Frontier Airlines Passenger Told He Should Be On No-Fly List, Drive Next Time

Filed Under: Frontier

A Frontier Airlines passenger confronted the crew on his flight to express concerns over another passenger being sick. The response? He should drive next time, and should be on the no-fly list. Hmm…

What we know about this Frontier Airlines confrontation

TMZ has the story of what happened this past Thursday on a Frontier Airlines flight from Miami to Philadelphia. The passenger in seat 25C was concerned about a coughing and sneezing passenger seated immediately behind him (in row 26).

The concerned passenger asked to be reseated, and that request was accommodated. Then at some point during the flight, the concerned passenger confronted one of the flight attendants to ask why the passenger hadn’t been removed from the plane. She allegedly responded that if he was worried he should drive next time, and that he should be on the no-fly list.

That’s not captured on video, so usually I’d doubt that. However, these exact sentiments were reflected by another flight attendant on the same flight.

When the man deplaned he confronted the crew about the situation, and in particular about how the flight attendant spoke with him. In the nearly 90 second video there are two flight attendants along with the captain, and the passenger tries to emphasize his concern about the sick passenger.

Rather than getting an apology or closure over being told he should drive and be on the no-fly list, he’s told that… he should drive next time and that he should be on the no-fly list.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • When the passenger starts to share what happened, the flight attendant responds “this is a form of transportation, sir, you have an option, you can drive your car if it’s a problem, you can’t tell people to get off the plane if they’re coughing or sneezing”
  • When the passenger recounts his version of events and asks if the coughing and sneezing passenger shouldn’t have been removed, the flight attendant asks “why should he be removed?” and the passenger responds “because the guy’s sick,” to which the flight attendant responds “you ain’t no doctor”
  • At this point the flight attendant tells the passenger “you ain’t got your mask on good either,” to which the passenger responds “I got two on, sir”
  • The passenger at this point explains how he was told he should drive his car and be on the no-fly list; at that point this other flight attendant says “you should be on the no-fly list, you really should be”
  • When the passenger asks why he should be on the no-fly list, the flight attendant responds “because you’re getting someone kicked off for sneezing and coughing”

You can watch the video for yourself here:

My take on this Frontier Airlines situation

I have a few different thoughts on this.

First of all, we don’t know how the passenger behaved during the flight. Did he only bring this to the attention of the flight attendant once or twice? Or did he get aggressive, bring this up a dozen times, or get asked to stop but didn’t? I will say that the man appears to be extremely calm in the video, much more so than virtually any other airplane confrontation you’ll see on tape.

Next, the flight attendants should be acting more professionally. There’s absolutely no need for them to tell a passenger they should drive next time, or that they should be on the no-fly list. That’s just uncalled for, and shows a lack of ability to deescalate situations.

I’m not sure the airline realistically did anything wrong by not removing this passenger, though:

  • During check-in, Frontier Airlines requires that passengers acknowledge they don’t have any coronavirus symptoms, and haven’t been in contact with anyone who does
  • Frontier Airlines does temperature checks at the gate (I’m not suggesting that’s useful, but it’s worth pointing out, since Frontier is one of the few US airlines to do that)
  • Obviously we don’t know how severe the coughing and sneezing was, but generally I wouldn’t think that’s sufficient reason to kick someone off a plane, as there are plenty of people who sneeze due to allergies, etc.

Even with airlines taking precautions, at the end of the day there are hundreds of thousands of people flying daily in the US, and there will be some people who aren’t great at wearing masks, there will be some people who appear to be sick, and yes, there will even be quite a few people who have coronavirus. Airlines are never going to be able to weed out all of those passengers.

Frontier Airlines A321

Bottom line

A Frontier Airlines passenger asked to be reseated when someone immediately behind him coughed and sneezed repeatedly. The man later expressed his concern to the crew again, and was informed he should drive next time, and should be on the no-fly list. Then when he expressed concern to other crew members about the way he was treated, they said the same thing.

I’m not sure the crew did anything wrong in terms of not removing the seemingly sick passenger (we just don’t know enough), but they certainly could have acted more professionally towards this man.

