Federal judge says Frontier is off the hook for refunds due to pandemic-induced cancellations

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ConsumerAffairs reviewers raise a number of questions about Frontier’s refund policy

A federal judge in Colorado has ruled that Frontier Airlines is not responsible for refunding the price of airfare for travelers who had their flights canceled by the airline or decided to cancel their ticket themselves.

The class-action lawsuit alleged that Frontier knew it would cancel flights and have to provide refunds per Department of Transportation mandates — but rather than provide those refunds in cash, the company persuaded travelers to cancel their flights themselves in order for Frontier to save its hard-earned money and leave its customers with a travel voucher. The kicker is that the vouchers were good for only 90 days, which made them essentially useless during part of the coronavirus pandemic due to airlines' reduced schedules or grounded flights.

The plaintiffs claimed that Frontier’s Contract of Carriage says in black and white that if Frontier cancels a flight it will “provide a refund for the unused portion of the passenger’s ticket.” But when the gavel came down, Chief U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer dismissed the breach of contract claim, saying he didn’t see anything that proved that Frontier broke the terms and conditions of travel.

Both Delta Air Lines and Southwest are facing similar lawsuits. 

Other consumers complain about Frontier’s refund policy

ConsumerAffairs reviewers have lodged more than a dozen complaints about refund issues with Frontier over the past 90 days. These complaints mention Frontier canceling flights without informing travelers and a number of issues while dealing with the airline’s customer service representatives. Some people put forth the same complaints in the aforementioned class-action suit.

“I had 2 vouchers from 2020 travel that was not possible to use due to COVID. I didn't realize that one expired before the other and when I did I contacted them for an extension. It was 8 days after the date and they won't refund or extend,” wrote Diane of New Jersey. 

“Under normal circumstances I would understand being so rigid, but COVID is still going on and I think they should be more flexible because of it. So I paid them over $300 and got zero in return, seems criminal to me.”

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