May 13, 2020 – Frontier Hit with Another COVID-19 Refund Case Over Trip Cancellations
Another proposed class action alleges Frontier Airlines has shifted its losses during the coronavirus pandemic onto consumers by refusing to issue refunds for canceled flights.
The complaint filed in Colorado claims Denver-based Frontier has refused to issue refunds despite the fact that its contractual agreements, in particular the contract of carriage in place from October 25, 2019 through April 16, 2020, stipulate full reimbursement will be provided in the event of a cancellation.
“Defendant has quietly sought to force its passengers to endure the financial losses that its own contract created for it in the entirely foreseeable scenario that world occurrences would disrupt the domestic travel industry,” the 14-page complaint says.
In place of refunds, Frontier has taken to issuing time-limited vouchers for future travel that the lawsuit claims are impermissible under the airline’s contract of carriage and particularly wrongful given the lack of clarity on when normal travel may resume.
Frontier Airlines, Inc. is on the receiving end of a proposed class action lawsuit filed over the carrier’s alleged refusal to issue refunds to travelers whose flights were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the case, which echoes similar lawsuits filed against nearly every major airline and several smaller carriers, Frontier has canceled a “vast percentage” of its scheduled international and domestic flights in April and May, and has offered only vouchers or credits for future travel in place of refunds.
The lawsuit claims this action contradicts both the low-cost airline’s Contract of Carriage—which stipulates that Frontier will “provide a refund” in the event it cancels a customer’s flight—and an enforcement notice issued by the Department of Transportation. The DOT’s notice clarified that a public health emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic does not excuse airlines from their obligation to provide refunds when a carrier cancels a flight or “makes a significant schedule change.”
“Indeed, the DOT’s Enforcement Notice makes perfectly clear that offering ‘vouchers or credits for future travel’ is not an adequate or appropriate substitute for airlines’ obligations to offer refunds for cancelled flights,” the complaint states.
The plaintiff says her round-trip flights between Myrtle Beach and Long Island, New York scheduled for late May were canceled by Frontier on March 19. Although the plaintiff was informed over the phone that she would receive a refund, “the refund never came,” the case states. The consumer says she called Frontier two weeks later and was told that she was never promised a refund and would never receive one, and that her only option was to accept a travel voucher from the airline.
The plaintiff, echoing a number of online customer complaints cited in the lawsuit, claims she was deceived by Frontier as to her right to receive a refund and would not have booked through the airline if she had known she was not entitled to a refund for canceled flights.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.