While the FAA has said it would adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards misbehaving passengers, and Delta has even threatened to ban rude passengers, I’m not sure this would qualify.

What do you make of this Frontier Airlines situation?

Comments
  1. Trust me, if this were a white man, the crew would have acted more professionally towards him. Just another case of Flying While Black.

  2. I always sneeze on planes, it’s genetic (google sun sneezing, affects up to 35% of the population). It hadn’t been a problem before the pandemic, but now it’s a huge problem!

  3. Actually this is where the wonderful scientific contraption of a mask comes in!!!

    It’s not 100% failsafe, but it does block out a significant amount of expelled aerosols.
    And if you want to be 100% sure, then indeed drive!

  4. Can I provide some sunnier photos of DEN for you? You always you the the overcast, gray day Frontier photos and yet we have 300+ days of sunshine here :).

  5. As somebody that flew F9 frequently before recently relocating away from Denver, I learned that you can’t have many expectations of them. They’re not the airline they once were. Some of their older FAs from the days when they were full service are still paid well and friendly. The rest are underpaid, barely above minimum wage; they hate their jobs and they hate the average passenger.

  6. Sneezing isn’t even a COVID symptom. That passenger probably has a cold, and airlines weren’t removing people from flights for having a cold before COVID so…

  7. That crew member appears to be so deeply uneducated. I would not trust him to do his actual (primary) job when it came to safety. He, clearly, has ZERO concern for passengers at a base level. I cannot even fathom how he would handle an actual emergency, given his communication skills and care (or respect) for fellow humans. (And, yes, I would have the same concern about him if the he were white.)

  8. Sneezing is not a symptom of covid-19. Coughing is but only if it’s recently developed and if it’s persistent.

    Seriously, are we going to kick anyone who coughs off the plane now? A lot of people cough because of the dry air on a plane, it’s perfectly normal. Yes, the situation could be handled more profesionally but FAs were right with their decision.

    The world has gone mad.

  9. The flight attendant wasn’t wrong. Sir, this is public transportation. Clearly the guy filming tried to pop off on the flight attendant who shut it down. Don’t mess with him hunty he is not the one today or tomorrow.

  10. This article reads “During check-in, Frontier Airlines requires that passengers acknowledge they don’t have any coronavirus symptoms, and haven’t been in contact with anyone who does”.

    Coughing is one of the possible symptoms of Covid-19.

    The sick passengers did not seem to meet the criteria for boarding as a passenger.

  11. Unprofessional. I’m glad I don’t fly frontier. And prob won’t in the future. Not that they didn’t remove the sneezing passenger. But they way they responded to the passengers concern.

  12. @AlanD

    You hit the nail on the head. Professionalism doesn’t happen when employees are paid starvation wages.

  13. At this rate, everyone will end up on the no-fly list. With regards to Delta: I would love to see what criteria they consider applying. What do they consider rude? Will I end up on the no-fly list because I buzzed the flight attendant 10 times before he/she shows up and – for that reason – I express my frustration? Will I end up on the no-fly list because I point out that the restroom is dirty? Is that rude? I think this whole thing is slowly getting out of control…

  14. I would have told him to walk if he’s that concerned. The passenger had no clue if the person was sick or not. You’re not presumed sick.

  15. An unprofessional interaction on a Frontier Airlines flight? Shocked! Shocked, I say, to hear that aFrontier crew is rude and unprofessional. I don’t know why anyone would fly on that poor excuse for an airline.

  16. I just got my job offer to rejoin United Express as an FO. Starting salary no joke. $38,000 per year. I have a 4 year degree , 3500 hours flight time. The wages in the regionals and ULCC is so gross it hurts. But I live my job.

  17. If the airlines want to regain people’s trust and their business, they need to never let anyone on a plane who is showing COVID symptoms and they need to require proof of a negative test. Being lax about safety will only keep people away.

