A budget airline in America is under fire after it was revealed employees receive a $US10 ($A15) bonus when they charge a passenger an oversized luggage fee.
The staff incentive scheme by Frontier Airlines came to light after Salt Lake City journalist Dyana Villa went viral filming herself and another passenger being told their carry-on bags didn’t meet the size requirements for a flight from Washington D.C. to Denver, Colorado, New York Post reports.
The videos posted by the journalist logged millions of views on TikTok, as one commenter then claimed that Frontier Airlines employees get a commission each time they charge for an oversized bag.
Villa also claimed she heard the same thing herself from an unidentified Frontier Airlines flight attendant that it’s a $US10 ($A15) bonus each time.
The Post has contacted Villa and Frontier Airlines for comment.
An airline spokesperson told The Independent the bonus is “simply an incentive for our airport customer service agents to help ensure compliance with our policies and that all customers are treated equally.”
The journalist then began asking people to sign a petition to “stop Frontier Airlines from overcharging passengers”. At the time of publication, 189 people had signed.
Her clips showed herself and another passenger near the boarding gate placing their bags in the measurement bins, which are used to determine if luggage fits size limits.
The women then began arguing with Frontier employees.
“I was told my bag was too big for a personal item, yet when I put it in the measuring bin … it fit perfectly fine. This happened to two other individuals and we were charged $US100 [$A150],” Villa explained in her petition.
“One of the passengers even had to throw away all of her personal belongings to the trash in order to fly because they closed the gate on us. After paying, I finally got on, but little did I know the nightmare I would live in Denver,” she said.
The reporter, who was due to connect in Denver to fly to Salt Lake City, had more trouble when trying to get on her next flight.
“I was filming my bag to prove my bag fit in the bin, and I was denied the access [in Denver] to fly to Salt Lake City because of the video. I was told I could not film because it was private property and I did not have consent to film my bag.”
The Frontier spokesperson told The Independent the clips didn’t show the whole story.
“The video fails to show that the customer using the sizer box had an additional carry-on bag,” the spokesperson told the outlet.
“Each customer is allowed one free personal item that must fit within the smaller sizer box. This customer had more than one bag and they were not able to combine them into a single bag that fit in the personal item box.”
When flying Frontier, the size of a carry-on bag should be less than 61cm tall, 40cm wide, and 25cm deep and it should weight less than 15kg.
A personal bag should not exceed 35cm tall, 45cm wide and 20cm deep including handles, wheels and straps.
If a bag does not meet those requirements, flyers can be charged anywhere from $US50 to $US100 ($A75 to $A150).
It comes as US President Joe Biden called our airline fees in his State of the Union address in January, saying carriers’ pricing systems needed to be more “transparent”.
The US Department of Transportation recently proposed a rule that would make it mandatory for airlines and online booking platforms to show the total ticket price upfront. That price would include baggage fees and other necessary payments.
“We’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is cancelled or delayed,” Mr Biden said during the address.
“And we’ll prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 roundtrip for families just to sit together. Baggage fees are bad enough – they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage.”
This article originally appeared on New York Post and was reproduced with permission
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