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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why We'll Never Fly Frontier Airlines Again

We just went to Colorado for Hannah's graduation from Colorado State. This was by far one of the worst travel experiences I've ever had. You name it, it's happened to me, but this was absolutely ridiculous. Out of curiosity, I just looked Frontier up and there are many negative reviews circulating out there. So beware if you decide to book your trip with Frontier.

  • Our seats were assigned throughout the plane and separate from one another. Now, I understand if we had booked our tickets late; however, when you book a couple months in advance, there shouldn't be a problem. My main issue was that Frontier placed my 9-month-old in a seat by herself. In the middle seat. Between two strangers. Oh yeah, great idea. I get that it's probably done electronically. There needs to be someone checking though. When we finally landed and I tweeted Frontier about it (and my tweets continued until after 10PM), I received immediate responses. Seems to me if there's someone monitoring the Twitter feed, it's possible to have a human checking seat assignments as well. Anyway, when we went to the desk at the gate to inquire about changing seats on the plane, the Frontier employee said he'd take care of it. Then HE LEFT. Fortunately for us his fellow employees were understanding and outraged at his behavior, and some very nice fellow passengers moved so R, Z, and I could sit together.
  • Z wasn't a lap baby and had her own seat. That's how we roll because it works better for everyone. During takeoff and landing I nurse her so her ears don't bother her, so she doesn't sit in her seat during those times. We had no problem during takeoff, and although Z was awake and somewhat antsy during the flight (she wanted to get down and crawl around), everything went smoothly. When we started our descent into Denver, I started to nurse Z. The flight attendants came around to check that seat belts were on and tray tables were up. The flight attendant stopped by us and said "You need to put it in its carrier. That's the safest place for it during landing." Um, hold up. HOW did you just refer to my child? As an IT? Even though Z was under my Bebe Au Lait nursing cover, her pink sandaled feet were hanging out. This woman had walked by us throughout the entire flight. And yet, she refers to my kid as an "it." I don't even call dogs or cats "it." How rude! Also, what about lap babies? I guess they aren't safe during landing? Are their parents taking a gamble with their safety? If I want to nurse my daughter I have absolutely every right to do so. Just because there's a vacant car seat sitting next to me doesn't mean I'm endangering my child. I should have gotten that lady's name, but all I did was glare at her when I walked off the plane. (I think Z smiled at her though so that plan failed.)
  • On the way back home, we were flying back with Hannah's cat. Rather than carry our luggage on, we decided to check it and had to go to the check-in counter to get the proper travel documents for the cat. Denver's airport is always really crowded and there have been a few times we've cut our flights close. Since we had to do all this extra stuff and we needed to ensure Z was not in a row by herself again, we got to the airport two hours early. Frontier, once again, failed. The check-in line took over an hour because there weren't enough desk agents working. When we finally got up to the kiosk, there was a young couple next to us. I overheard this conversation and was appalled at the Frontier employee's behavior:
    • Young man: "So our flight leaves in 30 minutes. We're going to miss it because security will take forever. What do we do? Just go home? Can you rebook us?"
    • Agent: "Sure you can go home. Or find somewhere else to complain because here isn't the place to do it. I don't have anything to do with this."
    • Young man: "Seriously? This is ridiculous."
  • The security line and TSA took ages (I know TSA is unaffiliated with Frontier and other airlines. It's its own entity. Got it.) We missed our flight by 3 minutes. No joke. The plane had just rolled out of the gate, and we could still see it sitting there. We went to the desk and my dad said to the agent "We missed our flight." She took our tickets, looked at them, and said "Flight 294 just left." Um, really? Isn't that what we just told you? Or is this some weird game of copycat? "Yeah, no kidding, the plane is pulling out right now," I answered. The agent just looked at us, then said we had to go to customer service to rebook. She didn't offer any sort of greeting, apology, nothing. 
  • Over at the customer service desk, the woman was, as per Frontier's seemingly established protocol, unsympathetic. You'd think a group of visibly harried travelers with a restless infant and a crying cat would elicit some sort of emotion. Nope. The woman typed on her computer for a bit and then informed us it would be 24 HOURS before we could return home. Keep in mind this is on a Sunday afternoon, and we all work Monday. She was too dense to understand why we were upset that no other arrangements could be made. When I asked her about our checked luggage, she was like "Oh, that's on the plane and heading to St. Louis." Great, just great. So we have no luggage and it'll be 24 hours before we can get home? At this point my dad suggested driving home. 12+ hours in a car with a cat and baby was just daunting, so we booked with Southwest and were fortunate enough to fly out only a couple hours after our original departure time. We still made it home in the afternoon and had time to unpack, do laundry, and get ready for the workweek. 
I value competence and professionalism, and I understand that the travel industry can be stressful. When employees are rude, abrasive, and uninterested in the clientele, there's a problem. Now, I'm in no way implying that every Frontier employee is rude or unprofessional. I do realize that because of my frustration with the situation I'm lumping together a whole group of people who are probably excellent at their jobs and care about the public; however, two completely separate days and employees in two different states treated us exactly the same, so to me, that is indicative of a training problem. We are paying good money and keeping Frontier employees employed. We shouldn't feel like we are inconveniencing them. Based on the reviews I just saw online (and all of the people I've talked to about this!), I don't see how Frontier is going to last unless it reviews its customer service policies.  Travel is expensive and stressful enough. Why make people's experiences terrible? There are other carriers to use and that's what we will be doing from here on out. Adios, Frontier. We won't be seeing you again.


  1. Natalie I total understand your issue with Frontier, we have had the same issue with this carrier. I understand they deal with hundreds of requests during the day but like may of us in the public they need to stay professional at all time. I know that you like we travel a lot and for what it is worth we have dealt with many other carries. Frontier I have to say out of all of them still was the worse service we have every encountered. I am not saying everyone who works for them are "idiots" but it seems that there are many that either need to be reminded why they got into this business or need to find a different job.

  2. Before Midwest Airlines became part of frontier the customer service was excellant. I actually had Midwest employees go way beyond what was expected of them. Since becoming part of frontier it seems like no one cares, or at the very least does not have the power to do anything. Granted not all frontier employees are uncaring or rude. I will say however that the company as a whole has become a lot less caring. They seem to have the attitude of you don't like it go somewhere else. I think they will find that people will start doing so. Oh Midwest how I miss thee!


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