I need my refund from Frontier Airlines! What’s going on?

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By Christopher Elliott

Frontier Airlines promised a refund to Kristy Heer after it canceled her flight from Minneapolis to Denver. But that was a year ago and she still doesn’t have her money back. Can we help?

Question

Frontier Airlines canceled my flights from Minneapolis to Denver last summer. I requested a refund since the next available flight on Frontier Airlines was significantly later. This flight cancellation should qualify for a refund under the Department of Transportation regulations.

I have spent hours on hold with Frontier Airlines representatives asking for my refund. When Frontier Airlines canceled my flights, a phone agent said they were able to find all of the payments I made by credit card and that I would receive a refund via my Visa.

I don’t want or need any airline vouchers or flight credits. Several Frontier Airlines phone agents have assured me that they submitted a refund request and I should wait 7 to 10 business days for it to process. But I’ve been waiting for more than a year!

Can you help me get my money back, please? — Kristy Heer, Minnetonka, Minn.

Answer

You’re right. Under Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, Frontier Airlines owes you a refund if it cancels your flight. If you requested your money back, you should have received it within a week.

But it looks like there were a few complicating factors. You paid for your ticket with Frontier flight credits (and a small amount of cash). That means you would have only been entitled to receive flight credits (and the small amount of cash) as a refund. BUT…

It looks like a Frontier representative promised you a full cash refund, even though you had paid with credits.

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You received about $18 back from Frontier instead of the $253 you thought you would get. Making matters worse, it looks as if Frontier Airlines didn’t even try to refund you with flight credit, so you ended up with $18 and nothing else.  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 because an employee of Frontier Airlines promised it to you — a full refund. It shows that Frontier put that promise in writing. (Related: Kicked off my flight for being disruptive — does Frontier Airlines owe me anything?)

Why didn’t Frontier do what it said? I’m going to chalk this one up to pandemic confusion. (Here’s how to survive a long flight in economy class and avoid jet lag.)

The good news: Here’s your refund from Frontier Airlines

As a last resort, you could have reached out to one of the executive contacts at Frontier Airlines for help with your refund. We list the names, numbers, and email addresses of the top customer service executives at Frontier Airlines in our database.  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 their team.

You showed much more patience than Frontier deserved, but that patience was finally rewarded.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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