CEO of Frontier Airlines on “Undercover Boss”

Just about the only TV show I watch with any regularity is “Undercover Boss,” whereby the CEOs of various companies go undercover to see what’s really going on at their companies (or so they say). This week the CEO of Frontier Airlines went undercover, and the episode can be found here. It was fun to finally see an airline executive undercover, so it’s definitely worth watching.

That being said, I don’t think I’ll be watching the show from hereon out. I felt like the first season was a bit more “realistic,” in that there were good employees and bad employees. This season has showcased nothing but great employees with inspiring, made-for-TV stories. The show just doesn’t seem real to me anymore. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted…

Filed Under: Frontier, Media
  1. Funny- I’ve felt the same about the show. This season it seems extremely fake. I wonder how many workers have to be filmed before finding these amazing employees with tragedies to openly talk about to some stranger trying out for a job? It also seems like to be an amazing employee you must have some sort of hardship/ struggle in life. Why is this?

  2. More importantly did they need to focus for 15 minutes on how religious he is? As a potential customer that really turned me off from flying Frontier.

  3. Agree with @Reid’s comments. Based on what I saw, I’m no longer flying Frontier if I can avoid them. The CEO’s religion appears to permeate his work life, we saw that he has a particularly strong affiliation towards Christian employees and we can presume that his staff “gets the message.” I’m OK with the desk clerk assuming that Jesus guides her life, but when a pilot’s having a problem with a plane that I’m on, I want them thinking, not praying.

  4. @Nathaniel I don’t want anyone spreading religion in a business I am supporting. If you want to BELIEVE in some supernatural being, fine. Don’t make it the basis of how you operate your company.

  5. Oh how awful that he is religious! He might just do the right things and treat people nice, now awful. GIVE ME A BREAK! It’s great he is religious, we need more CEO’s like that and many more people will fly Frontier because of it than not.

    I love it.

  6. When Bedford talked about bringing back the 10% that F9 employees lost, I kind of feel like it won’t happen in three years, if it does happen..

  7. Ben P.- No one asked for your extremely RUDE comments regarding my opinion to the post on the blog. I know that it is televison. I was commenting and agreeing with the post about how the show has changed direction and seems extremely fake now opposed to last season.
    This is not your blog and I did not care to hear your response to what I wrote.

  8. Chill out people!

    Never seen the show, lucky, but I’ve heard about it and that was what came to mind. However, is it also true that the CEO of Hooters cried when he saw what was going on in his stores?

  9. @steve but that’s just it, he DOESN’T. He makes some vague statement about giving people back their money within three years. He didn’t offer to have execs take a paycut or anything like that…

  10. @Reid I hear you on that point. It was kind of ironic that they showed his AMAZING house yet there was no talk of him or the other execs taking a pay hit like everyone else had to.

  11. I’m a bit surprised by the poor tenor of the discussion here. I run Station Operations for a smaller competitor, but why not focus on how funny it was to watch Bryan get the blue shower of death from the lav, or how he was chatting with employees with multiple jobs struggling to make ends meet vs. Bryan’s cushy mansion.

    If you work in the industry, Bryan’s religious beliefs are well known, just like Jet Blue’s former CEO, big deal. I agree with Lucky that I am more cynical about the show this season. They mention that a relative died in Bryan’s childhood early in the show and I just sit there wondering when he will run into an employee with the same issue. When are we going to see another guy like the Hooters restaurant manager that was all but sexually harassing his female employees and no longer worked at the company (hoped his a** was fired,) at the end of the episode.

    Some legitimate issues such as the pressure to quickly turn, clean, and board an aircraft were aired in the episode. It was a balanced view of behind the scenes of an airline’s operations. The 10% restoration in pay may have already been in the cards for F9 employees and the show was the perfect place to announce it, (the cynic in me speaking,) but hopefully Bryan learned a few things happening among the rank and file.

    I’m proud that I probably couldn’t do the show (yeah, yeah, I’m not a CEO,) because I spend as much time among the rank and file tossing bags as is feasible, [chuckled that Bryan didn’t count bags for weight and balance],) but everyone here is focused on the negatives of the episode, and not a look at issues most of you frequent flyers rarely consider on your trips.

    Lighten up folks.

  12. @Reid and @bradbin There was nothing in the show to show him forcing down his religious choices on anyone else.

    @Steve and @Reid according to Frontier’s Twitter feed (@FlyFrontier) The pay cut occurred BEFORE the buyout by Republic, while Frontier was still trying to reorganize under Bankruptcy protection, and that the then CEO and Exec. Team did take a cut of larger than 10%. I think that this should have been stated in the show.

  13. @Steve..because being religious means you treat people nice and do the right thing. Have you heard of Prop 8?

