The Great Frontier Airlines Twitter Boycott Campaign – 4 year old’s Surprise Disney Birthday Present Ruined
UPDATE: @flyfrontier responds to hundreds of tweets in support of my complaint by – lyng to each tweetr and saying they responded to me today to address my concerns. This has now become a story worthy of chapter in a book, similar to the Dell story recounted in “What would Google Do” by Jeff Jarvis. Here they make matters worse by silently DM each tweeter “Our Customer Relations team has reviewed this matter and responded to Mr. Mendoza.” Making statements divorced from the truth is bad for your brand. Or fantastic for a Social Media Awakening against your company.
Thank You for spreading the word on Twitter with tweets like “@davemendoza Twitter Boycott @flyfrontier #flyfrontier Campaign–4 year old’s Surprise Disney Birthday Present Ruined, http://bit.ly/9oEWJt” OR tweets like #flyfrontier, shame mistreating @davemendoza & my family! Ruining 4 yr old’s birthday! Make sure you add @flyfrontier & #flyfrontier so that their company gets to see the ping back!
My family planned for months to enjoy the ultimate memory – the expression on the face of my soon to be 4 year old daughter’s face when we walked up to the front gate of Disneyland. It wasn’t easy but we managed to use the code word “The Mouse” for three months that is … until Frontier Airlines forced us to tell her.
Here are the facts of the most despicable customer service and flight experience my family and myself ever experienced.
We called the general customer service number first, then a supervisor, then spoke to complaints, Ryan
Ford at 3pm MST. (he can be reached at 720-374-4200 press option 2) Each of my attempts to communicate to management have fallen to deaf ears and the so-called ‘investigation of facts’ by Ryan Ford is humorous if it wasn’t based on such an outrageous reconstruction of events divorced from the truth.
RE: Flight 260
may 13th, 2010, Thursday at 1:05 pm
Denver, CO to Orange County Airport, California
file number: 375117
Airline Record Locator (PNR): BXYVOI
I fly Frontier or United every two weeks as a consultant from Denver. I fly Frontier often, in fact consistently over the past 5 years since we moved to Denver
For the first time ever as luck would have it, my family is put on standby because the airline sold more seats then were available. We were given tickets to board with rows separate from each family member, obviously that would not due given we had a 4 year old.
The front desk at the gate was very hospitable, particularly a brunette female who followed the entire situation and was the only sympathetic ear to the disastrous events that followed. I do not recall her name.
Upon boarding the flight attendant, Cynda, was inattentive from the onset and seemed more inconvenienced than we were at waiting for seats to open that could accommodate our three family members.
I sat temporarily next to my wife I think on the second row while my 4 year old daughter, Siena Blue, sat on her lap. The man sitting near the window seat was bald, about late 40’s to early 50s in age.
My daughter has never had flight fear but upon crossing the threshold of the plane she started to cry. This is a common experience on my own flights and nothing louder or unusual about her cry compared to other children on board. The man completely over reacted immediately covering his ears and cursing, “this is bullshit” and said he wanted to sit on another row. I welcomed it and told him that her reaction was normal for her age – and in fact had he not made a commotion she was about to be calm within 5 minutes before the flight started.
The man responded immediately with an insult “Not the way I raised my children”
I told the man that he may want to follow through with his instincts if it bothered him so much and take another row. He replied “Why don’t you go back to where you came from, suggesting he thought I was Mexican (I’m a Spaniard and my wife is from Finland). I was appalled.
The man then said explicitly he intended to hit me in the face when we boarded off the plane.
I then said he did us all a favor saying that, and that I intended to report it. At that moment he immediately clicked the button for the flight attendant and instead reported that I threatened him, which witnesses in other rows I am sure would attest was an outright lie.
The flight attendant, “Cynda (sp?), came and immediately asked our family to leave the plane without once asking what happened neither to us nor the actual instigator.
I was shocked and tried to explain what happened and she said it didn’t interest her.
