SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I will never fly with them again... My flight was supposed to leave from Sea-Tac at 6:15 am on a Saturday morning, boy was I in for a long day. First we sat on the plane at the gate for an hour. We were then told to de-plane due to a mechanical problem and that We would be back on board in no time at all. 45 minutes after exiting the plane we were then told we would have a 3 hour delay. That's when I hoped in line knowing that if I didn't do something soon that I would never make it to my final destination of NYC. The 3 hour marker was of when we were supposed to take off vastly approaching and it was obvious we weren't going anywhere anytime soon. Sure enough I was right, we were then told that our flight would be delayed 8 hours... Yes, I meant to type 8 hours. At this point I wasn't sure what to think. I had been in line for almost 4 hours along with roughly 80+ people watching one person being helped every 30-45 minutes. Did I mention that they only had one person at the desk assisting us. At this point I was making phone call number 2 to Frontier's customer service, my first attempt the representative told me next to nothing and that she couldn't really do anything for me because technically the status of my flight was in route but that clearly wasn't the case. This second call felt a little more promising... While the representative said that I would probably arrive 4-5 hours later than expected I was assured that I would make it to NYC that day or into the wee hours of Sunday. While waiting in line I called an additional 2 times to which I was given the same "We'll get you there today, just later than expected." 5:45 rolls around and I finally make it to the ticket counter right as I get up there they announce that the flight will finally be departing. They ask everyone to come to the ticket counter to confirm they have the correct boarding pass and then we'd be on our way. The employee looks at my ticket and says that indeed your flight will be departing but I cannot get on the plane, I won't be making it to NYC until the following evening. I was furious at this point but I know that the woman at the ticket counter couldn't do much and had already been yelled at by 85% of the people that she had been helping. I calmly asked her what they could do for me and that I needed to be on a plane first thing in the morning. She made it happen and they offered me a $200 voucher for another flight and I left the following morning and finally made it to NYC. I followed up with customer service and they essentially told me to take a hike and that this kind of stuff happens. In order to try to please me they offered to add an additional $50 to my $200 voucher but I highly doubt that will be used because I will never fly with them again. The entire time I was on the phone with the representative she tried to get into a lengthy conversation about company policy and the things they "comped" for me in order for me to get to and from point A and B. I wasn't buying it and to be honest, at this point, I had zero hopes of them making things right. Regardless of the cost of future flights, I will never fly Frontier ever again. This whole mess was handled so poorly, no wonder they were rated the 3rd worst airline in 2011.
Flying from Dayton, Ohio to Las Vegas on flight #1092 on 1/17/2010. My flight was to leave the Dayton International Airport at 6:15 am on 1/17/10; I arrived at the airport at 4:00 am. Frontier air Lines requires a mandatory 2-hour check in according to your published info & your recorded info on your 1-800 line. The check in desk was not open. But the fight information board showed the flight to be canceled. I was second in line for service, at about 5:15-5:30 am a female ticket agent did come out to the desk, she did not speak with any of the passengers waiting in line, she picked up the telephone, and actually held it to her ear the entire time I stood in line which was until about 6:15 am. Another ticket agent, a young man came out & had a conversation with the female ticket agent, and he proceeded to log in to your system to start helping passengers. He randomly called out passengers name's to re-book flights on other carriers. After about 20 minutes I ask him why he was not speaking with people in the order they arrived, he replied that the folks he was calling had connecting flights. I told him that I did too so he ask my name & then re-booked me on US Air fight 2248 at 6:55 am. All was well for this leg of the trip. The real trouble began on 1/21/10. I was booked to leave Las Vegas to Phoenix on US Air flight 117 @ 9:40 pm. Because of all the bad weather in the southwest that day all flights had been canceled. I know that this is not Frontier Airlines problem to fix, so I called US Air to get rescheduled to fly to Phoenix, I was told they could not get me there until Sunday, 1/24/10 after 10 am this is where the problem ensues, my flight on 1/24/10 from Phoenix on Frontier Airlines #868 was leaving at 7:25 am.
So my next option is to call Frontier Airlines to see if I could change my return date/ticket to 1/22/10 and fly back to Dayton, Ohio. I called their 1-800 no customer service number at 6pm Las Vegas time, was on hold for 1 hour before I spoke with a customer service representative. As I explained the situation, I was told it is not Frontier's Problem.. I needed to call US Air it was their problem..He would not stop talking so I could explain the situation. I asked to speak with a supervisor, after being on hold for about 10/15 minutes, she came on the line, and told me that the previous man had explained the situation, and she could book me on a flight the following day. I asked her if this was confirmed, she told me yes. (My mistake here was not getting a name & employee #.) This flight was to leave Las Vegas at 10:15 am #976 going to Oregon then to Dayton, Ohio. As per your rules I show up at the Las Vegas airport at 7:30 am to check in. When I got to the ticket agent, she could not find the "the confirmed reservation". She picked up the telephone and called someone..(Have no idea who.) Then after about 30 minutes, I ask what the problem is and this is what she said. "What she did find in the system was that I had flown out the night before on the canceled flight, US Air. She then called, I guess US Air to fix the computer system so she could proceed. After that was done, she then took me to the on floor manager . He then looked in the system for the reservation to Oregon. Once he found it, he told me the cost would be $676.00, time was now about 9am.
