In October 2005, JetBlue's quarterly profit had plunged from US$8.1 million to $2.7 million largely due to rising fuel costs. Operational issues, fuel prices, and low fares, JetBlue's hallmark, were bringing its financial performance down. In addition, with higher costs related to the airline's numerous amenities, JetBlue was becoming less competitive.
In November 2012, Frontier started low-frequency service between Orlando International Airport and Trenton–Mercer Airport near Trenton, New Jersey, which, at the time, had no commercial service. Frontier later expanded service several times from Trenton, and as of June 2016 services 11 destinations. Frontier currently bases three aircraft in Trenton. Trenton Mercer Airport lies roughly equidistant between Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
jetBlue previously had its headquarters at 80–02 Kew Gardens Road, and then in the Forest Hills Tower, both in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City, 6 miles (9.7 km) from the current office in Long Island City. In 2001 the airline had announced that it wanted to take 74,000 square feet (6,900 m2) of space in the Forest Hills Tower, and by December 2002 announced that it planned to increase its leased space.
jetBlue experienced its first-ever quarterly loss during the fourth quarter of 2005 when the airline lost $42.4 million, enough to make them unprofitable for the entire year of 2005. The loss was the airline's first since going public in 2002. JetBlue also reported a loss in the first quarter of 2006. In addition to that, jetBlue forecasted a loss for 2006, citing high fuel prices, operating inefficiency, and fleet costs. During the first quarter report, CEO David Neeleman, President Dave Barger, and then-CFO John Owen released JetBlue's "Return to Profitability" ("RTP") plan, stating in detail how they would curtail costs and improve revenue to regain profitability. The plan called for $50 million in annual cost cuts and a push to boost revenue by $30 million. jetBlue Airways moved out of the red during the second quarter of 2006, beating Wall Street expectations by announcing a net profit of $14 million. That result was flat when compared to jetBlue's results from the same quarter a year before ($13 million), but it was double Wall Street forecasts of a $7 million profit, Reuters reports. The carrier said cost-cutting and stronger revenue helped it offset higher jet fuel costs. In October 2006, jetBlue announced a net loss of $500,000 for Quarter 3, and a plan to regain that loss by deferring some of their E190 deliveries and by selling 5 of their A320s.
Frontier was ranked in an airline quality rating report by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University in 2015 as one of the five worst airlines in the United States, especially due to its rate of customer complaints and bumped passengers. The airline also had relatively poor on-time performance, and the waiting time for help when calling the airline on the phone was reported to have risen to two hours or more.
Frontier Miles is the frequent-flyer program for Frontier Airlines, replacing the EarlyReturns program, which existed from 2003 to 2018. Frontier Miles can be earned by flying Frontier Airlines, using the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard, or by spending at partner hotels, car rental chains, cruises, and merchants. Frontier Miles can be redeemed for flights, magazine subscriptions, and car rentals. Since February 2019, hotel stays are also part of the redemption options.
On August 4, 2008, the Associated Press reported that jetBlue would replace their recycled pillows and blankets with an "eco-friendly" pillow and blanket package that passengers would have to purchase for use. Each package will cost $7 and will include a $5 coupon from retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond. This decision is the latest in a series of moves designed to increase revenue. jetBlue told the Associated Press that it expects to collect $40 million from passengers selecting seats with extra legroom and $20 million from passengers paying $15 to check a second bag. As of September 8, 2008 JetBlue charges passengers $10–30 for an extended-leg-room seat depending on the length of the flight.
Frontier took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft (an A319) in 2001 and simultaneously launched with it DirecTV in-flight television along with a new company livery. Frontier Airlines was the launch customer of the Airbus A318 in 2003. In mid-April 2005, Frontier officially became an all-Airbus fleet, retiring its last Boeing 737.
In July 2013, Frontier started service from New Castle Airport near Wilmington, Delaware to five destinations, which Frontier markets as Wilmington/Philadelphia. Again, this airport had no commercial service prior to Frontier's entry. New Castle Airport lies roughly 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia International Airport and 75 miles northeast of Baltimore–Washington International Airport.
In October 2013, Republic Airways Holdings entered into an agreement with private equity firm Indigo Partners to sell Frontier Airlines for approximately $145 million. According to Indigo, the transaction would further Frontier's evolution into an ultra-low-cost carrier. In December 2013, Indigo Partners LLC, through an affiliate, completed the purchase of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings. The airline's headquarters will remain in Denver. Republic Airways Holdings subsidiary Republic Airlines no longer flies Embraer 190 aircraft on behalf of Frontier, as of January 1, 2014.
In an effort to focus on regional contract flights for major carriers, Republic Airways Holdings announced in January 2012 its intention to sell or spin off Frontier. On January 26, 2012, Republic Airways Holdings appointed former US Airways and Gate Gourmet CEO David Siegel as President and CEO of Frontier Airlines. Republic also added new senior officers for Frontier's finance and commercial team, among other changes in the executive leadership team. Siegel and other Frontier executives moved to Denver where Frontier is headquartered in order to facilitate management of all aspects of Frontier during its separation process from Republic and continue its transformation into an ultra-low-cost carrier.
Today, it serves 77 cities on 176 routes. They cover destinations like Bellingham, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles, California, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, PhoenixMesa, Arizona, San Francisco Bay, Fort Myers and Tampa Bay or St. Petersburg-Clearwater. They have their operation bases at Bellingham International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Orlando-Sanford International Airport, PhoenixMesa Gateway Airport and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.