  18. 1. Unless it’s urgent you should not be flying and if you do then you should acknowledge the risk you will have to bear.
    2. If you have to fly and you want to be saferish, fly an airline that makes testing mandatory
    3. None of those options work because you want to save a $1 then deal with it.

    We can’t just assume everyone is sick. In my neck of the woods we’re approaching allergy season especially from the dry air. I can tell you I will from time to time have sneezing and coughing fits for about 3 minutes. Now I’m smart enough to not get on a plane or take a boat load of Claritin beforehand but this is the reality of flying during a pandemic.

  19. WE ARE OFTEN TOLD BY MEDIA, RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND POLITICIANS, THAT ONE POSITIVE OUTCOME OF COVID-19 IS THAT BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE. AS A CANADIAN WATCHING GLOBAL EVENTS UNFOLDING, I HAVE YET TO NOTICE THIS! AS AN EXAMPLE, ON A COLD EMPTY WINTRY DAY WITH WINDS BRINGING THE WINDCHILL DOWN TO -15 CELCIUS, I WAS TOLD BY STARBUCKS THAT I CAN’T SIP MY COFFEE BETWEEN THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE DOORS. WITHOUT FURTHER PROVOCATION, THEY EXPLICITLY THREATENED TO CALL THE POLICE IF I DIDN’T CONTINUE TO DRINK OUTSIDE. I COMPLIED, BUT NOT BEFORE GETTING A REFUND ON THE COFFEE FIRST!

  20. “you ain’t got your mask on good either,”
    “you ain’t no doctor”
    Really? I don’t know enough about Frontier Airlines to know whether it takes its name literally and deliberately goes for a folksey, backwoods image, but that rude and tactless FA sure does.
    A big slap on the wrist for excessive mangling of the English language too.

  21. Meh. Not much to see here. I cough occasionally and sneeze on planes. Allergies every time.

    The passenger is being unreasonable making an assumption that the guy has COVID. The no fly list comments seems too far from staff.

    In the end though, they are right. The guy can take any other mode of transport. By flying, he’s taking the obvious and known risk of being exposed to someone with COVID on the plane. If there’s one thing we know by now, it’s that humans are selfish. They will willingly put others at risk by flying when they shouldn’t, if it benefits themselves. One should manage their risk accordingly.

  22. David and Samos posts should be deleted for spreading misinformation.

    I had covid last month. Symptoms were sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat. Like a cold, but I got tested and it came back positive.

    CDC confirms that sneezing can be a symptom.

    Ben, please make sure people aren’t spreading COVID lies here

  23. Last week, I was on a nonstop flight from Chicago to Boston that was full (to capacity.) It was Southwest and I didn’t receive a notification that middle seats might be occupied (something they say they’ll do in advance, but did not happen last week — though, I have received notifications in the past.)

    I had a window seat, the middle seat next to me was occupied. And the passenger in front of me had a persistent cough when he sat down. I rang my call button, explained that I wanted to deplane. I was polite about it. The FAs were professional about it.

    I changed to connecting flights that were 40 and 50% full, respectively.

    Flying isn’t what it used to be. And right now, it’s about not traveling if you don’t have to, minimizing risk when you do, knowing your comfort level — and having a back-up plan that you’re willing to implement.

    I wouldn’t ask for another passenger to be removed, but in the moment, I knew that I was going to be very uncomfortable for the next two housr and the risk-benefit assessment was a pretty easy one for me to make.

    Unfortunately, with Frontier and other LCCs, you likely don’t have many (if any) back-up options wrt alternate itineraries.

    That’s why, at the moment, I’m only comfortable flying DL, B6 and WN.

  24. Coughing and sneezing? Maybe he has covid maybe he doesn’t. the temperature checks are useless five of us in my house had covid back in October not one of us had fever. Point is if you’re worried about getting sick maybe you shouldn’t be on a plane. I think the frontier Crew could have been a little bit more diplomatic in getting their point across. But they don’t care they’re a cheap airline again, if you want better service pick a better airline. All the choices are there.