Needless to say I was a bit over whelmed at the cost, because the night prior when I was on the phone with your customer service supervisor, nothing had been mentioned about this ticket price. (Had that been the case I wouldn't have been standing there!) When I explained to Mr. X the conversation that took place the night before, his reply was, I have no proof that they didn't tell you the price! At this point his behavior was nothing but condescending, rude and insulting. He was loud, he told me it wasn't his fault, US Air Cancelled the fight & it wasn't his problem to help me. Either I wanted the ticket or not I stood at the ticket desk & once again called your customer service, and was told exactly the same thing, as Mr. X..by now it was 10:30 am and the flight was gone. Mr. X, had been holding in his hand all my itinerary papers the entire time we have been speaking, he was folding them up and slamming them down speaking very loudly to me, either "I excepted his help or not". At this point I asked to speak with his supervisor, when he told me he was the top man in Las Vegas.
If this is the kind of customer service Frontier Airlines wants, I am shocked!
Please understand that I did not once yell or insult, or call any one any names..I retain my composer the best I could muster.. I then re-iterated that my fight back to Dayton, flew out of Phoenix, and I couldn't get there, so I needed to find a way home. Mr. Chamber's stated, "You have a flight home out of Phoenix" that comment was nothing but sarcasm! So I asked him to check to see if he had any flights that would leaving Las Vegas on Sunday 1/24/10 to get back to Dayton, he refused to help me..
This has been my experience with Frontier Air Lines. I am 57 years old, professional and have flown many times, I have never been spoken to like this or treated with so little respect as I have been with Frontier Airlines. I certainly hope that this complaint doesn't end up on someone's desk in a pile of papers. Because if this is happening to me, how many other customers do you think this happening to, that aren't sharing the experience? The best form of advertising is through word of mouth, what do you think I have been saying? I would truly like to hear from a representative from your company, and not just a form letter that thanks me for expressing my opinion! Do they really record conversations, I hope so, because I would sure like them to listen to this one!
The best way to describe this is to share the letter I sent them!
June 26, 2009
Frontier Airlines, Inc
7001 Tower Road
Denver, CO 80249-7312
Attn: Customer Relations
Today I had the absolute worst experience I have ever encountered in over 40 years of flying. THE WORST.
A group of four of us were scheduled to fly from Oklahoma City, OK to Denver, CO on Frontier Flight 188 at 7:00 am on Friday, June 26. We had planned this trip for quite some time and were headed to a family reunion (probably my last chance to see some of my aunts that are still living as they were traveling from other states).
I checked us in online the night prior with no problems.
We arrived at the airport before 6:00 am and, having no checked baggage, headed straight to security. We checked the terminal monitors and the flight was showing on time. We waited at the gate and never saw a Frontier employee. When the plane was not being boarded by 6:45, we simply assumed the gate crew was running late. We again checked the monitor and it showed the flight on time. When 7:00 arrived, we started asking other passengers if they were waiting for the Denver flight. They said no, they were on the Houston flight and they had heard the Denver flight was cancelled. Let me reiterate - WE ONLY HEARD OF THE CANCELLATION FROM OTHER PASSENGERS. The terminal monitors, the gate signage etc all still showed our flight on-time.
So, I immediately headed to the ticket counter. What awaited me there was chaos. I got in a line with approximately 20-25 people at about 7:10 am. Now, keep in mind that had proper notice been given, I would have been at the ticket counter by 6:00 am. Through word of mouth of passengers we learned that apparently a flight destined for Houston was diverted and our plane was given to that group of passengers. I still don't know if that's correct as your Oklahoma City employees never informed us of the reason for the cancellation.
The gentleman working our line was extremely slow. Keep in mind there were only 20-25 people in line, but it took him over FOUR HOURS to get to us. That's correct - FOUR HOURS. So, I'm sure it was obvious we weren't happy. While waiting in line, he was helping another group of passengers (I think he was helping them) and was on the phone. He took the phone receiver and pounded it on the counter several times in obvious anger. I have never seen anything like that in my life. I'm not sure what made him so angry on the phone, but to throw a tantrum like that in front of passengers is beyond belief.
