United States carrier Frontier Airlines caused mass panic on 22nd November when it mistakenly sent a notification about updated flight itineraries. The airline blamed a technical problem for the issues whilst worried passengers struggled to contact the airline for clarification.
A technical error causes disruption
Ahead of one of the busiest travel periods in the American calendar, Frontier Airlines gave its passengers the gift of anxiety by announcing flight amendments ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. The subject line of the email, according to The Points Guy, read: “There has been a change to your upcoming flight.”
Similarly, the email was particularly non-descript in telling passengers exactly what the change was. In lieu of that, it did list a phone number which desperate passengers promptly dialed. However, the panic surge meant that many passengers could not get through to Frontier.
Left in the dark, some passengers headed home only to be told by the airline four hours later via Twitter that the email was an error. Regarding the incident, Frontier Airlines posted:
This evening, a technical problem generated an email to some customers stating their upcoming flight had been changed. This email was sent in error. We sincerely apologize. You may confirm the details of your trip by entering your confirmation number on our website.
— Frontier Airlines (@FrontierCare) November 22, 2019
Whilst Frontier Airlines blamed the issue on a technical problem, the airline later admitted in a statement that it didn’t know the full origin. In a statement, Frontier Airlines told Simple Flying:
“We apologize to our customers for a technical issue in our reservations system that caused an email to be sent Thursday to some customers with reservations on Frontier Airlines erroneously indicating their flight had been changed. We are investigating the cause and are communicating this error with our customers who can confirm their trip by entering their confirmation number on our website.”
Poor customer service
Whilst the airline seemed quite content to sweep this blunder firmly under the rug, the green airline‘s customer support was not warmly received. The airline did not provide updates quickly enough leading passengers to prompt it a number of times to respond to queries.
Hey @FrontierCare & @FlyFrontier… can we get an update as to what is going on with these emails cancelling flights and your rebooking telephone number not working? This is very unprofessional. #FrontierAirlines
— Bert Sasso 🇵🇷🇺🇸 (@IamRobertoSasso) November 22, 2019
A potentially expensive mistake
Whilst Frontier has now apologized for the mistake, it could have landed the airline a hefty bill in compensation. We can expect that there will be some repayment for those complaints from passengers who missed flights. But thankfully it won’t be too much.
However, what Frontier has not sacrificed in profit losses from the incident it may have lost in customer service. A 2019 review of the best of the nine biggest U.S. airlines by Wallethub already ranked Frontier bottom of the list. The report classified Frontier Airlines as the worst for complaints, delays and canceled flights. This mistake seems to live up to its negative press.
But for now, as Frontier investigates, the mass email is water under the bridge. It can instead focus on providing those no longer amended flights and upholding a good reputation.
Were you affected by the email notification? Let us know in the comments!