DENVER (KDVR) — Many people will be packing planes this Labor Day weekend and traveling for the last unofficial days of summer. But all summer long the airline industry has been hit with severe staffing shortages, which is causing an influx of delays and cancellations.
Busy travel is now back to pre-pandemic levels, and it’s been described by some as a nightmare, at a time when the industry continues to recover from COVID-19. However, complaints are rolling in and one airline, headquartered in Colorado, is under fire.
The hustle and bustle of the airport is something to be expected, but recently flying has turned into a headache for many.
“They canceled you know 15 minutes prior to the flight,” one passenger said.
“We waited for an hour in line, and they told us our bags were in Florida,” said another passenger.
Lost luggage, long lines, delays, cancellations and pilot shortages are all plaguing the airline industry right now. With the back-ups, travelers are complaining of being stranded with no accommodations like food and hotels.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and 38 other AGs are asking Congress for authority to step in. The bi-partisan coalition sent a letter to Congress on Monday demanding accountability and state authority.
“Congress please give state AGs the authority to enforce federal and state consumer protection laws against the airlines so when they mistreat consumers, we can do something about it,” Weiser said.
Weiser spearheaded the move and said it’s been on his radar for a while due to an investigation conducted by his office into Frontier Airlines. The Colorado-headquartered airline is now under fire.
“Frontier Airlines had an obligation under the Federal Consumer Protection Law to treat consumers fairly to make sure they got credits or refunds for flights they couldn’t take because of the pandemic,” Weiser said. “Frontier had all sorts of ways people basically got mistreated.”
According to Weiser, in 2020 his office received more than 60 complaints about Frontier. He says the number one complaint was that it wasn’t safe for people to fly due to COVID-19, but ticket buyers were not offered their money back or full value when trying to rebook or trying to get credit.
“People got the run around in a number of different ways and the net result was they lost their money,” Weiser explained. “When you buy a ticket to fly, you’re entitled to get the value you paid for it. “
Weiser stated Frontier violated federal law to treat consumers fairly and through their investigation, Frontier owes travelers money.
FOX31 reached out to Frontier for comment on the hundreds of pandemic complaints, but they declined to respond to our questions.