It's been a long time since an experience with an airline has left me totally delighted. Just when I lost hope, along comes Frontier Airlines, known for low fares and an array of animals depicted on the tails of the airplanes. It's not a free meal or extra legroom that has me smiling. It's the airline's "auditions" for its next "spokesanimal." 

The Denver-based flyer is deciding which animal to add to its arsenal of cuties already on display, and we are all invited to vote. A pair of  videos, showing "audition" tapes and featuring the likes of Polly the Parrot, Melvin the Turtle and Samson the Sloth, offers a silly little mind break  for the middle of your day. Get your chuckes here, where the catchphrase of the voting is, "18 will try;  only one will fly." Voting will end on April 7, 2012, when the 18 potential characters will be whittled down to the top three. Voting on the final three will take place April 9-15, with the winning animal announced at the end of April.

According to the press release, "Fans voting for their candidate at will receive a special offer by email for a discount on future Frontier travel and will also be entered to win up to $2,500 in Frontier Fly Bucks. Fans can also visit Frontier’s Facebook page and enter to win a number of prizes including the new iPad, Kindle Fire and Frontier Fly Bucks."

A laugh and an opportunity to win prizes? That's almost as good as free a free checked baggage.