Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Stay Away from Frontier Airlines, Says Sarah A. Hoyt

with 6 comments

Folks, go read this now:

Now that you’re back, here’s my comments.

Frontier tried hard in Sarah A. Hoyt’s experience to “frame the narrative” by blaming a hailstorm for causing massive travel interruptions five days later.  While this may be true to a degree (Frontier’s airline flight “fleet” is smaller than some), not telling travelers anything in advance — before they ever get to the airline — under these circumstances was wrong, stupid, pointless, and unnecessary.  Such an attempted narrative framing didn’t pass muster with a gifted editor and writer like Hoyt; they should’ve known better than to try.

And after reading Hoyt’s narrative, I need to ask this question:  why on Earth would anyone want to fly Frontier Airlines knowing that this had happened?  

You don’t need to be a SF&F fan to understand the problems here.  The level of indifference from Frontier’s employees that Hoyt reported is disgusting and shouldn’t be allowed to continue.  (And please, take it as read that I view Hoyt’s recollection as reliable.  She’s one of the “good ones.”  She’s not the type to stir up trouble just for the sake of it . . . though she won’t take garbage lying down and I don’t blame her at all.)

So, in the spirit of letting people know what has happened, even though I do not know Hoyt well (have reviewed some books of hers — excellent, all of ’em in any genre), I’m passing this along for your enlightenment. 

Considering it further, I can’t help but wonder why it was that these Frontier folks didn’t offer any hypoglycemic or diabetic-friendly snacks.  Not everyone is 15 — and even at that, some 15 year olds have juvenile diabetes, right?  So those people passing out granola bars and other sugary snacks while Hoyt was waiting in a three-hour long line just was stupid all the way around.  (Wouldn’t cheese and crackers have worked better?  Or even peanut butter and crackers?  How about some vegetables or even an apple or two?)

But that’s just one of the many stupidities Hoyt endured during her recent trip back from LibertyCon in Tennessee . . . awful, the whole thing.  Just awful.

The only good thing represented here is the comments section.  Did you notice the outstanding friends Hoyt has?   Kate Paulk.  Amanda Green.  Lin W. — probably a Baen Barfly.  Several other people I know by reputation or inference due to my previous incarnation as a Baen Barfly.

But that won’t make up for what Hoyt endured.  Nothing will, at this point.

At any rate, if I need to fly at all in the near future, I will definitely put Frontier Airlines far, far down the list.  I suggest you do the same.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Unlike 20 years ago, today people fly only when they have to. That being the case there’s no reason for the airlines to spend money providing good service. From what I could tell we aren’t talking about deliberate bad service here. We are talking about a failure to provide good service, but in every case, good service would cost the airline.

    This is, of course, a very bad thing, but it’s a reflection of American society and the current economy. Directing ire at the airlines themselves won’t accomplish anything.

    Jefferson Wilson

    July 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    • Jeff, I think being upset with these folks at Frontier Airlines in TN is appropriate and warranted. The folks giving out snacks — that was poor planning, and someone in the front office there needs to do better. The folks at the ticket window should’ve given Sarah and her family food vouchers as well as the good hotel room Sarah said she eventually was able to finagle out of them — and they should’ve done it willingly, without all the nonsense they put Sarah through. Finally, having such a small fleet of planes is just plain dumb and that’s something Frontier’s front office also needs to address, considering that a hailstorm that had happened _five days prior_ managed to turn into this huge mess.

      I agree with you that it’s a reflection of the American economy. But we must do better than this. Why on Earth would anyone want to come here as a tourist if _this_ is how they’re going to be treated?

      Barb Caffrey

      July 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm

  2. They’d have never had this problem under Midwest Express.


    July 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    • I agree, Lika. Midwest Express was known for its outstanding customer service. What a shame they got bought out by Frontier.

      Barb Caffrey

      July 24, 2011 at 12:42 am

  3. Midwest Express is the last airline I actually enjoyed traveling with–and I think I was 11 the last time I flew with them (free cookies!) :). I’ve since flown United, Southwestern and Delta, and of those only Southwestern was competent. Delta gave me the same runaround as Hoyt with delays and misinformation; as I was traveling alone for the first time in my life, that was not comforting! I also had my luggage checked through and it was “lost” for two weeks before they even contacted me about returning it. I found that fellow passengers had *much* greater sympathy for me than the airline, and one of those passengers (obviously a frequent flyer) set me on the right track home.

    There’s a reason why people only fly when it’s necessary these days. I’d like to travel more, the expense coupled with the poor treatment of passengers isn’t worth it. If I take a trip, I’m as likely to recall the airline horror story as the actual vacation.

    On a lighter note, this guy fought the airline companies…and won:


    July 24, 2011 at 7:34 am

    • Jenni, I agree with you. The bad customer “service” is no such thing and it certainly is a huge disincentive for potential travelers.

      I’m sorry you had that bad of an experience, ever — I remember when you traveled a few years ago that you’d lost your luggage and been re-routed and such, but I hadn’t known it was _this_ awful or even close to this awful.

      The video is a good one. 😉 Seen it before. 😉 Always appropriate, though. 😀

      Barb Caffrey

      July 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

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