First and foremost, I'd like to say that I don't make it a practice of complaining often. Especially not when it comes to airlines where delays, cancellations, and general upheaval are commonplace. I'm usually one of the first people to shrug, smile, and say "Do what you can", but in this particular instance, I felt that the entire ordeal was handled very unprofessionally for an airline that has been in business for ten years.
I recently flew from Seattle to Philadelphia and back with Frontier Airlines for a convention that I was attending. While the flight TO Philly was a little hectic (ie, we nearly missed our connecting flight since our initial flight out of Seatac was a bit delayed) I wasn't bothered much until our flight back home.
We arrived at the airport, checked our luggage at the front desk, and went to our gate to wait. After sitting for an hour or so, our flight was told to return to the front desk where we waited for nearly two hours to get news about what was going on. We were informed that our plane was being held over in Baltimore due to bad weather conditions, that the soonest any of us could get to Denver would be the next morning, and we were advised to go to the baggage claim and get our luggage.
Upon arriving at the baggage claim, some of our flight was left without suitcases and we were informed that they had not been taken off of the plane in time (what plane?) and were likely on their way to Seattle. We were all confused, to say the least, wondering how it was that our bags had been placed on a plane that was supposedly still in Baltimore and yet that none of us had been able to get on it.
Some of the flight checked into the neighboring Marriott for the night while others of us who lacked the funds to do so found places to sleep around the airport terminal. At about five-thirty in the morning, my fiance and I decided to head back to the front lobby to trade in the reassigned tickets we'd been given for boarding passes to our new flight.
As we waited to be assisted, my fiance (an epileptic) had a grand mal seizure as he had budgeted what was left of his Dilantin to last us the rest of the trip until he could have it refilled when we got home. He'd taken the last of his pills the previous morning when we were supposed to have been headed home. Again, I don't personally blame the airline for this as the weather delay wasn't their fault, it just added to the stress of things.
When the front desk opened, I informed the Frontier clerk of what had happened and asked if the airport had any sort of medication supplier. She said that, yes, in cases of emergencies, it did, but that unless I could provide a prescription or a pill bottle (said pill bottle was in our suitcase which was supposedly now in Seattle without us) that there was nothing she could do, despite the fact he was standing behind me with blood on his shirt from a bitten tongue and that he had wet his pants.
Neither of us wanted to make a scene and there was a line of disgruntled passengers from our flight behind us waiting for service, so we took our boarding passes and excused ourselves to find somewhere where he could get himself cleaned up.
Afterward, we went to our gate where we were boarded onto our flight with no hassle and flown to Denver to make our connection home where MORE trouble occurred. When we had been issued our new boarding passes, we were only given actual passes to Denver. The flight from Denver to Seattle remained in ticket form and we were told to speak to the Frontier desk upon landing.
When we arrived at the Frontier kiosk in Denver, we were informed that these tickets we'd been issued were merely standby and that the flight we'd been placed on was overbooked so getting us home wasn't looking very good. We, along with the passengers from Philly who had likewise been booked on this same flight, were not pleased. We were all told to sit tight and wait, which we did.
As we sat, one of the clerks approached the both of us and said that she could get ONE of us on the flight, but that the other would have to take the next flight which would be leaving six hours later. My fiance and I talked it over, and I talked him into going first since it would give him enough time to go home, get himself cleaned up, and stop at Rite Aid to get his pills refilled.
Having settled that, the clerk then returned and said that she would be able to get BOTH of us onto the flight now and we were both issued a boarding pass. This huge relief was shortlived, however, when after we had boarded the plane, I was approached by the same kiosk attendant and informed quickly that I needed to now get off of the plane because she had given me someone's seat whom she didn't think would be making the connection in time, but at the last minute had.
Upset, I and one other passenger who had been similarly embarrassed, disboarded the plane and approached the front desk to find out what was going on. The gentleman who had disboarded with me was understandably upset at the airline's incompetance and, while he ranted at them for poor service, I tried to get my head on straight and keep myself from crying with frustration.
For the first time ever, I found myself asking the clerk about a partial refund or compensation for all of this trouble and was informed that, since the initial problem was due to the weather, they weren't obligated to do anything. I was handed a $7 food voucher as though this was supposed to magically make me forget the last 18 hours had taken place and told to come back at 5:20 to board the new flight.
When the time, once again, came around to board the plane, I was told yet AGAIN by an attendant when I tried to exchange my ticket for a boarding pass and told that this flight too had been overbooked and would I mind terribly being bumped off of this one to take a flight with Alaska Air instead that left an hour later?
I was livid at this point. They were offering, now that they had screwed me and others over to the very maximum, to transfer our flight plan to another airline when, had they done that from the beginning, all of this drama very well could have been avoided?
I told them that I was already going to be arriving nearly 24 hours later than I'd planned on, that, as it was, I'd have time to catch seven hours of sleep when I got home before having to go back to work, and that I'd flat-out had it up to the gills with their airline. Needless to say, they approached someone else with their offer.
I've heard people rant for hours about ONE of the above problems I've listed having happened to them with an airline. I never thought it was possible for one to manage to do it -all- to their clients on one trip.
I have been told by others that I spoke with upon arriving home that they have had similar problems with Frontier in the past and, while I understand that it must be stressful trafficing so many people from one place to another, I personally find this incident inexcusable.
I will never be flying with this airline again and I urge others to avoid them as well.