- A passenger is suing Frontier Airlines over being charged an additional $100 for an oversized carry-on bag, claiming it fits within the airline’s size and weight limits.
- The lawsuit accuses Frontier Airlines of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract, alleging that their fare and baggage policies deceive passengers into paying more.
- The plaintiff claims that Frontier Airlines intentionally implements policies to generate extra revenue from passengers and that their advertisements showing low fares are misleading.
A Florida-based passenger is suing the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) Frontier Airliners over the additional amount that the passenger had to pay for a carry-on bag just before boarding a flight. The passenger was charged an additional $100 for the oversized carry-on bag, which the airline staff couldn’t fit in the bag sizer.
The passenger alleges that the bag was within the airline’s published size and weight limits and that the bag sizer available at the gate was smaller than it should have been.
The US District Court of Florida issued a summons to the airline. The passenger, Amira Hamad, is seeking a $100 refund of the baggage fee, $10,000 for each alleged violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and $100 million in punitive damages.
Alleged fraudulent misrepresentation
The airline is accused of fraudulent misrepresentation and a breach of contract under Florida common law. According to the disgruntled passenger, the airline’s fare and baggage policies are deceiving for passengers who are forced to pay more for almost everything on top of the air ticket.
Photo: Denver International Airport
Frontier’s luggage and associated fee structure is their way of taking more out of customers. Passengers with cheap air tickets end up paying a lot more in various fees, with the total expenditure being equivalent to the airfare of competitor airlines.
The class action lawsuit
Amira Hamad took a Frontier Airlines flight in May, where she had to pay an extra fee for her personal carry-on item just before boarding the aircraft. The passenger filed the class action lawsuit on June 29 at the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The case number (6:2023cv01209) represents Hamad v. Frontier Airlines, Inc.
The case accuses Frontier Airlines of violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and breaching Florida’s laws regarding misleading advertising. The amount paid by Hamad was a clear representation of the total cost of the flight. However, the bag unexpectedly incurred a fee which resulted in a higher-than-presented total fare. According to the case filing,
Because of Frontier’s representations, the plaintiff believed that the ticket she purchased would get her from points A-to-B and B-to-A for the advertised price. However, Hamad had to pay additional unanticipated fees, such as a high baggage fee. Frontier also represented to Hamad that she would be able to fit a 14″ H x 18″ W x 8″ D personal item in the bag sizer, but when the plaintiff was at the airport, the bag sizer was smaller than advertised.
Frontier’s baggage policies suggest that all passengers are allowed to carry one personal item onboard, with dimensions not exceeding 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length, 8 inches (20.3 cm) in width, and 14 inches (35.5 cm) in height.
Photo: Don Mammoser | Shutterstock
The plaintiff alleges that the airlines’ policies are intentionally put in place to generate extra revenue from passengers. Furthermore, the advertisements showing the lowest fares are false when passengers end up paying a comparable amount in fees. The gate employees are alleged to be financially incentivized by the airline. The fees are broken into little pieces and checkpoints to bring down the otherwise standard fare that is comparable with the industry.
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