At the two hour point of waiting, I decided I might have better luck just contacting customer service. So, I called your toll-free number. I had over a ten minute wait time on the phone (which is understandable. I'm sure many people were calling with the way we were being treated). When your representative answered, I explained to her what was going on. She said “I can't help you. You'll have to wait until the ticket agent at the counter gets to you.” So, I asked her could she at least check to see what flight alternatives there might be so I had an idea of what I was facing when I finally did get to the counter. She told me Frontier's flights were booked the rest of the day, but couldn't' tell me if there were options on other flights. She again stated I would have to wait for the ticket agent. So, nothing gained there. She wasn't especially rude, just not much help! But, I understand there are protocols and she was merely following them. But, it would make sense to me in the sprit of customer service that your phone reps be given the authority to handle these situations. But, I admit there may be limitations to this of which I'm not aware.
When we finally got to the counter after 11:00, the employee basically snatched my boarding passes out of my hand. No apology. No explanation as to why my flight was cancelled - nothing. I asked him why the cancellation wasn't posted on the terminals or at the gate. His response, or rather his angry snapping, was “I've been here since 5:00 yesterday and didn't have time.” Having had our patience worn thin, we made the comment among ourselves that we should call the news station. So, YOUR employee decided he needed to call Homeland Security to stand at the counter. Really? Because we made a comment in passing about calling the local news??? Now, I will have to say that Homeland Security may have had nothing to do with us, as they never said a word, but it did seem like a rather big coincidence. But, still, no apology and no explanation. I understand that flights can be cancelled, but isn't it logical to post it rather than keeping your customers in the dark? I asked him what my options were. He snapped back “That's what I'm checking, but you won't be flying today.” At this same time, a pair of middle aged women were waiting for a hotel voucher since they didn't live here in Oklahoma City. He basically tossed the voucher at them. They asked him where did they go. He said downstairs to the shuttles. So, they had to ask which shuttle. What was the hotel where they were going to stay. He snapped at them “Crowne Plaza” in a tone that basically was telling them this was a stupid question.
So, now he was back to us. I told him what the reason for our travel was, and the personal implications of not being able to take the trip. He never even looked up and acknowledged my comment. It was obvious he didn't care. When he FINALLY gave us our options, or really lack thereof, my group and I were discussing what to do. We were deciding whether to just cancel or not. He butted in and said “So, you want me to cancel?” This was the FIRST time he showed any interest in accommodating us - and that was to simply cancel our business. Having had enough of the treatment he was giving us, we asked to see a supervisor. He snapped back “I AM the supervisor”. That's when I decided my best option was to just cancel and to take his name for reference in this letter. His name is Eric C. Hobbs.
So, now we were going to be refunded. So, I advised him we had a pre-paid rental car, parking costs that were now an unneeded expense etc. I asked him if Frontier would be willing to reimburse any of this since this was not a weather related problem, but rather one of aircraft maintenance (which I still don't know is true since I've yet to be told why my flight was cancelled). He looked at me and said “No.” No explanation. No apology. Nothing yet again. He then ran the refund. He told me “You'll get the refund in six to seven weeks.” I asked why so long? Our credit card was charged immediately. He said that's the way it is and there's nothing we could do. So, I asked for a printed confirmation of the refund. He just looked at me. I told him I needed a printed confirmation in case there were questions about the cancellation later. He basically just huffed and walked away to the back. He was gone over six minutes (yes, I was timing the situation now since I was in line over four hours). While he was gone, I mentioned to the representative at the station next to him that she really needed a different supervisor. She commented “We get that a lot. I'm so sorry.” FINALLY AN APOLOGY!! I was shocked! I'm not sharing her name because I don't trust your supervisor to not go after her. That's the attitude he exudes. But, when an employee recognizes that her supervisor is giving inferior service, there's a problem. When Mr. Hobbs finally came back, he basically tossed the refund confirmation at me and yelled over my shoulder before I had even stepped away “NEXT!” It was obvious he was done with me. So, I left.
Now, let me add here that at no time in our four hours of waiting was any announcement ever made to the crowd of people why the flight was cancelled, what the staff was doing or anything. The only information that was being shared was word of mouth among passengers. They were capable of making announcements because at one point they did come over the loudspeaker and ask if there was anybody else in line for the flight to Houston. But, never an acknowledgement of any kind about the Denver flight. NEVER.
After Mr. Hobbs had basically dismissed us, my group walked away in rather a state of shock at how we had been treated. I was dumbfounded. Now, I understand things happen. I understand that airplanes are a machine that can have mechanical failures no matter how top-notch the routine maintenance may be. I understand there were a lot of people to accommodate. But, I don't understand the total lack of communication, the failure to notify passengers waiting at the gate that the flight was cancelled, and the absolute rudeness, and actually disdain, with which we were treated by a member of your management.