  25. Now some morons want to have people removed who sneezed and coughed? Must be the same who wanted Arabic-speaking passengers removed from the plane, you know, because “they ain’t no true Americans”

  26. I’d only drive 8 hours a day for optimal safety then get a hotel. So driving from Mia to Phl is 2 or 3 days. The FA provided the pax a safer alternative than flying. Good on him.

    I took my blood pressure medicine once three hours later than usual and was coughing for almost an entire flight. A side effect of the medication is dry cough.
    You get what you pay for. I see those $27 frontier flights to Denver well I ain’t bothered.

  27. First and foremost people cough and sneeze all the time without being “sick.” The FAs could have handled it much more professionally but that’s my sentiment. If people coughing and sneezing freak you out drive.

  28. I believe some people are takythis covid-19 at heart. A sneeze or cough doesn’t mean a person is sick. It was stated that the passenger was accommodate to another seat. Yet went to another attendant at the end of the flight to complain about the the passenger that had the cough where they where remove from. What more do they want? How fair is it should it be that one decide that they should be removed because of a cough. You can’t say covid. They could have bronchitis, asthma, bad lungs..anything.
    The world never has a problem with telling what should happen to someone,yet when that same gesture us given back. It then becomes an insult. It’s not a racial issue. Just common sense people.. life is choices & decisions right now. We all are taking chances each day we step outside our door. No one is at fault for what will happen. Our life as we what knew will never be. Say your prayers and try to live the new life we must live. Geesssshhhhhh

  29. Frontier is the most professional airline I’ve flown in years. I just recently took a flight with them. I believe the passenger that said that to the crew member fabricated the crew members reply. DON’T ALWAYS BELIEVE WHAT YOU HEAR!!!

  30. Last year as the covid campaign started up, two of us boarded flights to Asia. One from Europe, and one from the USA. We both have allergies, and guess what… Allergy season was ramping up, and we were a bit concerned that if we coughed or sneezed, hmmm, what would happen?.

    Many people have allergies, asthma and other ailments, and yes people will cough and sneeze. No, it does not mean a person has coronavirus. Many of us are sick of others (especially Americans) getting on their turbo charged high horses to try and police others in public. Enough already….so much of that happens on here too.

    The flight attendant did the right thing. The passenger was out of line, and yes, should drive next time!.

    IF you do not have confidence in the MASK you wear, stay home.

  31. Sure, sneezing is not a covid symptom, but if you are asymptomatic, it further helps spread covid through droplets/aerosol

  32. First you can’t go kicking people off planes because they cough or sneeze. We’re not Doctor and we don’t know what condition they have. Can’t accuse anyone of having the virus. Second. where your mask Third. They accommodated the complaining passenger fourth. Voice your concerns to gate agent or Customer Resolution officer. Flight Attendants don’t have anything to do with that. Fifth. If it is a concern that you may fly with someone sick, then yes drive or take train or bus and lastly I’m so agitated with the grammar of the flight attendants and the unprofessionalism.

  33. If you’re banned from flying where do you apply for a tax refund of the money taken from you by the IRS and gave to airlines who do not want your custom and who’s services you find yourself unable to utilise?

    After all I am 100% in favour of a private company be able to do as they like, however you should not have to pay for it.

  34. I’ve flown Frontier for years, the staff generally does a great job. Passenger was out of bounds with his complaints. Post flight he should have submitted something in writing. Passengers should not be diagnosing other passengers and if afraid should not fly.

    As far as wages and professionalism go, if you take a job you agree to that wage. Complaining it’s unfair is a childlike rationale to justify doing bad job. Don’t like the job? Quit! Oh you’re not quitting? Then do your job and don’t sandbag your employer and yourself and play the victim! work your way up!

    Frontier is an excellent airline from my experiences, I’ve flown it more than a dozen times. Check out the safety record of their planes vs United, Delta or American. Frontiers planes are safer!

    That passenger should learn when to let bygones be bygones like in this instance!

  35. @joe chivas
    Those who look for racism in anything will find it in everything…whether real or imagined…

    Truth be told…frontier is a garbage bag airline…

  36. I say either kickoff or give all the people’s seasoning coughing a section. As for Frontier employees frontier should be ashamed of those flight attendants and get rid of them.

