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Frontier Airlines Sued For $100 Million Over Hidden Fees

Frontier Airlines Sued For $100 Million Over Hidden Fees

BY ADNAN SHAHEED 07/27/2023 AGO 2 COMMENTS

The lawsuit alleges that the airline hides total fees under other fee systems that aren’t immediately shown.

 

Photo: Dalton Hoch | AeroXplorer

 

A Florida woman has filed a $100-million class action lawsuit against Denver-based Frontier Airlines on the basis that the passenger carrier engages in deceptive practices to make its fares seem lower than they are. 

 



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Trouble Amid Expansion

 

This lawsuit comes in the middle of Frontier Airlines' plan to rapidly expand its route capacity. The airline recently launched new routes from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). These new routes fly from San Francisco to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). 

 

Photo: Sam B | AeroXplorer

 

The routes directly compete with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines flights but will offer a new lower-cost option. The Frontier Airlines Senior Vice President of Commercial, Daniel Shurz, spoke on the expansion, saying:

 



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"We’re proud to celebrate new service from SFO to these exciting Midwestern destinations. Affordable travel options have arrived for those in San Francisco thanks to Frontier’s ‘Low Fares Done Right.”

 

The airline also launched new flights from Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) and Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). The route, which was launched on June 16th, is flown four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The airline, which will use an Airbus A320neo, will carry nearly 750 passengers a week to Raleigh. Shurz commented on this route as well, stating:

 

Photo: Ben Allen | AeroXplorer

 

"Our growth at Chicago Midway continues, and we couldn’t be more excited. Chicagoans now have an easy and affordable way to reach Raleigh-Durham via Frontier’s ‘Low Fares Done Right.'"

 

Hidden Baggage Fees

 

The lawsuit, filed by Amira Hamad in U.S. District Court in Orlando, says Frontier is not the low-cost airline it claims to be.

 



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"Frontier is not a budget airline. Frontier does not have the lowest airfares," the complaint reads. "Frontier just breaks its fees into tiny little pieces and checkpoints to water down the appearance of what is actually an average airfare when combined and compared to the industry."

 

The complaint says the airline uses "bait-and-switch" and "gotcha" tactics intended to "confuse, trick and trap consumers."

 

One example given in the lawsuit is that the airline claims to offer one free personal item as long as it fits within certain dimensions. However, the actual measuring instrument at the gate is much smaller than advertised. It also alleges that Frontier gives its gatekeepers bonuses for each personal item they charge at the gates. 

 

Photo: Brantsen Gill | AeroXplorer

 

The complaint says Frontier does not make its fee structure clear if it chooses to inform consumers of a fee structure at the time of purchase in the first place. This is especially when the tickets are purchased through third-party vendors. 
 

"Frontier's fees are not conspicuously shown on its website or on the websites of third-party vendors," states the lawsuit, "and consumers are often unaware of Frontier's large and plentiful fees until after they purchase a ticket that initially appeared attractive." The complaint also says Frontier's baggage fee structure is misleading and confusing and is intended to get customers to pay "significant hidden fees."

 



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The lawsuit seeks punitive damages of $100 million "to deter Frontier and other airlines from further similar conduct." As Frontier invests in other routes, it appears that the airline will also have to invest in its legal team as well.

Adnan Shaheed
Hi! I'm an aspiring engineering student with an interest in aviation. I really took an interest in Aeroxplorer because it lets me do what I love: talk about planes to people.

Comments (2)

John Weed I fly Frontier often. Usually travel BETWEEN MCO to PHL about 10 times a year. I purchased a bag that meets the specifications of a personal item. Several times I have been asked to place the bags in their bin to make sure it meet the specification size with no problem. Recently when flying home from San Diego they asked me to put bag in bin and it would not go in. They wanted to charge me $62. Thing is I keep a small tape measure in my bag and was able to show them that the bin was undersized! I guess since I was an elite member they decided to let it pass, but I fell bad for others they ar ripping off. Also tell me why the charge &$62 for a regular carryon, but only $32 for checking a bag. How does that make sense when there is no labor charge to them if you carry on, but labor costs if you check in a bag! Makes no sense, except gives them opportunity to RIP YOU OFF AFTER YOU GET TO THE GATE!
350d ago • Reply
BDB Worst airline ever. Deceptive practices and agents/airport staff are difficult, unhelpful, and rude. Not sure if they are just nasty or just ignorant. Our connector from PHX to Denver was delayed by 2 hrs causing us to miss the only flight to our destination that day with Frontier. The agents can't read military time. My husband had to have the check-in agent turn her screen toward him for him to point out to her that 12:00 is NOT a midnight flight, but an afternoon flight and too late for us at this point. He had to explain it to her several times. She called in three other agents around her. Ridiculously comical. We walked away with her still unsure what the difference was. We found many of the passengers around us to be aggressive and uncivilized no doubt aggravated by the lack of any kind of service to make the operation run smoothly. How they make money yet think they can expand is beyond me.
350d ago • Reply

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