When I arrived back home, I called your customer relations department and spoke with Erin. I explained all of this to Erin and she did exactly what I would expect. She genuinely apologized. She explained the six to seven weeks for the refund was not Frontier. They would process within 7-10 days, but it may take our credit card one or two billing cycles to post it. A perfectly reasonable explanation. She acknowledged my disappointment that our family plans had to be cancelled. And she offered in way of compensation a $25 voucher for each of us because of the way we were treated. I didn't expect compensation (because in all honesty I'm not sure I'd be willing to risk travel plans with Frontier again), but she did make me feel like I was a valued customer and that she wanted to provide me with service. I'm thinking perhaps Erin should be a supervisor and Mr. Hobbs should be a person behind the scenes where he never comes in contact with the public.
Again, I want to reiterate to you that my complaint is not in the fact that our flight was cancelled (although it would be nice to know why). I know these things happen and your staff had no control over it. But, the lack of communication, the excessive wait in line and the way we were treated once we reached the counter were ALL within Mr. Hobbs control, and he took no positive action on any of these. In fact, he was more of a hindrance to your airline's reputation than a help.
Confirmation Number *****
Cc: Mr. Sean E. Menke, CEO Frontier Airlines, Inc.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- This is a copy of letter I am sending to Frontier CEO & VP of Customer Relations:
I'm writing to you both to share my recent travel experience with Frontier Airlines. Please let me start by saying I and my family have had incredibly pleasant experiences the several times we have flown with Frontier. My husband's family is in XX and it has been a joy to fly on your fleet. The customer services reps (the few times we have needed them) have been fantastic, the rewards program is excellent, and the flight crews are stellar. We regularly tell friends, family, colleagues, etc., about our happiness with flying with Frontier.
So, it was without hesitation that my husband and I booked our most recent flight from Austin TX to San Francisco CA with Frontier. The price was right and as I indicated above, we've always had nothing but positive transactions. We always start shopping early when planning a trip, so when I purchased our tickets, it was too soon to check-in online. I point this out now, because it will be important later. We also knew we would have luggage to check, so it didn't seem to be something that would be applicable to our circumstances.
What follows is a step-by-step recounting of our outbound trip:
1) October 26, 2007 - we arrived at Austin-Bergstrom airport Frontier curb 5:35am for 6:25 am departure.
2) Husband checked in with 2 pieces of luggage at Frontier counter @ 5:40am.
3) I, parked car after waiting at curb (trapped by cab and other car for almost 5 minutes).
4) I arrived at Frontier counter to obtain boarding pass – told by counter that it was too late – 5:49am – needed to be at counter by 5:45am. Too late to print boarding pass (terminal had been “locked” by gate agent) and check luggage. At no time was my identification looked at, nor was any data entered into the counter terminal.
5) I advised my luggage had already been checked, and traveling companion Steve Nelson had already checked in and was in security line.
6) Counter agent advised that I would not be able to make it through security screen in time. At this time there were still more than 30 minutes to departure. Austin Bergstrom is not a large airport, and I've never had problems making it through security previously, even with long lines.
7) Counter agent advised that agent at boarding gate had closed boarding, and that flight was oversold.
8) Husband left line for security check and returned to Frontier counter to request a boarding pass for me. Request was denied.
9) Husband was still able to make it through security check points even with a CPAP in his carry on which requires a manual check by TSA. Even after all that he was able to make it to the gate and board the plane with 10 minutes left.
10) Counter agent advised me that flight was oversold and that was part of the reason they would not provide a boarding pass. By being 4 minutes late seat had been forfeited.
11) I was put on standby for 2:00 pm flight which was also oversold.
12) After checking in at 9:30am and waiting at gate, I was not able to obtain a seat on the 2 or 5 pm flight. When I inquired at the gate how stand-by passengers were prioritized the gate agent would not provide an answer, and then proceeded to lecture me about the importance of being on time for flights and that I should have checked in online to avoid this in the future. This was totally inappropriate and unexpected behavior.
13) I left the gate area, and returned to the ticket counter. There I had to purchase a ticket for the next day's 6:25 am flight at an additional cost of $189.00. Because my luggage was already in destination, I was able to check in at that time and avoid the ticket counter the next day.
14) I was advised by counter agent (and this was later confirmed by husband) that flight I missed had 10 open seats that were the direct result of people not being able to obtain boarding passes and or make it through security checks in time.
15) Interestingly, the next day's flight, while waiting at the gate to board the plane, I made a note of the time the same gate agent closed the flight for boarding it was 6:10 am, a full 25 minutes later than the flight boarding was closed the day before!
You may be heartened to hear that when I shared this story with others they were very surprised and disappointed that this was a Frontier flight that I was talking about. As we suspected, this is not the usual and customary behavior and experience for Frontier.
We've all read and heard through the media that this has been a troubled year for both the airline industry and their customers. Fuel costs, more people flying, increased security processes; they all compound and exacerbate the already stretched and stressed system. The customer experience has an average rating of failure, and Congress is looking into the passenger bill of rights.
