Frontier has long been criticized for its baggage policies.
The airline will frequently make passengers place their bags into a bag-sizing device to see if the bag is covered under the airline’s carry-on policy. If the bag does not fit in the sizer, the passenger must pay for a carry-on bag, which can run around $90 at the gate.
However, numerous flyers have alleged that Frontier forces customers to purchase a carry-on, even when their bag clearly fits into the sizing machine. Multiple users on TikTok have documented their experience easily fitting their bags into the sizer, only for a gate agent to tell them that it does not fit and that they have to pay for the carry-on.
Now, another TikTok user has shared their experience dealing with this same issue. In a video with over 131,000 views, user Moriah (@moriahdoesmagick) recounts her experience traveling with Frontier, saying that she observed gate agents do the same thing.
“Literally last month, I watched this happen to 25 people on a single flight,” she says.
@moriahdoesmagick @Frontier Airlines doesnt deserve your business.✨ #traveltmz #frontier #moriahdoesmagick #flights #airportlife #bagpolicy #frontierairlines #airportproblems #frontierairlinessucks #fyp #storytime #foryou ♬ original sound – 🕷Moriah🕷
“We were looking at people whose bags were completely in the storage container, and [the airline] being like, ‘it doesn’t fit,’” she recalls. “They were just gaslighting these people, just literally being like, ‘No. You can go and pay at the desk or you’re not getting on the plane.’”
Moriah also observed a passenger pack and repack her backpack, with the backpack fitting every time, she says. The passenger was still denied—and when Moriah tried to help by packing some of the guest’s items in her own bag, she alleges that the airline tried to prevent her from doing so by demanding she remove articles of clothing she was wearing and place them in her bag along with the other passenger’s items.
“The low cost on Frontier and Spirit are not worth your time,” Moriah claims. “The amount that you are going to pay in luggage—you will literally pay less to book American Airlines, to book Delta.”
“I will not be giving a penny of my money to Frontier Airlines again,” she concludes.
One of the reasons gate agents may be so insistent on passengers buying carry-on bags is that they have a financial incentive for doing so.
In March, a Frontier spokesperson admitted to The Independent that agents are given a cash incentive for charging passengers for carry-on items. While the airline claimed that this is “simply an incentive for our airport customer service agents to help ensure compliance with our policies and that all customers are treated equally,” commenters allege that this creates a system in which flyers are made to buy carry-on baggage when they should not have to do so.
“As soon as they incentivized the bags, it’s gone up,” wrote one user in the comments section of Moriah’s video. “They never cared before.”
Others claimed that, given this behavior, it’s likely that Frontier will face legal challenges soon.
“There will absolutely be a class action lawsuit,” said a commenter.
“This needs a congressional oversight committee,” added a second. “It is a thought out policy that is defrauding people.”
In an email to the Daily Dot, Moriah shared her thoughts further on Frontier’s practices.
“I think as a consumer of a corporation’s services we can tell how deeply a company does or does not care about their customers and the service they receive,” she wrote. “In the case of Frontier, on a basically regular basis even the kindest customers are met with poor attitudes and side eye. Beyond the endless complaints we see splashed across social media, the lack of customer service support and personnel training is blaring.”
“The only beneficial solution I could potentially see is the airline paying their employees a living wage,” she continued. “These employees are being incentivized to charge us for bags. To leave an employee’s paycheck reliant on how many customer’s days they can ruin is beyond unethical.”
“Personally, the baggage system and fee structure with Frontier is beyond excessive.
With better airlines, things such as 60$-70$ bag fees prior to the airport are unheard of,” she noted. “The fact customers are being embarrassed and publicly humiliated over acceptable luggage is nothing more than a reflection of how little this company cares about their consumer versus their paycheck.”
She concluded with a message about travel.
“The only thing I want to add is to tell people that they shouldn’t let this stop them from traveling,” she shared. “I imagine it can be disheartening to be scrolling your FYP and seeing that an airline that’s accessible and affordable for you have these kinds of issues. Don’t allow a bad discount airline to convince you that is the quality of service you deserve. Travel, seek beautiful experiences, and follow what make your heart happy.”
The Daily Dot also reached out to Frontier Airlines via email for comment.