This has been covered before, but it came up in my news feed again and I thought it was worth mentioning. There’s a major US airline that pays its employees a commission to help enforce their customer policies. And while in theory, I don’t have a problem with making sure that policies are enforced consistently, in practice, it’s turning out to be a bit more of a problem.
Frontier Gate Agents Get A Commission For Making Customers Pay For Bags
Frontier is an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) and their business model consists of selling very cheap tickets to get you from Point A to Point B and then charging for everything else (seats, bags, meals, etc).
(SEE ALSO: How to get a good seat on Frontier (for free))
Again, I do not have a problem with this business model and I think it can make a lot of sense depending on your travel patterns. But you absolutely have to be aware of what the expectations are and plan accordingly. On Frontier, you only get a personal item included – both carryons and checked bags cost additional money. Additionally, Frontier is very clear about the size of personal items – they can be no larger than 14” tall, 18” wide, and 8” long.
Recently, there have been many reports of Frontier Airlines gate agents being very aggressive with checking the size of personal items. A report on Insider talks about gate agents being paid a $10 commission to ensure that all personal items fit in the bag sizer in the gate area. Frontier charges more if you have to check your bag at the gate and some people reported having to pay $99 to check their bags when the gate agent said they didn’t fit. Frontier reported that the commissions were “an incentive for our airport-customer service agents to help ensure compliance with our policies and that all customers are treated equally.” and also disputed some of the accounts that had gone viral by saying that there were other factors in play (such as a second item).
My Experience Flying Frontier In Denver
Allow me to repeat once more that I don’t have a problem with Frontier enforcing their policies, as long as it is done consistently and fairly. But let me share my own experiences. I flew on Frontier connecting in Denver a few months ago (before the news about the commissions came out) and I was surprised at how aggressive the gate agents were. I was traveling with only my backpack, so I didn’t even really give it a second thought at first, but then I saw how the gate agents were literally making every single person use the sizer. So I went to a nearby (empty) gate to check my bag in the sizer. I had to squeeze it a bit but it fit – I was nervous that they were going to say it didn’t fit but I was fine.
But I did see the gate agents being pretty aggressive with checking the sizes of all the personal items. As I mentioned, they did not let ANYONE onto the flight without their bag being physically put into the sizer. Normally i don’t see gate agents checking the size or weight of any luggage unless it’s egregious. So I was not surprised to read a few months later that they were getting a commission.
The Bottom Line
Frontier Airlines gate agents are reportedly getting a $10 commission for every bag that they find is bigger than the accepted sizes for personal items. While I don’t have a problem with the policy, there are some reports that the policy is not being applied consistently. Some people have complained that they are being charged for bags that fit in the sizer or being told that if they have to “make it” fit that it doesn’t count, which doesn’t seem right.
What do you think? Have you noticed this behavior when flying Frontier lately?
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