Compared to the average US citizen, I travel quite frequently by domestic air for pleasure / holiday, sometimes up to 5 trips in a 1 year period. I have had my share of rude, unpleasant and at times downright dishonest airline behavior and treatment, and until this time, Frontier was not in that crowded and undistinguished group. I admit that I am more than a little skeptical regarding the reasoning behind this appearance of random decision regarding the times that boarding is locked, gates closed, etc. If every flight is oversold, and even 1 or 2 seats, let alone 10 as in my case are forfeited and then extorted to repurchase their ticket, I see a fantastic revenue stream there.
I'd also like to add that I and husband have individual Frontier Airline MasterCards, both with excellent credit ratings and large credit limits. Husband is so unhappy with the additional charge for the flight, and the loss of an entire day of our holiday that he contacted the customer service department for the credit cards and requested that they be closed. The customer service rep was abhorred and apologized sincerely and profusely for our unpleasant experience. She also asked to take the information regarding our experience and sent that on to her management to see if there was anything they could do to help make up for this experience. This seems to be more in line with the method of Frontier's customer care. We agreed to wait a week to see what if anything would be the result of her effort before continuing on with our request to close the accounts.
We are requesting the return of the $189.00 charge.
BOISE, IDAHO -- Air crew forced us to violate FAA's on-board regulations!
During our recent trip back to Austin, TX, from Boise, ID, the Frontier JetExpress' crew forced us to violate FAA's on-board regulations, put our toddler baby in danger, and violated our right of use of a paid-for seat by forcing us to have our 2-year-old baby travel on my lap instead of on his own seat. The flight was Frontier Airlines 4272, on Mon. Dec. 18, 2006.
Since our toddler baby is over 2 years old, knowing the airlines' requirements and the FAA's regulations, we dutifully purchased a ticket for him for our trip to Boise, ID.
And rather than hauling around his toddler car seat with us we decided to shell out the close to $80 for CARES, the FAA-certified Child Harness Device (from www.kidsflysafe.com).
After my wife and I watched the instructional DVD and read the handy pictorial brochure (a single letter-size card folded in half, like a booklet) included with the CARES harness, we felt pretty happy with it and confidant of its function, its ease of use (it really takes less than a couple of minutes to set up), and of the safe travel it'd provide for our toddler. Then we just made sure the seat assignments we had for the 3 of us were OK to allow its use on the aircraft. We determined we were in full compliance with the usage limitations list, including not being seated in an exit row.
We completed our travel to Boise without incident, using the CARES harness on both trip segments (Austin-Denver, Denver-Boise), having our toddler securely and happily strapped in his own seat for the entire duration of both flights. We also had no problems on the last segment of our return flight, from Denver to Austin. It was truly great not having to haul around a car seat through the airports, security checkpoints, and down the narrow airplane aisles.
However, our nightmare started from the moment we got on board our return flight segment from Boise to Denver. Having been among the first to board (after a couple of people on wheelchairs), we got to our seats, 16A, 16B, and 16D (on the CRJ-700 jet, there's no 16C seat. But there's two seats on each side of the isle, so the remaining seat was 16E), and quickly setup the CARES. As soon as I started to set it up, the flight attendant (she was at the very rear of the aircraft, facing passengers as they boarded) told me, "You can't use that; at least not for take-off". To which I replied, as I completed the setup, "Oh, it's OK, this is FAA approved". Having verified that the harness did not affect or interfere in any way with the tray behind (it opened, closed, and locked OK), I went on to take my seat. "I'll have to check on that", she said, as I proceeded to strap in our toddler. By then a few of the passengers sitting behind us were taking their seats and the flight attendant was on the phone inquiring/reporting on a "problem with a baby harness".
A few minutes later the plane was almost full. She then headed to the front, to consult/check about the CARES, and came back to me saying "I'm sorry but you cannot use that harness". "Yes I can. It is FAA approved. Please read this FAA notice", I told her as I handed her the CARES brochure, which highlights in a framed quote: "FAA APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 14 CFR 21.305(d)". Which is followed by "The article may be carried on board an aircraft and installed by the passenger according to amended operating rules under Title .".
