Passenger Says Frontier Airlines Used Fake Weather Delay To Avoid Compensating Passengers

Scott says his flight from San Antonio to Denver was delayed last night because “the weather computer was not working,” but two hours later that excuse was replaced with a “weather-related delay” in Denver. The problem is, Denver was sunny and clear at the time.

I’m sitting in San Antonio airport because my flight has been delayed. It’s Frontier 1086 to Denver. The flight was on time, we boarded and taxied out on the runway. Unfortunately, the weather computer was not working. We deboarded and waited about 2 hours until we were informed that the delay was now “weather related” in Denver. Denver is 87 and sunny right now without any change in the forecast. The plan is to fly us to Denver at 10 PM arriving around midnight. Of course, there are no connecting flights until morning and because this “weather related”, we are on our own once we get there.

I realize that this is a common ploy by airlines. Do you or your readers have any advice?

Airlines love to blame anything they can on weather because it lets them avoid taking any responsibility for their passengers. They can also frequently invoke the weather excuse even if the actual airports involved are trouble-free, by claiming that their complicated network of hubs are dependent on one another to ensure flight arrivals. Unfortunately, there are no federal laws in place to require airlines to compensate passengers if they fail to get them to the destination on time (unless they’re bumped from an oversold flight).

So your options are limited. First, you can try being extra sweet and polite and see if you can charm your way into getting some help from someone, although you probably don’t need to bother doing this if the only person you can reach is the ticket agent. You can also try writing a formal complaint letter to the airline and ask for some form of compensation.

Finally, if you think you have a good argument that the airline was lying about the reason for the delay, you can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.