Monday, 18 September 2017

Massive Fine For Frontier

It's emerged last week that the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a fine to Frontier Airlines of $1.5 million for keeping passengers on a number of flights at Denver for more than three hours, last December.

The incident happened during a snowstorm on 16th & 17th December, which grounded many aircraft and the passengers concerned were kept onboard a dozen aircraft for over three hours. Whilst the DoT levied the fine, it confirmed it will forgive the airline $900,000 of the total because of $1.2 million compensation payouts to the passengers the airline has already made.

According to the reports, up to 8 inches of snow fell at Denver airport during the storm which caused mass disruption and Frontier Airlines left customers aboard 12 aircraft on the tarmac for more than the three-hour limit, which is set by US law. 

The DoT report commented that Frontier did not have the appropriate number of staff on duty and did not delay or divert enough flights to alleviate congestion at airport gates.  On at least one occasion, the airline used an open gate to load passengers on a departing flight instead of unloading a waiting plane that had already arrived, the department said.

Richard Oliver, a spokesperson for Frontier claimed the airline has revised its winter weather procedures and worked with the Denver airport on a system to get passengers off planes more expediently.  "During last December's crippling storm, our operation in Denver was faced with a myriad of operational challenges," he advised. 

The snowstorm was worse than predicted, the airline said, and that it had taken steps to relieve the delays. The airline commented that it had been fully staffed at the time and had even brought in extra employees from its Denver HQ. 

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