Carrier offered outdated information to aggrieved customers, or no information at all, Department of Transportation found
Frontier Airlines was fined $40,000 this week for failing to provide customers with required information about compensation for being bumped from overbooked flights and for lost or damaged luggage.
U.S. Department of Transportation investigators detailed the violations observed at Frontier gates and ticket counters at various airports across the country in an order issued Tuesday.
They found the Denver-based carrier was displaying outdated information and sometimes failing to provide any information at all to passengers about overbooking practices, payments for being bumped and the airline’s financial liability should a customer’s bags be delayed, lost or damaged.
The carrier has updated its outdated procedures and “has taken steps, including introducing a new reporting system, to ensure compliance with the DOT regulations,” Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver wrote in an email Wednesday.
The feds allow airlines to overbook flights to maximize efficiency. In return, airlines agree to financially compensate eligible passengers. But the airlines must immediately provide information about its overbooking rules compensation to passengers turned away from their flights, the DOT says. That information also must be displayed and available by request at all ticket counters and gates. The compensation rate must be updated every two years.
The investigation found Frontier employees at some airports did not have “proper copies” of the policies when enforcement officials asked for them. In some cases, the policies were more than five years out of date. In other instances, copies of the statement were not available at a Frontier ticket counter or gate at all.
When it came to baggage compensation, officials found Frontier displayed signs at some airports that listed the airline’s liability below the maximum $3,500 figure set in August 2015. Some of the Frontier signs had information that was more than eight years old.
The DOT order noted that Frontier responded to the violations by immediately removing out-of-date signs at airports and in its warehouse, and took steps to inform its employees about the issues and the “importance of full compliance with all applicable DOT regulations.”