Frontier), as well as major carriers (e.g. American, United, and Delta). Amenities such as their live in-flight television, free and unlimited snack offerings, comfortable legroom, and unique promotions fostered an image of impeccable customer service that rivaled the major airlines, while competitive low fares made them a threat to low-cost no-frills carriers as well.
^ Jump up to: a b c "JetBlue 2017 Annual Report" (PDF). p. 8. Retrieved 2018-09-19. We are a predominately point-to-point system carrier, with the majority of our routes touching at least one of our six Focus Cities: New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando, Long Beach and San Juan, Puerto Rico. During 2017, over 92% of our Customers flew on nonstop itineraries.
Frontier has a three-tier frequent flyer status program. The tiers are Elite 20K (earned by flying 20,000 Status Qualifying Miles [SQM] or 25 segments in a calendar year), Elite 50K (50,000 SQM or 50 segments), and Elite 100K (100,000 SQM or 100 segments). Elite benefits include free carry-on and checked bags, advance seat assignment and family seating, priority boarding, redemption fee waiver, stretch seating, Discount Den membership, and mileage multipliers.
In March 2010, Allegiant purchased six used Boeing 757-200 jetliners as part of plans to begin flights to Hawaii, with deliveries from early 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011. It gained the approval for type with the FAA in July 2011, and then worked with the FAA to obtain the appropriate ETOPS rating in order to be able to serve Hawaii. Allegiant no longer operates nonstop service to Honolulu from Las Vegas.
On October 31, 2017, the final 757 was retired from service, leaving Allegiant with only their A320 Family and MD-80 series fleets. In November 2018, the last MD-88s operated by Allegiant were retired, with Allegiant now operating an all-Airbus fleet. The move to the newer all-Airbus fleet has allowed Allegiant to benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs, as well as operate in some airports which could not be served by the MD-80s.
In 2013, Allegiant acquired nine Airbus A320-200 aircraft from Spanish flag carrier Iberia. Seven of the A320s were delivered in 2013 and were used for growth into new markets, including destinations in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, as well as airfields such as Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and Trenton, New Jersey. On February 24, 2015, Allegiant announced the purchase of 2 additional A320s from Philippine Airlines which entered into service in 2015. Later in 2015, the airline announced a firm order for an Airbus A320 direct from Airbus, the first time it has purchased new aircraft from the supplier.
Various consumer rights organizations and activists called for the creation of a government mandated “Bill of Rights” to protect air travelers from future experiences similar to the one previously described. On February 20, 2007, jetBlue released an apologetic response to the events that had taken place less than a week before with the creation of their Customer Bill of Rights, which offers financial reciprocation if a customer's flight is delayed or cancelled.
On October 13, 2009, the airline unveiled a modification to its livery in commemoration of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the airline in February 2010. Besides a new tail design, the revised livery includes larger "billboard" titles extending down over the passenger windows at the front of the aircraft. The logo word 'jetBlue' will no longer be silver and blue but now a dark, navy blue.