Coming & Going

Frontier cuts fees, American and Orbitz head to court

A fee change surprise

Here’s something we haven’t heard of in a while: An airline lowering fees.

Last week, Frontier Airlines announced that it’s reducing the fee to change flight itineraries from $100 to $50 on economy fares. It’s also adding a $5 discount on the first checked bag fee for checking in online at If you log on before your flight, you’ll pay $15 instead of $20.

No fee for travelers with Classic fares, which are more expensive. Classic Fare and Classic Plus customers will continue to receive two free checked bags on every flight.

The airline is also eliminating its bicycle fee. Not that bikes will be free. They’ll be included in the baggage allowance, so economy passengers will pay $20 if the bike is one of their first two checked items.

American sues Orbitz

The fight between American Airlines and online travel site Orbitz has turned ugly. And American, which pulled its fares from Orbitz in December in an effort to reduce costs, has added another adversary — Travelport, an airline ticket distributor. In an antitrust lawsuit filed last week in federal district court in Texas, American accused the two Web sites of monopoly tactics.

Orbitz and Travelport, for their part, maintain that American is limiting consumer choice by requiring online agencies to get fare information directly from its computer system rather than from third-party distributors.