She read it and browsed through the remainder of the brochure. "I don't know. I've never seen one of these harnesses. I'll be back in a second". And she headed back to the front, brochure in hand. Returning after a few minutes, she told me: "Sir, I am going to have to ask you and your toddler to move to the last row, where your toddler's harness won't interfere with the tray behind". By this point I am amazed that she's still unclear about the FAA's usage approval and, even more, than no one at the front is clear either. So I said, "But the harness is not interfering at all", which she checked by lowering and closing the tray back up. Plus I asked the lady sitting behind if she thought it was interfering. "Not at all", was her reply. Still the attendant insisted we move to the back, saying in a quite audible tone (ensuring passengers nearby would hear), "Sir, the captain has indicated he cannot start taxiing until you move to the back". I guess she intended for me to feel pressured by implying all was ready for the plane to take off and that everybody was waiting on me. However, taking a quick glance to the back I realized that there were no seats on the right side (no seats D/E, but only A/B). Thus, moving to the back meant that our family would be separated; something neither I nor my wife wanted to do. So I said, "Please, I want to talk to the captain. I'm sorry, but the CARES is FAA approved. Plus moving back there means we'd be separated. I bought the tickets well in advance and chose these seats purposefully for us to be together". By now I'm wondering, is the CARES approved or not? Why is it OK in the back and not here? How contradicting and confusing these people are!
She darted to the front and along come another flight attendant. He came, holding his operations manual, which was open to a pertinent section and told me "Sir, you cannot use that baby harness. So we're asking you to please take it off and hold your baby on your lap". Unbelievable! I was completely dumbfounded. I could not believe my ears. "But my toddler is over 2 years old, I paid for his plane ticket, and using the CARES harness is the safest way for him to travel. Please let me speak to the captain", I said. "No, those harnesses aren't allowed", he said, as he was now browsing the CARES brochure. And the female flight attendant (the one that started off this whole thing) chimed in again, "Sorry Sir, I've never seen one of those. You can't use it". At this point, Frontier's gate attendant, Ron*, came to join the discussion. "It is OK. We used it a week ago on our way here without any incident; on this airline, same segment, and same aircraft. All the flight attendants were OK with it. They even served our toddler his apple juice and everything", I told them all. But the gate agent just asked me again to comply, "Please Sir, remove the harness and hold your baby on your lap".
By now my mind is racing, in shock with the crew's ignorance, knowing that I was right, and trying to decide what to do. Quick thoughts were flashing: "I could stand my ground; I know I'm right. Then they'll probably end up throwing us all out of the plane. That'll be a huge scene, with a great deal of embarrassment. Once on the ground they'll find out we were right, apologize, and put us on another plane. That seems like a big hassle for us, especially for the baby [who now is seating comfortably, happily browsing the plane's safety card, and looking up once in a while to see all the people just above him]. Plus we'll get into Austin much later, if at all, today. But after all is said and done that'll teach them a lesson ".
The episode having been going on for about 20 minutes, I was finding it extremely difficult to keep my composure and my leveled tone of voice. My heart is pounding like crazy. My blood pressure, through the roof. My stress level, through the roof. So is probably my sugar-level (I'm pre-diabetic). Plus my dear pregnant wife, very stressed out by now, had asked me, during the last interim we were alone to "please be nice", with a resigned expression on her face that meant, please give in, put an end to this.
So with much reluctance I said, "We bought a ticket for our son to comply with FAA regulation. If you are not going to let him use his seat, I want you to give me a full refund for his plane ticket. I want a note from you that states so". The gate attendant kind of wavered (about the refund part, that is) and stepped back. Then the male flight attendant stretched out his operations manual and showed me a highlighted note about baby harnesses not being allowed for take off, landing, etc. But it referred to Baby B'air's vest in particular, which is a completely different application (used for infants only, who MUST fly on an adult lap). So I said, "That is a completely different application. Your book doesn't say the CARES harness is not allowed. Sorry to tell you, but you are not up-to-date. This is an FAA-approved harness and the regulation is that my toddler be in his own seat". And here came the Pinnacle of this mountain of ignorance: He answered, "We are up to date. The FAA recommends it, but it is the airline's discretion whether we allow it or not" (!). So I insisted, "You are going to refund the ticket?" At this point Ron, Frontier's gate attendant, said, "I'll take care of you. Please check in with Frontier's Customer Service when you get to Denver". And as he saw that I started to unstrap my baby, he walked off. So I packed the CARES harness, held my toddler on my lap, my wife moved to his now empty seat, everyone went their way and we started taxiing. Here we went, with 3 paid seats but only allowed to use 2. So bizarre. In fact, the nice older man seating behind my wife, who along with all the passengers around us witnessed the whole thing, kind of booed the flight attendants, seeing that they had their way with such baseless arguments. [Incidentally, our toddler had played briefly with him as we strolled around the waiting area prior to boarding].
I was so upset psychologically and drained physically from the whole episode that I ended up eating most of the snacks we packed for our toddler (saltines, graham crackers, baby carrots, etc.) during the flight. Once we landed, we decided to wait to de-plane last, so we could ask more details about our refund. As the two older couples behind us passed by, they all wished us well and good luck with our claim, sympathetic with us. As we waited immediately outside the plane, we asked the captain for a note from him of how they forced us to comply with their request, he brushed us off, saying "Sorry, it's not up to us. Whatever we give you won't help you much. Just check in with Frontier's CS."
