Last updated: 05:07 PM ET, Thu March 26 2015

Frontier Airlines Passengers Left Stranded at Airport for 18 Hours

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | March 26, 2015

Frontier Airlines Passengers Left Stranded at Airport for 18 Hours

Frontier Airlines, the most complained-about domestic carrier for two years running, finds itself in hot water after nearly 70 passengers were left stranded at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for 18 hours on Sunday.

According to CBS Denver, Frontier Flight 287 was scheduled to arrive in Denver at around 7 a.m. on Sunday morning but didn't make it there until 2:30 a.m. on Monday.

"You thought hidden cameras were up and someone was pulling something over your eyes," said passenger Rich Straub. 

But to make matters worse, the Denver-based low-cost airline blamed a broken printer for why it wasn't able to offer compensation. Therefore, the passengers were left to wait by the gate, some opting to sleep on the floor or in chairs. 

"We weren't offered any hotel vouchers," added Straub. "So at this point people with families had been here 12 hours and were told, 'You need to be here at midnight for this flight to possibly go out at midnight.'"

The plane was delayed several times, and by the time it was ready 12 hours later, the flight crew had timed out and a new one needed to be flown in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, by the time the passengers were ready to board, police officers were brought in to defuse the situation. 

Frontier hasn't yet commented on the situation, only saying that a repair on the aircraft took longer than expected. But regardless of whether the airline issues a statement, the carrier's reputation stands to take another hit.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that only Envoy Air reported a lower on-time arrival rate than Frontier during January 2015. Plus, as already mentioned, Frontier has received the highest consumer complaint rate of the 12 largest U.S. carriers in each of the past two years. 

This week's frustrating incident comes on the heels of Frontier's announcement that it will raise baggage fees for any customers who don't pay prior to arriving at the airport on May 1.

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