A five-count proposed class action lawsuit aims to take defendants Frontier Airlines, Inc.; Airbus S.A.S.; and Airbus Group HQ Inc. to task for alleged “fume events” resulting from the possible defective design and manufacture of the companies’ Airbus fleet of aircraft.
Fume events occur when air inside an aircraft’s passenger cabin becomes contaminated with “pyrolised compounds” such as engine oil or de-icing or hydraulic fluid, according to the complaint. The case says fume events are caused by the bleeding of an Airbus’s air system, from which pre-heated compressed air is drawn from the engine and pumped directly into the passenger cabin after being cooled. Although these fume events reportedly happen repeatedly, and despite the availability of a more-ideal no-bleed system—one that features electrically driven compressors that pressurize an aircraft’s cabin—the defendants have taken no steps toward eliminating the “traditional pneumatic system and bleed manifold,” the plaintiff argues. Worse, the defendants have allegedly failed to warn customers that they may experience a fume event during flight.
At the center of the 27-page complaint is Frontier Flight 1630, which left Los Angeles International Airport bound for Orlando on June 2, 2017. Roughly two hours into the flight, according to the plaintiff, the A320 V1 Airbus experienced an air-quality issue in the cabin, from which the lawsuit says passengers “experienced physical distress,” including “passing out, choking, coughing and eye irritation.”
The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Phoenix, the suit says, adding that although every passenger requested to leave the terminal, they were not permitted to do so for roughly three hours after they de-boarded.
“Frontier has refused to acknowledge the event,” the plaintiff says. “Indeed, publicly accessible records maintained by Frontier reported the flight as having landed on time in Orlando without incident.”