But that's not the end of the story. There's more. It turns out the Customer Service Desk people couldn't care less! By that I mean they showed not a hint of an effort or intention to make things right. I told the first guy I talked to, "Hi, I'm here to request a refund for one of my plane tickets. Did a gate attendant from Boise call you about this?". "No. And for that type of request you need to talk to her", indicating another woman. Although very sympathetic and friendly, as soon as I finished asking her the same question, she handed me a business card and told me "you need to call Customer Relations. Sorry, but our hands are tied". You've got to be kidding me! (I thought). What? What kind of joke is this (I was still thinking). So feeling like a completely deflated tire (really, the pitiful customer service I was getting felt like a big punch that drained any remaining air I had in me), I said, "Wow, after such serious aggravation we were just victims of, we still have to waste our time on the phone, on hold, etc". "Sorry. So what happened", she said (on the plane, she meant). Then I summarized in one phrase: "they didn't let my toddler sit on his paid-for-seat; they didn't let me use the CARES harness on him. Plus they made me hold him on my lap, which is clearly against FAA regulation and puts him at unnecessary risk". She was completely shocked, an expression of unbelief in her face. "My. I don't know what's wrong with them. I don't know why they did that. We all, all attendants, have gone through specific training about this new toddler harness. I'm so sorry. But give them a call", she said pointing to the business card. "Tell them what happened. They'll send you some forms. But you have a very strong case, so I'm sure they'll refund you. Also send them an email to make sure they get your complaint". That was that!
And if you think it can't get worse, wait. It can. I called the toll-free number, repeatedly, and it was always busy! Then I tried their direct dial number (on my dime). Guess what? It rang, and rang, and rang... No answer! I mean, we're talking about 1 P.M., on a weekday. Whatever. I decided to just post this on the web to let others beware. And I'll post it to the FAA too. Maybe they'll make the airline understand what the regulations are.
A distressed parent.
Jcl * Named changed to protect privacy.
SPRAGUE, CONNECTICUT -- If you are considering signing up with FRONTIER . . . don't do it!! I rarely write reviews but this one I feel very strongly about. I call to set up Internet service with them a few days ago and we set the time for them to be here to install the equipment in between 8 AM and 10 AM. today.
I told the person on the phone that I did have a 12:30 appointment and I did check to make sure we should be done by 12:00 and she said that would be no problem. So 10:15 comes along and no FRONTIER. So, I called them up to see if they're on their way. The girl on the phone have to put me on hold and talk to dispatch. They had me scheduled any time between 8 AM a.m. and 5 PM p.m. And I explained to her again that I was scheduled between 8 and 10 before my appointment. She asked me when I'd be back I told her 2 o'clock and she told me that they will be there in between 2 PM to 5 PM. 5:10 comes along still no FRONTIER, so I call them again explaining the situation to the girl on the phone and she said that there is notes on the file stating that they had no access. I told her I was home right before 2 o'clock. She then said well they were there at 1 o'clock and stay till 130. And by the way this was 35 minutes off and on hold up to this point. She said somebody should be in the dispatch office but they weren't answering the phone. I asked if they went home for the day and she said no that they are open until seven just like she is. At this point I cannot believe it's happened twice in one day. It was a miscommunication on their part. I asked to speak to manager and gotten nowhere with her. She said that they could not do it tonight made it sound like there's nobody working anymore even though I was told her there till seven. So I cancel service even before it even started. If a company has unacceptable customer service when your getting service installed… could you imagine what kind of service you would receive after that???
PRINCETON, INDIANA -- I called the 800 number on a flier advertising Frontier Internet service with Dish Network TV package. After over 2 hours on the phone, they finally had me signed up for DSL Internet service, but were unable to process my request for Dish after being put on hold and transferred many, many times.
They told me my modem would arrive in the mail in a week, and I could self install it. A week later I get a phone call from a technician who claims there is a problem with the installations in my area, and there will be a delay of a week or until the end of summer. (?)
2 weeks in, I finally receive my modem. I follow the instructions, but it will not connect. I call the customer service number (which is a harrowing wait time every time) the guy tells me he is going to send out a technician there is a problem with my lines.
As my laptop sits open after the call, I notice it advances to a new screen on its own. So I call customer service back again, and this person who answers informs me the service ticket was canceled, but he sees no reason he can't help me get it set up. A half an hour later, my Internet is up and running. So the service technician they were going to send and charge me for was unnecessary.
Not 2 days later, all of a sudden my Internet shuts off for no reason. I follow all the useless instructions, call customer service again, wait 20 minutes for a live person to answer... She informs me I will have to wait FIVE MORE DAYS for a service technician to come and repair the line that may or may not even be messed up.
I am calling as soon as I get finished typing this to sign up with another provider. This is the most horrible service experience I've ever had with any company.
