Frontier just switched to calendar-year elite qualifying — a positive for some, negative for others

Frontier Airlines just changed its elite qualification to be based on a calendar year, instead of the confusing previous 12-month rolling-calendar qualifying system.

I got this email from Frontier on Thursday:


Edited to remove personal details.

I don’t yet understand what this means for people who were working on their elite status based on the rolling system.

For example, if you flew 10k miles from July through December last year, previously you would’ve had until next July to fly the final 10k miles to earn elite status for a year from the date you reached the 20k-mile requirement.

In the new system, it sounds like you need to fly 20k miles starting in January 2018 in order to earn elite status for the rest of the year and all of 2019.

I didn’t see this update communicated to members in advance, so Frontier probably has many confused, angry or elated flyers on its hands.

I did a Google search on this update, and there is already a thread on the topic, where one user describes emailing Frontier about the issue and receiving a shortcut offer to earn elite status for the rest of 2018 after flying six segments.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 10.42.21 PM

Screenshot from

I’ll be honest: I never understood how Frontier’s elite re-qualifying worked.

I earned the status in September of 2016, so I expected it to end in September of 2017.

But it didn’t.

So then I assumed it would be ending at the end of 2017, especially after Frontier sent me an offer to fly one segment in order to extend it through 2018.

I’ll never know when my status would’ve ended, but now it looks like Frontier gifted me elite status for the rest of the year.

Curious what elite status actually gets you on Frontier? Here’s an overview.

If you’re affected by this update at all, any comments are much appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by!

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