  14. Anyone notice what little he did to learn and improve things for his employees as a whole? It seems they probably had a meeting deciding how much they were willing to give to a few employees for a 30 minute commercial for their company. A free florida vacation and letting a woman choose what animal goes on the tail of an aircraft in memory of her son seems very little to what he could have done taking into account the changes he promised only helps a handful of people at the company.

  15. The whole show is fake but less face it…..most American’s don’t care! But pass that my take on watching Bedford talk about the financial woes facing Americans today appalled me……fact is Frontier Airlines would rather buy/lease non-American built airplanes (Airbus) and help pay workers overseas instead of supporting and helping out hard working men and women who live in America!
    I used to fly Frontier but when they switched from Boeing 737’s to the Airbus airplanes I switched airlines. You have a choice… support airlines that support the American worker!

  16. @B I got the exact opposite feeling as pointed out the restoration of the 10% pay cut affects everyone at the company…(Well at least the part of the employees who took the pay cut. Remember the pay cut only affected old Frontier employees Midwest and Republic employees took no such cut.) As for non-monetary rewards getting to choose and have a plane dedicated to your son is quite the reward and honestly was a much better gift then any amount of money.

  17. @B Boeing or Airbus I don’t care about, both are so intertwined with various governments…my point was that he could have given up something PERSONALLY to help these people. Maybe give them stock, or ANYTHING. Instead we got 20 minutes of him being religious (no other episodes show religion ANYWHERE near as much, so this was DEFINITELY a choice made by Frontier, not the show) and him talking about god with alot of people. In the end he gave next to nothing substantial. Some people get to chair some groups…nothing made me feel GOOD about flying Frontier. Sure the employees are proud, but it doesn’t seem to be returned by management.

  18. I agree with Reid, bradbin, etc. Did we have to know that it’s part of god’s plan that he gets toilet water all over his face. The fact that somehow every employee is very religiously Christian makes me think that either the show has gotten very fake (closely screened), or they engage in somewhat questionable hiring practices, or both. In the interviews are they asked who, dead or alive would they like to go to dinner with.. if they answer Jesus they are hired, if they answer Moses, Mohammed, or Richard Dawkins they are not? As a non-Christian consumer it is a turn-off. I don’t really collect miles from that brand, but my next trip to Denver will probably be United instead. To all those bashing Reid and bradbin, and somehow assume because he’s Christian it will influence whether or not he does good things with his life. Would you really keep patronizing Weinstein movies if the CEO was telling all of his employees that ‘we are the chosen people’, or listen to Casey Kasem if he started his broadcast saying that Muslim is the one true Messiah? You just like this guy because he’s your preferred religion.

  19. I watched half of this episode and had to turn in off. I’m in the travel industry so I was curious tos ee the behind the scenes. I don’t care what religion he is but I am not interested in watching a job about religion. And it seems this is all it was with a side story about a plane company. C’mon! Having “witnesses” with employees, discussing God’s plan with everyone he met, etc? And to have someone like the CEO get on TV and preach about God’s plan and not using birth control because God will give you as many children as he sees fit. Yeah! Great example for people that should be using birth control!! Not everyone is like the CEO who can afford a mantion with an indoor basketball court and air hockey room for his 8 kids.

  20. I agree with those who feel the show has lost something since the beginning. Now it’s just a big long advertisement for which the company tosses out a few crumbs to the waiting starving employees. To me it’s all about the big people looking down on the little people and tossing a crumb.

    I also found it odd that he gave 20k to one person, 10k to another to “distribute’ which he’ll be there to oversee.. (uh huh! wouldn’t want her using any of that money for herself since she probably makes 2% per year of what he does. He makes around $961.00 per hour with total compensation package and stock options per year.

    The religious thing always scares me. To the person wo commented that because he’s religious he’d care more or something similar.. Wow, that’s some interesting preconceived ideas and judgement about people who taut that they are “Religious”. I prefer people who are just plain and simple good souls who don’t hide behind anything and are just good people! Plenty of those working too hard for that company for poor wages.

  21. It’s 2016 and I’m going back to see all the episodes from start having seen the Hooters episode and a very small handful over the years. And like you, I am just groaning at all the single-parent cash & prizes being given out in Season 2 (and those in Season 1). There are no good stories of regular over 30 single people trying to make it, maybe missed opportunities, bad childhoods, and trying again (unless there is a medical story). You know why? Because their suffering is alone and no one cares unless it involves shooting out kids you couldn’t afford in the first place (the future single people who had bad parents and have it emotionally hard trying to make it.)

    I made up my mind it’s all fake when at Frontier Airline, it just so happen to be that at least one employee is a Bible thumper (oh, the coinky-dink, eh?)

    It’s also like the employees are coming prepared to their break-time chats with a wishlist of things they want. I’m sarcastically yelling at the screen “Don’t forget to say a thief stole your grandad’s Stradivarius and your life time dream from your deathbed was to own a Van Gogh!” Oh, but who are we kidding? The magic words are ILLNESS or SINGLE PARENT.

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