Frontier Airlines is a budget carrier known for its low prices and, increasingly, its complicated baggage policy.
The policy looks simple on paper. Per the company’s website, the only bag included in your flight purchase is a personal carry-on item measuring “14″H X 18″W X 8″D including handles, wheels, and straps.”
Any bag bigger than those can be purchased ahead of time online, or at the gate for a significantly higher fee. If a passenger is discovered to have brought a personal item larger than the aforementioned dimensions, they will be forced to pay for the cost of a carry-on bag.
This is how the policy works in theory. In practice, Frontier Airlines has been repeatedly accused of making false claims about passengers’ baggage sizes, forcing them to pay more for a carry-on bag.
One user on TikTok said that a gate agent tried to charge her $99 for her bag until she demonstrated that the bag fit their size requirements. Another user documented the experience of a traveler who was forced to both pay for his bag and apologize to a gate agent for questioning their decision, even though his bag fit into the airline’s stated dimensions.
Now, another user has gone viral after sharing a similar story.
@dyanavilla.tv This IS NOT FAIR! PLEASE BLOW THIS UP! #frontier #flying #viral #carryon #flight #personalitem #frontierairlines #airline #worstairline ♬ original sound – .
In a video with over 486,000 views, TikTok user Dyana Villa (@dyanavilla.tv) shows a gate agent forcing her to pay for a carry-on bag, despite the fact that her personal item fits into the airline’s bag sizing device as a personal item.
A later video shows both bags being placed into the bag sizer. Both bags clearly fit, with one bag resembling the example image provided by Frontier.
@dyanavilla.tv Replying to @melamours THE BAGS LIKE THE PHOTOS! #frontier #foryoupage #personalitem #frontierairlines #carryon ♬ original sound – .
In another follow-up video, another member of Villa’s traveling party explained their experience further, claiming that they were denied boarding after their bag “didn’t fit.” An additional video alleges that Frontier gave the party a changing series of reasons as to why they were denied boarding.
@dyanavilla.tv Replying to @frankieknowsbetter She threw her clothes to the trash:( #frontier #viral #foryoupage #flying #personalitem #trash ♬ original sound – .
In this video, Sandra, the woman visible in the first video, says she tried to reason with the gate agents and threw away some of her clothes to make the bag fit better after their complaints. This did not sway the gate agents, who repeatedly attempted to charge her $100 even though her bag appeared to fit in their bag sizer.
“You guys saw the video [showing] how the bags fit easily in the compartment that they say it has to fit,” Sandra says. “[The gate agent] said [the bags] had to slide by themselves. I told her, ‘they’re not covered in butter…’”
Sandra also notes that she and her traveling party, who are Hispanic, were the only ones who received such treatment.
“It was a very bad experience today,” she summarizes. “I felt very ashamed, discriminated [against].”
In the comments section, users supported Dyana and her traveling party, with some claiming they’ve sworn off Frontier for good.
“By the time you pay for pays and all the other fees you could have just paid for a regular airline,” wrote one user. “It’s not worth the hassle.”
“That’s wild, their bags clearly fit! I hope they compensate them!” exclaimed a second.
“Here is the trick. pay it and then fight it with your credit card company,” suggested an additional commenter.
The Daily Dot reached out to Frontier via email and Dyana via Instagram DM.