Frontier Airlines has received criticism after it was revealed that employees receive a $10 bonus when they charge passengers an oversized luggage fee. The incentive came to light after a Salt Lake City journalist, Dyana Villa, filmed herself and another passenger being told their carry-on bags didn’t meet the size requirements for a flight from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Denver.
The videos went viral on TikTok, with some viewers claiming that Frontier Airlines employees receive a commission each time they charge for an oversized bag.
Villa claims she heard from an unidentified Frontier Airlines flight attendant that it’s a $10 bonus. The Post reached out to Villa and Frontier Airlines for comment.
A spokesperson for Frontier Airlines stated that the bonus is “simply an incentive for our airport customer service agents to help ensure compliance with our policies and that all customers are treated equally.” Villa’s story took off as she asked people to sign a petition to “stop Frontier Airlines from overcharging passengers.” Her clips showed herself and another passenger placing their bags in the measurement bins, which are used to determine if luggage will fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat before boarding. Arguments ensued between the women and the Frontier employees.
According to Villa’s petition, she was told her bag was too big for a personal item, yet when she put it in the measuring bin, it fit perfectly fine. She claims that this happened to two other individuals, and they were charged $100.
One of the passengers even had to throw away all of her personal belongings in the trash in order to fly because the gate closed on them. After paying, Villa finally got on, but little did she know the nightmare she would face in Denver.
Villa continued by explaining that she was filming her bag to prove it fit in the bin, and she was denied access to fly to Salt Lake City because of the video. She was told she could not film because it was private property and she did not have consent to film her bag. The Frontier spokesperson told The Independent that the clips didn’t show the whole story.
According to the spokesperson, “The video fails to show that the customer using the sizer box had an additional carry-on bag. Each customer is allowed one free personal item that must fit within the smaller sizer box. This customer had more than one bag and they were not able to combine them into a single bag that fit in the personal item box.”
When flying Frontier, the size of a carry-on bag should be less than 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 10 inches deep, and under 35 pounds, including handles, wheels, and straps.
A personal bag should not exceed 14 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 8 inches deep, including handles, wheels, and straps. If a bag does not meet those requirements, flyers can be charged anywhere from $50 to $100.
Villa’s heated interaction comes after President Biden called out airline fees in his State of the Union address in January. He referred to them as “junk” fees and promised to push airlines, resorts, and ticket sellers to make their pricing systems more “transparent.” The Department of Transportation recently proposed a rule that would make it mandatory for airlines and online booking platforms to show the total ticket price upfront, including baggage fees and other necessary payments.
Biden stated during the address, “We’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is canceled or delayed. And we’ll prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 roundtrip for families just to sit together. Baggage fees are bad enough — they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage.”