TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER - Dec. 9
Frontier Airlines promised me a full refund. What happened to it?
December 9, 2021
When Frontier Airlines cancels Kristy Heer's flight from Minneapolis to Denver, it promises her a prompt refund. So where's her money?
Frontier Airlines canceled my flights from Minneapolis to Denver last summer. I requested a refund since the next available flights were significantly later. Consequently, these Frontier flight cancellations qualify passengers for a refund under Department of Transportation regulations.
I have spent hours on hold with Frontier and talking to agents. When Frontier canceled my flights, a phone agent said they were able to find all of the payments I made by credit card and that every single one would be refunded to my Visa.
I don’t want or need any Frontier vouchers or flight credits. Several phone agents have assured me that they submitted a refund request and I should wait 7 to 10 business days for the refund to process. But I've been waiting for more than a year. Can you help me get my money back?
Kristy Heer, Minnetonka, Minn.
You're right. Under Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, an airline owes you a refund if it cancels your flight. If you requested a refund, you should have received one within a week.
But it looks like there were a few complicating factors. You paid for your ticket with Frontier flight credits, which means you would have only been entitled to receive flight credits as a refund. It looks like a Frontier representative promised you a cash refund, even though you had paid with credits.
As a result, you received about $18 back from Frontier instead of the $253 you thought you would get. Making matters worse, it looks as if Frontier didn't even try to reissue your flight credit, so you ended up with $18 and no flight credits. That doesn't seem fair. After all, you didn't cancel the flight -- Frontier did.
I reviewed the paper trail between you and Frontier. Nice job on keeping all of your correspondence, by the way. It shows you repeatedly asking for something you were entitled to -- a full refund. It also shows Frontier promising you that refund in writing. Why didn't Frontier do what it said? I'm going to chalk this one up to pandemic confusion.
As a last resort, you could have reached out to one of the executive contacts at Frontier for help. I list the names, numbers, and email addresses of the top customer service executives at Frontier on my consumer-advocacy site, Elliott.org. You can also file a complaint with the DOT, which could have moved things along.
I reached out to Frontier on your behalf, and it issued the cash refund it had promised. A representative said your refund was already "in the queue" when I contacted it. You showed much more patience than Frontier deserved, but that patience was finally rewarded.
Christopher Elliott's latest book is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (National Geographic). Get help by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help
© 2021 Christopher Elliott