DENVER, COLORADO -- We were flying from Nashville through Denver to Las Vegas in mid-April 2013. There was a blizzard forecast for the day we were flying out. Frontier noted on their website that if we were flying through Denver that day, we could change our flight w/o any fees. The agent on the phone was phenomenal. She even let us change our return date by one day also so we wouldn't lose a day of vacation. Flights out were great, ran on time, treated well. Then on the day of our return flight, it was another snowy bad weather day in Denver. Again, Frontier was phenomenal. They loaded us on the plane then the one hour delay at Denver came through and they allowed us to get off and sit in the gate area for that hour (leaving items in overhead bin). We reloaded an hour later and taxied out. Then came another one hour delay from Denver. So we sat on tarmac for close to one hour. Frontier has TV's with 25 channels on each seat back and their policy is if there's a delay you get the TV for free! So we enjoyed live TV. Then came the 2 hour delay from Denver, so they took us back to terminal gate area (didn't hold us on the plane any further) and told us to take all our belongings this time. They efficiently worked at the gate area to find other flights for those who were only changing planes in Denver. We were called up within 5 minutes and given seats on USAirways changing planes in Charlotte. No more worry about the weather in Denver!!! Also great treatment on USAir. During all this time and for the rest of our itinerary that day, Frontier kept sending me nice little email notices about the delays and about my new itinerary. When we arrived in Charlotte and I turned my phone back on, there was another reminder from Frontier about my next flight from Charlotte to Nashville with flight number and gate number. I thought that was phenomenal treatment, in this age of smart phones, to keep me posted all day. I am highly pleased with the way they took care of us and will definitely fly Frontier again if possible.
DENVER, COLORADO -- To begin, this is my first experience with Frontier Airlines. About 6-weeks ago I purchased an airline ticket for my Wife and I to fly to my cousin's wedding. 7-days prior to our flight, my Grandfather suffered a heart attack. Two days later our small dog dislocated a leg while playing fetch. Unfortunately, both required 24 hour care and since I was a Groomsman in the wedding, we decided my Wife would stay behind to take care of them. I contacted Customer Service to request a refund for my Wife's ticket, given our circumstances, I didn't think this would be an issue. After speaking with two Frontier Airline's customer service reps, I was told that I would need to secure a Dr's note regarding my Grandfather. I had the Dr. complete the note and per Frontier's instructions I submitted the note to receive a refund for the ticket. I called to follow-up with Frontier to check on the status of our refund and was told that Frontier decided that our reason for cancellation was not accepted and we couldn't receive a refund. The representative first asked who's Grandfather it was, I explained since we were married, it was both of ours. She then said (and I quote), "he would need to die to receive a refund." I was speechless, I couldn't believe the insensitivity of the representative They said there is nothing they could do.
I posted my story on their Facebook page, hoping to receive some help. I received a response to my post with-in hours, asking me to email them the details. I emailed them the details with-in the day and after following up twice, I finally received a response two-weeks later stating they looked into my account and saw I flew this past weekend and therefore my Wife would have a 1-year credit, minus $100 change fee and $30 fee booking fee. Seriously?!? Why would I ever want to fly on Frontier again?
This has been a HUGE PITA during a tragic and stressful time in our lives. I would caution all to stay away from Frontier Airlines - they're horrible! I've filed a dispute with AMEX and I hope they will help this issue right.
NEW MEXICO -- I inherited them, I originally had Midwest mastercards. Midwest was nice to deal with. I was on hold for three and a half hours. I had 2 requests, to dispute a charge and try and reduce my interest rate. The man I spoke with about my dispute, had no clue, he asked questions that had nothing to do with my concern. At one point I even asked if he knew what I was saying. I asked to be transferred to a supervisor. He would put me on hold for up to 20 minutes, come back and ask me a question that had nothing to do with my concern. He did not fully understand English. But he transferred me twice more. Then I was "fortunate" enough to get the "top supervisor" at Frontier and was told she could not help me. Then came time for rate question. I told them I had Cancer and had set up payments before I went into hospital. Payments were never taken out and I was charged late fees. I called from the hospital and was told by another "supervisor", that they do not make arrangements for auto withdrawal. And now I was berated for that because this "supervisor" said they do make those type of arrangements! And no record of my arrangement existed. I was willing to send them proof of my illness. So many people lie, steal cards, or run cards up and end up not paying. That is why interest rates are so high. They caused me so much stress today, it was unreal. I skimmed over a lot of what was said to me. Too upsetting for me. I will do my best to pay and pay off. I am woking 1/3 of what I was. And eventually I will. It is my character that two wrongs don't make a right. They then will never get another dime of my money. They need to take into consideration, a person's good years of being a client, and putting anyone on hold for that time is uncalled for. I feel like I was abused today. It was just plain emotional abuse. They all had the same thick odd sounding accents, just creepy!