Trenton Mercer Airport / Frontier Airlines
1100 Terminal Cir Dr, Ewing Township, NJ 08628 Last week I took a flight for less than half the price I normally pay. The cost of my flight included my checked bag, an adult beverage, priority boarding and leg-room that gave me more personal space then I have seen in years….years.
What did I have to do for all this you ask? I had to drive 30 minutes north to the Trenton /Mercer Airport. Frontier Airlines has set up shop at the Trenton Mercer Airport (TTN) (30 minutes away) and at the New Castle Delaware Airport (ILG) (41 minutes).
I did real-time updates via facebook of my first Frontier Airlines and first TTN flight and I got a lot of feedback from Philadelphia families all along the way about their switch from Philadelphia Airport (PHL) to TTN. The next time you are taking a trip you might want to consider making the switch and below I am going to tell you everything you can expect to make the trip easier. Please keep in mind that every family that gave me their feedback always mentioned after a negative comment that it was not enough to dislike the overall experience and that they would do it all over again. The three things you will take away from this is: cheaper, smaller, not bad weather friendly.
We flew frontier out of Philly a couple of weeks ago and all was good! All four of us went to Cancun!
Felicia D (mom of toddler twins)
TTN airport is a quick 30-minute drive up 95 from Philadelphia (during non-rush hour time). Now if you are used to PHL you need to scale back your expectations. Take one gate, like B16 at PHL and put it in a building and you have TTN.
The parking lot is made of up a few sections that are right in front of the airport. There is no shuttle, no garage and no shelter from the elements. You simply park and roll on in the airport.
Pros: $8/ day (PHL is $11/day)… Trenton Mercer Airport parking rates
Con: There are steps down from the parking lot to get to the airport. There is only one ramp and depending where you park it is on the far end and a hike. This will be your first hurdle but not the end of the world.
TIP: If you can park your car as far over to the left as possible. This will put you closest to the baggage claim exit and the ramp (read on and you will understand).
TICKET COUNTER: When you get in there it is just you and the ticket counter. Weigh your checked bag if you have one, hand it over and onto security. There are kiosks to print your ticket at if you do not print it at home.
CONS: The area where you get everything ready to run through security is too short. There really is nowhere to put your things down and get them out let alone take off your shoes. So you get a bit jumbled. To add to that the security ladies were on me. I got a bottle of water out of my bag to throw out and I could not even set it down for a second before I hear “MAME YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT.” The security ladies also made me take everything off and out of its cases. My laptop had to be out of the case and everything else possible had to be in separate bins. I’ll admit it… I got puffy but those ladies stuck to it and had me take as much apart, off and unpacked as possible. In PHL it is much smoother with more space and more efficient and flying back when I was at the CVG Airport the woman looked at me like I was crazy when I started to take my laptop out of the case and separate my electronics.
***Please note this is more of an issue with airport security not being consistent throughout the various airports. But please note you will strip at TTN.
TERMINAL / BOARDING:
The terminal has a big seating area where you can see your plane pull up outside into its plane parking spot. I was one of the last people to arrive and I found a spot along the wall next to a plug. In PHL that is unheard of so that was a nice plus! When the plane is ready they call you by zone and you go outside and walk up the big ramp into the plane. Again there is no coverage from bad weather.
FOOD: There is a restaurant there called The Sky Lounge at Ewing and there is a snack bar in the terminal.
Now this is where stuff is drastically different from PHL. When you arrive back home at TTN you de-board the plane and go into a small building marked BAGGAGE CLAIM. If you checked a bag you wait in the building, if you did not you just keep moving. When your bag arrives a metal garage door rolls up and you can see your bag on a cart and a man unloads them one by one.
PRO: There is no wondering what the bag handlers could possibly be doing with your bags like at PHL. There is no annoying load buzzer from the baggage carousel. There no wondering what baggage carousel your bag will actually show up on.
CON: it is kinda weird.
My mom just got back Monday into Wilmington and said this was the only drawback but didn’t end up being that bad, all together great experience she said!
Yeah the baggage claim does leave a bit to be desired but all in all the airport is worth it. I had to drop someone off at Newark because Frontier doesn’t fly to China and I forgot how much of a pain it could be getting there and getting around the airport.
minus this baggage set-up… which honestly doesn’t end up being THAT bad… my entire frontier experience was smooth, seamless and enjoyable.
After you collect your bag you are back outside, rolling up a hill with your bags and possibly your children and you are in the parking lot. Again you are not protected from the elements. So if it is raining and you have approx. a “two block” walk to your car it is going to be a pain in the bum. As one mom commented….
Add child that needed to pee and luggage to wait for and it goes south. (No bathroom in that area, had to hike up to main airport building) But again, overall it was great.
This was my first time flying Frontier Airlines and I was really impressed. Frontier Airlines seems to have a handle of efficiency. First it started with price. They have three price structures at Frontier Airlines. You want to pick the one that best suits your travel needs. Since I was checking a bag I went with the Classic which gave me extra leg room, included the price of my checked bag and an adult beverage. Basically I was in Frontier Airlines first class from what I can gather. The cost of this round trip ticket to Cincinnati, Ohio was $148. That same flight out of PHL would have cost me $300-$400.
PRO: The plane was a giant one with tons of overhead room. Normally when you take a short flight out of Philly you are on a puddle jumper or a crowded larger plane which you hope has enough room for your carry on and maybe your ipad under the seat.
Now the frequency is the tricky part. At the time I booked the flight Frontier Airlines was flying out of Trenton Mercer Airport on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays once a day in the afternoon. The other day I looked to book a flight in June and the days of the week switched to Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at night.
Next it was the service. The flight attendants were nice, helpful and funny. The flight boarded quickly and we were out of there in no time.
I am going to mention this at risk of sounding like a huge dork. I loved my in flight snack box that I got for $6.99. I selected the Mediterranean box. It came with olives, roasted red pepper bruschetta, Stacy’s Pita Chips and bunch more yummy things. Sometimes it is the very little things that just make your day better.
BONUS TO LOOK FOR:
On my flight if you signed up for the Frontier Airlines credit card you automatically get 40,000 points which is enough for two free round trip tickets. The annual fee is $69 so technically you are paying $69 for two round trip flights. Not bad.
New Castle Delaware Airport (ILG) has free parking.