Dealing With Frontier's Bankruptcy

Now that the airline with the fuzzy animals on their planes has also declared bankruptcy, you might be in the same position as reader Scott. Scott had Frontier cancel his flight and send him an email with a link to get a refund. While it’s nice that Frontier made the refund option easy, a refund doesn’t get Scott any closer to his destination, and a second ticket would cost Scott a bit more than he initially paid. Thanks to a little bit of research and 35 minutes on the phone, Scott was able to get Frontier to rebook him on a different airline. Find out how, inside.

I thought that you guys might be interested in this. In April, we booked a flight to Missoula, MT for June on Frontier Airlines. Now, we get this e-mail telling us that the service from Denver to Missoula has been canceled. Note, the e-mail offers a weblink where you can get a refund.

Here’s the problem. First, most travelers (including myself) don’t want a refund for a flight ticket, they want to get to their destination. Second, I checked the “Contract of Carriage” ( which includes Rule 240 that lists the policy for flights that have been discontinued. The hierarchy of options for a traveler is: 1) get another flight on Frontier, 2) get a similar flight on another airline or 3) get a refund.

Seems like Frontier was trying to avoid having to rebook thousands of passengers on other airlines by simply providing a refund. For most goods and services refunds are fine, but airline tickets rise in price as the travel date gets closer. I searched for comparable flights and found that the cheapest ticket I could get was 75% more than what I paid in April.

Anyway, the e-mail also indicated that “should I need to contact customer service” I could call the 800 number. There was NO mention of possible rebooking. Of course I called the number, held for about 18 minutes then actually talked to a person! After another 35 minutes I was rebooked on United. No complaints there. However, I think that most people will simply click the e-mail, get a refund and be forced to pay exorbitant fees for late fares. I think this is pretty tricky by Frontier. They should have at least mentioned the fact that the flights could be rebooked.

Nice one, Scott. The airline provided the solution most advantageous to them and least helpful to you and you got what you wanted by being informed, proactive, and polite. And it just took half an hour! Having problems with any of the many failing airlines? If Scott’s approach doesn’t work for you, you can check out some different tactics here.

(photo: ATIS547)

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