This is what Tom Frazier’s bag looked like when Frontier Airlines returned it to him after a recent flight from Minneapolis to Albuquerque.
Frontier refused to compensate him for the damage, and there was no way to appeal its decision.
The clerk there said that they were not responsible, citing a policy that handles are not covered. I protested, citing the torn fabric and smashed housing and was told that I could take it up with a supervisor by phone the next day.
I have tried twice. The first time I was told that the supervisor was unavailable and would have to call me back, which never happened.
The second time I had evidently called at a bad time because the male clerk I was speaking to had to ask someone else what to do. He failed to put the phone on hold however, only putting the receiver down on the counter. Mistake. I clearly heard the female clerk tell him, “The easiest way to get rid of him is take his name and number and tell him we’ll call him back.”
The male clerk protested something unintelligible, causing her to pick up the phone to talk to me. Big mistake. I informed her immediately that I had heard exactly what she said and wished to speak to her supervisor now. She apologized, explained that they were checking in a flight at the moment and she had gotten too rushed, told me hastily that no supervisor was available at the moment, and said that she would take all the information concerning the flight, the damaged bag, etc., and be sure that someone called me back.
Two weeks later I’m still waiting.
Here’s the thing: Frontier’s contact us page points to a phone number, but there’s neither a Web form nor an e-mail address. What’s more, a Web search of Frontier e-mail addresses turns up nothing.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d say the airline doesn’t want passengers e-mailing it.
I did a little sleuthing and found the name of Frontier’s vice president of customer service, Cliff Van Leuven. I’ve had some contact with Frontier employees in the past, and know that e-mail addresses end in @flyfrontier and that they normally start with the first initial and the last name. So I suggested Frazier send a brief, polite e-mail to email@example.com.
I wrote to and heard back from Mr. Van Leuven the same day you provided the address. He took immediate charge of the situation, hooked us up with the manager at his office at MSP, and made sure she had a personal interest in the situation. In the end, they gave us a choice of what we would like done; repair the bag, replace it, or compensate for it’s loss monetarily.
Ten days later we have the suitcase back in our closet (instead of in the trash pickup where it was destined) completely repaired to our satisfaction. They also stated that it is their intention to use our experience as a customer service training exercise when training reps on how to deal with situations such as ours.
I don’t know if Frontier is trying to be like Southwest (no e-mails, please) or if its “contact us by e-mail” page is just hidden somewhere on the site, but when you’re stuck in a phone loop the way Frasier was, an escalation — and a little bit of luck — is all you need to get your luggage fixed.