Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

The Final Frontier

I try to be faithful to Frontier, the homegrown airline that took off in 1994. And when I heard that it was adding flights to Missoula, Montana, where I frequently travel, it seemed that my longtime loyalty had paid off: I used to fly the old Frontier direct to Montana, reading every word of the "From the Cockpit" column by Captain Chick Stevens. I even made a few of the recipes that former chairman Sam Addoms' wife contributed to another incarnation of the flight magazine. And the addition only made sense. After all, the University of Montana is home of the Grizzlies, and Grizwald is touted as Frontier's official spokesanimal.

Still, I understood when, earlier this spring, Frontier announced that it was cutting its route to Missoula before it even began. Since the airline had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it hardly seemed the time to quibble about disappearing routes and disappearing snacks. I even understood why rates to Missoula on United, the only airline that flies there direct, tripled overnight.

But if Frontier has the time to come up with a new pay-as-you-go snack plan it will introduce this week -- Udi's sandwiches! Rockstar energy drinks! -- you'd think it could find the time to update its advertisements. Because, adding insult to injury while I sat, and sat, and sat on a Frontier plane yesterday, that little TV screen in front of me kept crowing that Frontier now has three direct flights to Missoula every day.

In my dreams. I'm putting in a call to Griz. -- Patricia Calhoun