  37. Dude was coughing and/or sneezing. My electrician was doing the same last Saturday. He has emphysema. That alone shouldn’t make the complaining pax too nervous. I’d be more nervous about the professionalism, or lack thereof, of the cabin crew. Sheesh, telling someone that they should be on the no-fly list over an inquiry, even one slightly paranoid? Unreal…

    Friends don’t let friends fly Frontier. Period.

  38. The reaction from the Frontier FAs was unprofessional and inflammatory. They clearly did not have the skills to interact with customers. If they cannot refrain from belittling and berating a paying customer, they should at least be trained how to hand off a situation that they are clearly not equipped to handle.

  39. I work in private aviation. Our business is booming because of covid-19. You’d be amazed how many ” regular ” people are chartering planes with colleagues, family and frirnds

  40. I watched the video and don’t have any issues with the fa or the passenger. The passenger was obviously upset and that ultra calm. The FA did assume listening posture but the passenger was not letting it go. Saying that the passenger should be on the no fly list is a bit over, but the way it was said wasn’t quite so serious. He didn’t actually make moves to put him on a list. I feel like it was said in response to the passenger’s continuing to get worked up about the coughing person.

  41. If airlines were flexible in rebooking when passengers said they were too sick to fly that day, I’d be more in favor of disembarking a passenger who appears ill. I have to admit, I’ve flown while definitely feeling under the weather, but only because I didn’t want to have to “cough up” (sorry) a $200 change fee. Being an ultra low-cost carrier, Frontier has some of the tighter seat pitch digits in the back of the plane, so the coughing/sneezing passenger was probably in pretty close proximity to the gentleman.

  42. I’m glad to see people stick up for Frontier, I’ve had no problems with them. I sneeze daily, there are a handful of causes to cough. Sure covid is an issue but wow we blew right past crazy, its a freakin mess. I’m careful but not scared. Perhaps the guy complaining should hide under his bed til this blows over.

  43. If there were no pandemic, then the crew could have a point – but these are Covid symptoms being displayed in an enclosed place by a passenger…

    I’ll NEVER fly this Airline!

    Ignorant crew. Uneducated Trash.

  44. The flight attendants should be fired at most, written reprimand and sensitivity training Minimum. No Fly list is not something to threaten passengers with. It should be taken seriously.
    This guy wasn’t irate. He was annoying. But He was just trying to be heard! That’s basic customer service.

  45. I have copd and cough almost constantly my cough will not hurt anyone. I also sneeze a lot. I could easily have been this person and I’m not harmful at all.

  46. I honestly think the guy was just asking nicely. Me and my family flew with frontier couple weeks ago from Houston to Colorado and honestly Ive never had flight attendants so rude before in my life. There was a short lady dark hair and a blonde petite lady that where so rude to all of the passangers. The short lady was very rude to my mom and actually pushed her to the side because we disnt have our tickets printed out. Mind you were a family if 8 flying all together so we all had to get out of line and she was throwing a fit while I waa trying to ezplain to her untill I raaised my voice she calmed down and listened to me. As we were getting ready to leave the plane the blonde lady snapped her fingers and told me and my boys to hurry up she disnt have all day. I never had a problem on the way back the flight attendants where so nice very diffrent to the ones we had gotten on our way in. Theres more things I saw they did to other people but this is what happend to us.

  47. I have chronic sinusitis with post nasal drip. I also have asthma with a cough and depending on the sensitivity of my nasal area…I sneeze! Airplane filtration system’s can and do aggregate my symptoms. I don’t have Covid! This is a dangerous medical witch hunt we are moving towards.

  48. For those of you saying coughing isn’t a Covid symptom . I had Covid. Sometimes I had a cough & sometimes I didn’t. My fever was that way too. The passenger was moved. He should have left it at that. If he felt the need to speak on it further, he could have written an email to Frontier.

