March 7, 2007

Frontier Airlines’ Awful Website

Filed under: Technology — Cory @ 12:45 am

Recently I have been paying a lot more attention to web design. I thought we had basically moved past the days when companies would lock out potential customers by requiring a specific browser, but I guess not.

Frontier Website Sucks

(Click on it to see a larger image)

People have been telling me good things about Frontier Airlines, so I thought I would check out their prices to Vegas for DefCon this summer. When I pulled up the site I immediately got the above page that told me I was not good enough to use their little e-commerce site. Too bad.

When are these companies going to realize that it is really not that difficult to make a site that works for everyone? Maybe 6 years ago you could justify it because all the browsers sucked in different ways, but today the browsers are pretty good. And with 1 of every 5 web users browsing with something other than IE they are essentially slamming the door in the faces of more than 20% of their customers. With so many cross-platform development toolkits for JavaScript and CSS, there is no excuse for a company the size of Frontier to have such a finicky site.

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  1. Hello,

    I am a certified programmer for a large corporation. AOL is the problem here, not the website owner. The website owner, the airline in this case, is politely trying to tell you that AOL sucks. We have many many complaints where I work about our website and a majority of them come from AOL users. People the use AOL should sign in using AOL then open another browser to view corporate websites.

    If you are feeling angry or want to direct a complaint, do it to AOL.

    Comment by Corporate Computer Programmer — March 7, 2007 @ 11:34 pm
  2. Except that I was not using AOL and I still got this message.

    Comment by Cory — March 8, 2007 @ 1:50 am
  3. Unfortunately, it’s just a bad error message:

    > We do not support the browser you are using (Mozilla)

    Mozilla, as in Firefox/Camino BTW, I don’t think anyone going to Defcon would be using AOL.

    Comment by Nathan — March 8, 2007 @ 6:36 pm
  4. Also, remember that Internet Explorer announces itself as “Mozilla” as well.

    Comment by Cory — March 8, 2007 @ 11:06 pm
  5. Uh yeah… nice “certified programmer”. The error message says Mozilla.

    Frontier’s website sucks major ass dude. I was forced to use their webpage recently and discovered that it is a gigantic pile of doo-doo. I just hope their air travel is better then their coding.

    Comment by choerizo — April 1, 2007 @ 8:36 pm
  6. Not only do they hate their customers, but they hate their own employees.

    When they say 45 minutes, they mean 45 minutes. They close the flight and put you on standby for the next flight. The lady at the check-in counter was having a bad day already at 6:30AM. She was rude and in a bad mood.

    Even though I made it to the gate with 15 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave, I was denied boarding along with an employee and his family. The employee had some of his family aboard, but the best the gate crew offered was to get a message to them advising that their family had been left behind 15 minutes prior to departure.

    The sweaty gate agent’s response was that “he wasn’t going to have a ramp delay”. This tells me that Frontier Airlines has given him improper incentive. Their ‘on-time’ departure, which is often missed (at least 5% of the time), is more important than customer satisfaction. The employee who was left behind was complaining loudly to his family and stated that “Even though I work for Frontier, I never fly them. This is why”. He went on, but I won’t belabor the details here. The gate agents wouldn’t let the employee and his family pass.
    As for Frontier Airlines’ gate crew: I can tolerate ignorant people and I can tolerate rude people, combine the two with a dash of apathy and you have a intolerable result.

    Frontier Airlines’ customer service is in the red as are their books. It’s too bad that the toxicity is increasing throughout their organization. I used to like Frontier, but I am done with them. I wish I had paid the extra $100 for the United Airlines flight. Even though they’re not perfect, at least they suck less.

    The true measure of anything is performance when things go wrong. Frontier fell down this day.

    Comment by Frontier Sucks — July 3, 2008 @ 11:20 am
  7. I flew oversea and am spending my summer in Taiwan. For some very odd reason, I cannot access Frontier’s website here in Taiwan. I use IE, and just kept getting timeout.

    It is getting very old, and I will give a second thought when I travel oversea next time (whether I want to fly/connect with Frontier.)

