My (very personal) tribute to the Frontier A319 and it's retirement, history and lifespan

Last week, on Monday, March 23, 2020, Frontier Airlines had removed their 5 remaining Airbus A319s (N910FR, N939FR, N941FR, N943FR, N949FR) from commercial service indefinitely. I was able to confirm with @den.aviation, who officially confirmed this with a Frontier flight attendant. These aircraft were due to retire next month anyway, which would have given me more time to fly one more time on one of these. Due to recent events, that never happened. The question has to be asked, “Luke, why are you paying tribute to an aircraft that you haven’t been on in 5 years and that not many people have been able to experience, especially in recent years?” or: “Why should we care about these when there are other aircraft such as the Qantas and KLM 747’s and AA 767’s are retiring?”
Well, it’s not that simple.

This aircraft, I would say, sparked my interest in aviation, among with many people, especially people like me today, when they traveled through Denver’s A Concourse, or Denver based people (like me, again), after passing bridge security here at DEN, by taking the pedestrian bridge that passes over the south side of Concourse A. I mean, when you are just a little child, imagine yourself just looking out the window of the bridge, and seeing dozens of creative animals on airplanes? Who wouldn’t like to see a shot like this?


I mean, there is no other aircraft in this photo, except Frontier A319s. These 7 aircraft have most likely transported millions of passengers under the Frontier flag to destinations from Albequerque to Cancún, Boston to Calgary, Des Moines to San Jose, and more.

Sure, the heyday of these majestic aircraft has come and gone. Each one featured a unique aircraft on the tail, and it gave them personality and character. There once used to be DirectTV in the aircraft, with comfortable seats, and a lot more. Here’s a picture of an older Frontier aircraft, before 2014.


Yes, I know the IFE was small, but it was cheap to get (only like $2 or something), it had multiple channels. Frontier also extensively used their products to help their advertisement, shown on T.V. especially close to home. Here’s my favorite collection of those said advertisements.


These, along with the ads, gave Frontier animals, along with Frontier, more popularity.

Then 2014 came.

Massive, drastic changes happened. Frontier became an Ultra-Low-Cost-Carrier (ULCC) and made multiple changes, effectively ordering newer A320s, A321s and A320 NEOS to replace the aging fleet. Frontier removed the cabin with the IFE and started to remove some older A319s from the fleet. I was, fortunately, able to have the older cabin on the last of my Frontier flights. It was on an A319.

These changes scared my family away from Frontier and I haven’t flown on a Frontier flight since. They used to shuttle me and my family over to Detroit and back to see family I had over there. I’ve had some great memories with them. I’ve been on 4 of these birds (technically 5, but I’ve gone on the same aircraft twice.)

Frontier then had 3 paths for its A319s. Sell them, keep them, or scrap them. The A319 had made up a huge chunk of their fleet and once all the new aircraft started to be delivered, and the A319 wasn’t needed, they made these choices. Some aircraft were sold and are flying for multiple airlines now, such as; Brussels Airlines, Volotea, and American, just to name a few. Some were sent to Marana and Goodyear and never flew again while meeting the scrapper to end their lives and to be sold as parts. Some were kept and were slowly retired and sent either to American or scrapped.

This is actually quite sad to me, which leads me to thank these wonderful aircraft for their nearly two decades of service to Frontier, and I hope that these aircraft have bright futures to serve other airlines.
The four A319s I flew on have all had different outcomes. None of them have flown with Frontier since 2017. Here they are, in the order I flew them.
N918FR-“Jake the White-Tailed Deer” Livery - Scrapped in Orlando-Sanford (SFB/KSFB) in 2017
N925FR-“Dale the Dall Sheep” Livery - Scrapped in Marana, Arizona (MZJ/KMZJ) in 2016
N936FR-“Earl the Walrus” Livery - Flying for Brussels Airlines as OO-SSA
N929FR-“Larry the Lynx” Livery - Flying for Volotea as EC-MUT
N925FR (again)

To Jake, Dale, Earl, Larry, and numerous other A319s in Frontier’s fleet, I thank you for all the great service you provided!

Let me know if you’ve ever flown on a Frontier A319 before and if you enjoyed it and have any memories about it!

Thank you all for reading and have a great rest of your morning/afternoon/evening/night.

Image Sources
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  2. Link
  3. My photo
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Rip F9 A319


My best shots of F9 A319

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Would I be wrong in saying I get the impression they were more of a JetBlue back in the day? I don’t know much about them, they aren’t very big here (though weirdly enough I did find a photo with like twenty Frontier planes at pittsburgh, but whatever) so I really don’t know much about them from a while ago.

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They will be missed…

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I can’t compare as I’ve never flown JB, but Frontier’s old product was very special :)

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Wow this is a super great tribute topic! I actually didn’t know that they used to have IFE and weren’t always an ULCC

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I miss when these occasionally came to LGA… Time flies so fast. Always wanted to fly F9, but after the whole ULCC fiasco, I’m gonna have to say no.

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This plane (in the Volotea livery) has been on the “Guess the Airline and Aircraft” thread.


The Frontier livery looked great on the A319, they will be missed.

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I go to Denver a ton, so naturally I take Frontier a lot unless it’s out of season, in which case I take United, which is typically way more expensive. I do have to admit, frontier airlines did play a role in my aviation interest spark.

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Thank you! Not too many people besides the people who remembered this knew about Frontier’s IFE.

I’m glad they used to be my go-to airline before the ULCC thing, as they were (and still are) based in Denver, thus making it easy for me. After the ULCC occurrence happened, my family switched to Delta and Southwest to take us places.

Yeah. I also like it a lot more than Frontier’s new livery, which they stole partially from the old Frontier Airlines, and they put the animals on a generic blue background, instead of a “nature” themed background.
This is creative, not used livery.


Source
Here’s Frontier’s current livery, but the title of “Frontier” was stolen from the old Frontier, and the animal background is just a picture slapped on a blue background.

Source

That’s cool! Always nice to know someone who has had a good experience with Frontier in the past :)

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It’s really sad to see these go, I had no idea they were being retired. They commonly flew to airports around me in Montana (such as KMSO and KBZN) on lower demand days.

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I’ll give credit to F9, they certainly have better liveries than average.

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@Luke_Sta I got word from someone at DEN that the last 4 A319 are heading to Roswell tomorrow.

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When Frontier first flew to San Jose (SJC/KSJC), I believed they flew their A319s. Now to see them retired is pretty sad. I don’t know if this retirement was tied in anyway to the coronavirus (COVID-19) or if it was scheduled for this time due to their old age.

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Relatively low prices, free live TV in every seat, free name brand snacks and drinks, very good value proposition, fun atmosphere, that sort of thing, that’s JetBlue, and I get the feeling as you describe it Frontier used to be somewhere in that region…

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It was scheduled, but it was accelerated.

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Oh I see. If it wasn’t for this pandemic, we would’ve had these planes for a little bit longer :(

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Only like a month, but ya, a bit…

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They still are my family’s go-to airline because of the relatively cheap fares.
I don’t have many memories of the A319 but there is a chance that I flew from DEN-PDX on the 319 when I was 3 for a family reunion.

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Yeah that really was the reason. All of them are older than 15, making them the oldest aircraft in the F9 fleet.

You did have to pay for the IFE and snacks, but it was relatively cheap, especially here out of DEN.

Cool! I would change over to WN or something if I were you, but it’s ultimately up to your family.

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