The Latest in Airline Subscription Passes

In today’s subscription-based world, memberships are seemingly available for nearly everything. With travel at the forefront again, many companies and airlines are offering this model to customers. Several airlines now offer flight passes—where members pay one yearly or monthly fee used for multiple flights.

They are generally suited for those who fly frequently, but how well they work and whether they are worth it remains to be seen. The two newest players in the subscription flight market for individual travelers are Alaska and Frontier.

Alaska Airlines

One year ago, Alaska Airlines launched “Unlimited Flight Pass” featuring a flat fee for frequent, flexible flights starting at $49 per month for flights within California, Nevada, and Arizona. They recently expanded the pass to include Salt Lake City, Utah.

The details:

  • Enjoying Main Cabin benefits at discounted prices with a price that is locked in for an entire year and won’t change.
  • No change fees, so members enjoy the flexibility to change travel plans
  • Fly any nonstop route within California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah for the same great price
  • Members who are also Mileage Plan members continue to earn one mile for every mile flown on Flight Pass while using those miles to redeem future flight travel on Alaska or a partner airline.
  • Cardholders of an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card also earn 3x miles on all Flight Pass-related purchases.

“Flight Pass builds on our mission to offer travelers the most West Coast destinations at the best value,” said Alex Corey, managing director of business development and products for Alaska Airlines, in a recent statement. “Our commitment to care means offering convenient and affordable options that fit our guests’ lifestyle and connect them to where they want to go.”


When looking at costs and considerations for this pass, an important aspect to keep in mind are baggage restrictions. Baggage fees for Alaska are $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second, and $100 for each additional bag. Alaska Airlines complete bag policy can be read on their website.

Twitter user Brittany A. (Book Koda) purchased the pass last year and has yet to use it successfully and doesn’t think it’s worth it. She says the process of canceling flights already booked, combined with the high cost of the processing fees, often makes it costlier than purchasing flights separately outside of the pass. In addition, members are locked into an annual contract.

“My renewal is coming up, and I think I am going to cancel,” she says. “I looked into how much it would be to break my contract, and I can’t find it anywhere.”

Another downside is that Alaska’s pass currently only serves customers in their niche market — the West Coast. Time will tell if they expand the pass into other markets or states.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier’s flight pass program, Go Wild pass, allows customers to pay one membership fee per year with unlimited flights. The program starts at $599 per year, and officially takes flight in May 2023, although they have been testing things.

It features the following benefits:

  • Unlimited number of flights with availability for 300+ days per year for a full 12 months
  • Access to both domestic and international destinations
  • Travel that prevents miles from expiring
  • Receiving confirmed bookings the day before departure for domestic travel and starting ten days before departure for international travel

Barry Biffle, President and CEO of Frontier, shares the following:

“There’s a lot of empty seats that go every year… [and] we’ve seen an explosion in leisure travel, he says. “It’s probably one of the coolest products we’ve ever offered as an airline. It gives people that freedom of unlimited travel.”


Travelers will still need to pay 1 cent in airfare, plus all applicable taxes, fees, and charges, and the travel is not eligible to earn miles or status with the airlines. In addition, the prices don’t include carry-on or checked baggage and seat assignments, which still carry additional costs with Frontier.

The fees for both services are lower when purchasing them simultaneously with the flight. Another downside is that the pass automatically renews at $2000 per year after the first year.

Twitter user Ravid (@mericanjew) shared his experience with the GoWild pass, stating they only used it for one trip so far—which is upcoming—and the rules could be a bit misleading. He feels this way because the website’s taxes were an average of $15 per flight, but he has yet to find one like that, claiming they average $40 or more for taxes per flight.

“I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I knew this beforehand,” he says. “Frontier’s flights are already around $40 to $200 round trip with taxes and fees if you buy them at the right time.”

Another factor with these passes is baggage restrictions and additional baggage fees.

Packing for the Trip

Limiting yourself to a carry-on is the most efficient solution to escalating baggage fees, and one way to do that is by utilizing packing cubes to organize that carry-on.

Keeping baggage restrictions in mind while packing, you might want to try creating a capsule wardrobe. This helps keep things simple when packing for a trip and potentially avoiding baggage fees on most airlines.

It’s important always to read the fine print of airline flight passes before committing to the purchase. A casual traveler may find better fare deals by shopping ahead and searching discount fare sites like PricelineHopper, and other discount sites.

However, a frequent traveler who wants some flexibility may find having one of these passes worth it for the volume alone.

Make sure to understand the rules and regulations of flight times, blackout dates, booking windows, and any required fees. When ready, the friendly skies await your next adventure.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Kelley Dukat is a freelance writer, photographer, and event planner currently based in the United States. She has spent the last year as a nomad traveling and house-sitting. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and previously served as a trade magazine editor. Her favorites include dog-friendly travel, road trips, and nomad life. She is currently working on a memoir and a series of personal essays.