    Comment by armiger — July 31, 2008 @ 3:28 am
  8. I needed to go to Denver for a job interview and thought I’d use Frontier for the first time, as I’d heard good things about them and I wanted to try them out as a possible secondary carrier in and out of DIA.

    I completed my business in Denver and got to the airport at noon the next day with the hope that I’d be able to catch an earlier flight back than the 7PM flight I had booked.

    At the counter the agent told me that they had lots of seats available on the next flight out. She also told me that they had a “strict policy of not offering standby seats anymore”. She stated that if I had originally purchased a ticket priced only $20 more, I would not have to pay the $50 additional penalty fee necessary to board an earlier flight.

    For those that don’t know, Frontier has 3 tiers of ticket prices (not 3 levels of service though; there is no business class or first class, just three levels of ticket pricing).
    I tried to reason with the agent by saying that the flight in on a Tuesday was a $108 fare and the Wednesday flight out was a $333 fare, so there had to be a bit of “wiggle room” built into that $333 fare without her having to charge me any sort of additional surcharge.

    She told me that corporate was watching the agents closely for adjustments to tickets without the additional charges, and that they were required to enter a lengthy justification into the computer system whenever the situation warranted a ticket adjustment with no fee being charged.

    I asked her if it would not be worth a few minutes of her time to enter in the information in order to save or gain a new customer. She indicated she would not. I asked for a supervisor and she told me that the supervisor was busy and that it might be some time before she could come to the desk. I told her I had 7 hours to wait.

    Five minutes later the supervisor came to the ticket counter and I explained the situation again to her. The supervisor told me that she would not be able to assist me. She told me that Wednesday was a heavy travel day for people getting a jump on the weekend. I almost burst out laughing at that one, but I kept my composure as I questioned her about that, and she reaffirmed her statement.

    I told her that I was a United Airlines 1K Elite member, and a Southwest Airlines A-List member and that this was the first time I was flying Frontier, and the reason that I had chosen Frontier was that if I accepted the position in Denver I would shift my Southwest business over to Frontier, as Frontier and United are the two dominant carriers at DIA. She reaffirmed that there was nothing that she could (or would) do for me, and that I would not be able to be placed on an earlier departure and would just have to wait in the terminal for 7 hours until my flight took off.

    Shortly thereafter, I was at the gate and I asked the gate agent if it would be possible to get on the next departure. He stated that without paying the fee, there would be no way to depart earlier. He indicated that he was “very low on the food chain” and did not have that option available to him. I thanked him for his explanation and concern and called the 800 customer service number.

    The person I spoke with at customer service told me the fee was actually $75, not $50, and that the ticket agent and supervisor had misspoken. She reiterated that she would not be able to get me on one of the earlier flights based on my $333 ticket price.

    At that point I told the customer service person that I was considering a position as National Sales Manager with a hi-tech company in Denver and that I would be traveling to 6 trade shows, 3 conferences and a few awards shows per year, in addition to regular weekly national travel. Each of these events would require from 3-20 of my staff to travel to these events as well, and I told her that if any staff were to travel with me I would instruct my travel department to never, ever book myself or staff traveling with me on Frontier. She expressed regret, but refused to book my on an earlier flight.

    After sitting for a few hours watching the minutes go by, at the adjoining gate I heard a gate agent page for “standby passenger Betty XXX…” I thought that Frontier didn’t have a standby policy, or that’s what I was told just a while ago. Hmmm….

    All conversations were conducted in the most professional manner, with no snide comments, raised voice or any other reason for the people I dealt with to be upset with my conduct.

    Frontier’s attitude suggests that they think they are the only carrier that people have to choose from; I can assure them that this is not the case. It is hard to imagine that a carrier would have a policy in place that allows (or encourages) the point people working directly with the public to willingly let a potential high revenue customer walk away feeling like they have not been treated fairly. One can only hope that the manager that OK’d this policy will be fired at some point for thinking that the money they make with this policy offsets the loss of customer goodwill. It certainly is short-term thinking and not in the long-term interests of the company.

    I’ll stick with United and Southwest, and never again fly Frontier.

    Comment by cabeachguy — February 12, 2009 @ 11:44 am

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