Frontier Airlines responds to long lines on Christmas Day

6:27 PM, Dec 26, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - Christmas Day travel is stressful enough.

DENVER - Christmas Day travel is stressful enough. Thousands of travelers at Denver International Airport on Christmas Day encountered Frontier Airlines' lines that were wrapping around and around - frustrating many patrons who wanted to get home to see their families for the holiday.

9NEWS made various calls to Frontier Airlines to ask about the fliers' claims of the long lines.

One Frontier employee told 9NEWS viewer and frequent flier Nicole Bolick the long lines were because many people assumed Christmas Day would be lighter when it came to travelers, so they did not check in online.

"We experienced a high volume of passengers during peak times yesterday," Kate O'Malley, manager of corporate communications for Frontier Airlines, said. "At peak yesterday, the wait time was one hour and 15 minutes, but for most of the day, lines were less than 45 minutes. In the late afternoon/evening, wait times were closer to 10 minutes."

O'Malley went on to say that they were adequately staffed for a busy holiday travel day and said those who did check in online did not experience long wait times.

Bolick waited in line for 90 minutes and had to be rescheduled on another flight, despite arriving at DIA two hours before her departure time. Bolick said she couldn't check in online ahead of time because she was flying with a lap child, which requires that you go to the ticket counter.

"Transaction times at the ticket counters are slightly longer during the holidays because we see a large number of lap children and unaccompanied minors," O'Malley said. "The main factor in the wait times was simply the volume of customers in line for full-service counters."

Frontier flier Brian Dailey said he was also bumped from his flight due to the long lines at counter. They had to wait eight hours for their next flight with two children in tow. Not to mention paying the $150 change fee.

"We rebooked approximately 40 customers yesterday," O'Malley said. "On a typical day, we usually see about 10 people miss their flights due to late arrival to the airport ... If customers missed their flights due to lines at our ticket counters, we re-accommodated them as quickly as possible. If customers missed their flights due to lines at our ticket counters, we should not have been charging them a fee."

O'Malley said anyone who was charged a change fee should contact the airline directly so they can be refunded the money.

Some travelers said the Frontier website was down on Christmas Eve, but O'Malley was not aware of any website issues.

TRacy Mason with Time of your Life Travel said she spent several hours on the phone with Frontier and hotels trying to help customers rearrange their vacations.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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