  49. Good assessment. I fly a couple times a month, and I have asthma, which on occasion causes me to cough a lot, and the allergy triggering the asthma causes sneezing. Guaranteed I’m not contagious and what I have is not going to kill you. Covid has everone irrationally fearful of living.

  50. @Samo who told you sneezing is not a symptom of Covid-19? My husband sneezed for 10 days when he had Covid-19 and never coughed.

  51. Gregory Roos
    We are in the middle of a pandemic that’s killing millions of people. The CDC says you should stay home if you are ill. The flight crew picked on the wrong person.

  52. Every time you get on a plane, train, bus, or public transportation in general, you run the risk of exposure to illness. If you are THAT concerned, don’t expose yourself to other people. He asked to be moved and he was accommodated. Continuing to be a PIA serves no purpose. And please don’t make this a race issue, it’s ridiculous.

  53. #1. Sneezing g can sometimes be a symptom of Covid.. see symptom list below. So this passenger on Frontier airline could very well have had Covid… not everyone presents the same symptoms. I just got over covid and my symptoms started with severe headache, sore throat, coughing and sneezing when I tested positive.
    #2. The passenger had every right to express his concern that the passenger might have Covid in light of the fact that it is so rampant. The airline attendants most definitely should have been more professional.
    As for the skin color, it had absolutely nothing to do with skin color… more to do with the unprofessional manner in which the attendants responded to the passenger… as unprofessional as they were it would not have mattered either way. I think Frontier needs to discipline the attendants and send them for problem solving skills with All passengers.

    signs COVID-19 Cold
    Tiredness Usually Sometimes
    Sneezing Rarely Sometimes
    Sore throat Usually Usuall

  54. I’m guessing everyone’s already forgotten about the gentleman that died in the air after lying about his covid exposure and passing the temperature check ‍♀️

  55. You all sound crazy. As a person with an badge and works for the airlines, they are only 1. Theeatening him with a nofly list because even with out covid all they have to do is lie to get aperson on that list. And 2 yesas a passenger you should be concerend weather its covid or not its still part of a common cold and yes you can still infect people, because people get on these planes and small places and feel like they dont have to follow the rules. They feel threatened and if i was him i would report every last one of them, no only did you have a job to do you still in hindsightt choose not to do such, and threatend a passeneger isnt it. Yes! These flight attendants should be held for the actions, just because it’s a pandemic dont mean you are going to get any special treatment because you had to work, do your job without being rude and nasty and be grateful for the fact that you still have one before your ass be sitting at home like the a lot of others. Stop trying to be “essential “ because with out this pandemic they wouldnt have said all of that crap too him. I say get they asses fired!

  56. I have been flying for many years and we all know that not everyone is healthy as others. So what if someone coughing or sneezing? I think the flight attendant is right. Everyone knows that plane is small and crowded. If they need their safety then they should drive the car. I think people should stop making dramatic and act normal.

  57. Someone mistakenly sat in my seat on Frontier airlines. I asked the flight attendant if she could wipe my seat back down because it is no longer sanitized. She told me no. I asked if I could be sat Someone else she said no. That your assigned seat so you have to sit there. I just decided myself to sit somewhere else regardless of what that flight attendant said. I didn’t know that man and im not going to sit somewhere where it wasn’t cleaned

  58. As an frontier employee the FA was correct it’s your choice getting on that plane but how can you remove a passenger when you are 35000′ up in the air answer that question Not everyone who coughs and sneezes are sick it may be allergies my daughter has allergies and she coughs and sneezes all the time doesn’t mean that they are sick you have a dumb sumption of something that you know nothing about are you his doctor, are you a doctor have you examined him? Just because someone coughs or sneezes does not allow the FA to remove anyone from a flight they would have to produce a covit test of positivity. And sometimes flight attendance get so frustrated by idiots who do not know what there talking about or are rude and obnoxious one can only take it for so long And you sound like you were one of them. And for the record I love my job and my company is good to me and treats me well.

  59. They do indeed take temps if any at all u are not permitted on the plane .I totally enjoyed flying frontier airlines great crew on all the flights I have been on with them

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