My wife, my four year old and I were forced to stand by the plan door, the three of us, as people boarded and stared at us, completely humiliated. Looking at my little girl now doubly upset asking
“Daddy why are we in trouble?” Was I bad? Why are these people mad at me?”
Looking at the tears on her face and my wife’s red eyes – I was instantaneously stirred by feelings of both tragic sorrow, indignation – and heart pounding rage.
The front desk person at the gate came up and she asked what happened and we told her and she wondered why the man was not at least likewise asked to leave the plane. That was our point from the onset. A blonde woman, I think they call her a GSE, came up and was hostile but at least heard my account but then went to the flight attendant and asked what happened. Of course, this seemed bizarre as I explained to her that the flight attendant would have no idea nor credibility since she never asked us nor the man what happened.
We stood there I estimate 15 to 20 minutes in front of the door and my daughter was terrified and we had to calm her down because of it and ruin the surprise that we were taking her to Disney for her birthday. It infuriated me that we had to explain it to her in this way within such a hostile environment
I was upset more than anything that no one bothered to ask the man nor that he suffered any inconvenience as we had and sat comfortably in his chair alone while we were stared at by passengers.
I told the GSE I wanted to press charges and she said If I did that we would surely miss our flight and the birthday party that night at her Godfather’s home that evening.
We then were allowed to board at the last minute and made to sit in back while our carry on was in the front were that man was.
No one ever apologized to us. The Flight Attendant refused to give us her name when I directly asked her upon reboarding the plane and I could not see her name tag. It took a fellow flight attendant who was kind, to tell us that the flight attendant in question was named Cynda. (I am guessing on the spelling).
We wanted to report and file a complaint immediately upon landing however we did not know where to do so at Orange County Airport, CA. When we returned near midnight on Sunday the offices all seemed closed. I called immediately on Monday and spoke to two low level people by phone and neither could help or offer anything. I then called Tuesday. No one contacted us four business days after ….
Now thirteen days later that is until Twitter became involved that I assume Frontier Airlines would take notice. It’s become a viral campaign. It makes a dad smile.
There are so many wrongs in this story about how not to treat passengers that it would be compelling.
Here is the best part … yesterday I received a call from Frontierbafter my 6x or 7x calls In personally initiated. I was told that their ‘investigation’ finds that that ‘we were never asked to leave the plane, they – were doing us a favor by removing us from the hostility and trying to find us a seat. Here are the facts as my family experienced them:
1) We were not once told they were doing other than removing us from the plane and we and not the offender were made to stand by the plane door.
2) If in fact they were trying to accommodate us – they would have left us in the mess hall area of the cabin
3) The attendant was hostile and never allowed me to tell our story which ensures that their attempt to help us keep away from the offender is contradicted when she cut me off each time to try to ask why and to tell her what happened first hand.
When Ryan Ford, The Frontier Airlines Customer Service Representative called, he had the nerve to be surprised I was unhappy, in fact, he did that classic maneuver that elevates one’s blood pressure – putting me on hold until I calmed down – for five minutes, until I finally hanged up the phone. Why pre tal would anyone be less angry when they put you on hold as if the onus is on you the customer not to be upset?
My family’s humiliation and the loss of a child’s innocence is worth a $50 voucher? Really.
We invite the readers of this blog to consider the events as described. If you have had bad experiences with Frontier Airlines, or if you find the events as stated objectionable – the most effective way to communicate your dissatisfaction is to inform them via your Twitter posts.
As members of the staffing industry we all talk abut Candidate Experience and engagement. If we don’t call attention to everyday stories of customer service we lose a valuable bench mark of how to attract, rather … we repel. If you care RT “@davemendoza Great @flyfrontier Twitter Boycott Campaign – 4 year old’s Surprise Disney Birthday Present Ruined, http://bit.ly/9oEWJt
How to you directly let Frontier Airlines know they failed you and your friends? Easy. Frontier has an agressive campaign monitoring Twitter references about their company. I know this first hand. @flyfrontier and #flyfrontier