More than 100 complaints by consumers from 30 states were more than enough for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.
Weiser on Tuesday asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to investigate Denver-based Frontier Airlines over the carrier’s alleged deceptive and unfair practices during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Denver Post newspaper.
According to the paper, most of the complaints allege that Frontier was unwilling to provide refunds, failed to promptly redeem flight credits or vouchers given in lieu of a refund and did not help customers when they called to resolve problems.
“We urge you to carefully review Frontier’s practices and, if you find such practices to be unfair or deceptive, to use your authority to protect consumers,” Weiser wrote in a letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao. “Our office is prepared to work with you to support a thorough examination of Frontier’s practices and ensure consumers are protected during this precarious time.”
Instead of refunds, Frontier has offered credits for future flights to be used within 90 days of the cancellation of the original flight – an offer practically useless during the pandemic and certainly back in March and April when demand for travel at one point had dipped as low as five percent capacity compared to last year.
And even when consumers tried to redeem their credits, they were unable due to website problems and a call center that routinely put calls on hold for an hour or more.
“The law requires airlines like Frontier to treat consumers fairly and honestly. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we received more complaints about Frontier’s conduct — failing to honor its commitment to provide refunds — than any other company,” Weiser said.
Frontier released a statement calling the allegations untrue.
“Throughout the pandemic, Frontier Airlines has acted in good faith to care for our passengers compassionately and fairly,” Frontier spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said. “At all times we have remained in full compliance with DOT rules and regulations governing flight changes, cancellations and refunds.”
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