0 min left

Colorado Wants Federal Probe into Frontier’s Refund Policies

The Colorado Attorney General wants the U.S. Department of Transportation to formally open an investigation into ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines, over their refund polices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s lawyer claims the airline has been acting in “unfair or deceptive” practices on how flyers can access refunds.

The top lawyer for the State of Colorado is asking the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to open a probe into Frontier Airlines. The Colorado Attorney General announced they have asked the federal agency to open an investigation against the carrier, claiming they “engaged in unfair or deceptive practices” over refunds throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are requesting a collaboration to protect consumers during this globally precarious time.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, it’s been recommended flyers avoid travel as the world adapted to semi-lockdown and “Safer at Home” policies. Over the ensuing six months, the Colorado Attorney General says his office has “reviewed more than 100 complaints about Frontier” from Colorado residents and others from across 29 states. They say the complaints were primarily focused around getting refunds, redeeming flight credits and vouchers, and customer service issues.

According to Frontier’s latest policies, the airline is offering COVID-19-related waivers on certain tickets, while allowing flyers to cancel flights and use the balance of their airfare to book new itineraries within 90 days. However, the attorney general says flyers who requested an extension of their credits because they couldn’t use them were put on long holds, disconnected, or outright denied an extension. Because of these situations, the attorney general was moved to write a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to request help.

“The law requires airlines like Frontier to treat consumers fairly and honestly. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we received more complaints about Frontier’s conduct—failing to honor its commitment to provide refunds—than any other company,” Colorado attorney general Phil Weiser wrote in a press release. “By raising our concerns with USDOT and asking it to investigate and enforce the law, we are requesting a collaboration to protect consumers during this globally precarious time.”

The Colorado Attorney General’s office is deferring an investigation to federal authorities because they say the DOT “is best suited to take action and protect consumers because of its expertise.” The group says they are prepared to assist the agency in an investigation.

The DOT has not yet indicated if they will open a probe into Frontier. The allegations against the airline are based on complaints submitted to the attorney general from flyers, and have not been proven in court.

Request for Investigation Comes As Refund Frustrations Mount

The attorney general’s request comes as flyers are growing more and more frustrated over requesting refunds. According to the DOT’s August Air Travel Consumer Report, complaints against airlines increased by over 12,000 percent because of refund policies. Meanwhile, a group of American Airlines flyers took the carrier to court to over refunds, while the Fort Worth-based airline claims it should be deferred to online travel agencies and other airlines.