Is Frontier’s Communications Department Really This Dumb?

Yesterday I wrote about the interesting situation that unfolded between Frontier Airlines and Kyle Clark, a local news reporter in Denver. Long story short, Kyle did a segment about Frontier’s route announcement, and Frontier didn’t like it.

Here’s the segment, for those who haven’t seen it:

Then Frontier’s head of corporate communications did what I’m sure anyone who works in communications has dreamed of doing at some point, by shooting off a rude email to Kyle sharing how he feels:

Kyle — you’re a jerk.

It’s one thing to make fun of Frontier’s business model, complaints, etc., but when you start making fun of individuals, that’s on a completely different level. I’m guessing you must have some sort of short-man’s disease since your level is pretty low.

You enjoyed zooming in on our employees and making fun of them. Have you taken a good, long look at your picture above? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. First of all, were you standing on a milk crate so that the camera could get your face? Did your golden retriever die before you took this picture? I’m surprised your high school letterman’s jacket isn’t in the background.

And here’s the real gem from your bio on the Channel 9 website – Clark joined 9NEWS in 2007, drawn by the opportunity to tell meaningful stories alongside the station’s talented photojournalists, who are frequently honored as the best in the nation.

So zooming in on Michael and Lisa is telling a meaningful story? How you treated Michael and Lisa was completely rude and out of line. Sounds more like you’re trying to work through whatever your low self-esteem issues are. So it looks like that in addition to being a jerk, you’re also a hypocrite.

Jim Faulkner

There are two updates to this story — one not surprising, the other just makes me shake my head.

The first update is that Jim’s last day at Frontier was supposed to be Friday, though he was let go a day early. I guess that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. However, I hope he’s not leaving Frontier for another corporate communications job, or something tells me his offer may be rescinded.

But there’s a more concerning update, which Kyle did a follow-up story about yesterday:

While Frontier initially apologized for the way Jim acted, it seems that higher-ups didn’t stop there. Frontier’s VP of Communications, apparently looked into Kyle’s past and future reservations, to see if he has a history of complaints, etc. In other words, they were trying to find dirt on him. The most mind-boggling part is that apparently they were dumb enough to brag to Kyle’s boss about this.

This almost seems unbelievable, but they admitted to it. Kyle asked them whether it’s standard practice to look for potentially compromising information when they’re publicly criticized by a passenger. To that they responded as follows:

“We take the privacy of our customers seriously and have strict standards in place for accessing travel plans or other related customer information. It won’t happen again.”

If they’re truly this incompetent on so many levels, I think it might be time for more than just Jim to look for a new job…

Bottom line

At first I thought the story was almost charming, at least in the sense that it was sort of like the corporate communications equivalent of when a JetBlue flight attendant cursed out a plane, grabbed a beer, and went down the emergency exit slide.

But the thing is, that only works when only a single person does that, and everyone else can say “oh yeah, we’re sorry about that,” even when deep inside they’re probably loving it. But in this case Jim’s boss acted just as bad by accessing Kyle’s travel information, and then bragging to Kyle’s boss about it. It’s one thing to access his information, but it’s another to brag to his boss about it.

Oy…

Comments

  1. I’m not trying to make this political, but this kind of reminds me of Trump. A news story pops up that he/Frontier Airlines doesn’t like and instead of just letting in go, which is what you would expect of a president/major airline corporation, they lash out in a way that makes the story about their lash out. It’s beyond me.

  2. Looks to me like Jim is the perfect guy to represent the level of customer service Frontier is known for.

    I bet he could get Spirit and Allegiant to join in on a bidding war for his services given their pathetic guest service as well.

  3. “……..when a JetBlue flight attendant cursed out a plane, grabbed a beer, and went down the emergency exit slide.”

    The flight attendant on this JetBlue flight did not curse out the actual plane, he cursed out the passengers on the plane. Last I checked, a plane does not have ears. 🙂

  4. Frontier is probably making a bid to become the official airline of the pathetic trump whatever (can’t call it administration).

    Lash back as hard as possible to divert attention.

  5. @cj Thanks for clarifying that planes don’t have ears. I’m glad you were able to clarify for any numbskull with a 1st grade level of reading comprehension.

  6. There were Suzy and Jim in high school. Suzy was good with her mouth, you know what I mean;) and that made Jim very happy. They grew up. Suzy was still good with her mouth but got bored with what she used it for before so she became a liberal and spewed lies with her mouth. Jim on the other hand got bored with just what was in his pants and started carrying guns in them. He became a conservative and just shoots anyone who disagrees with him.

  7. This is really appalling Frontier would try to dig up dirt on a journalist and brag about doing it. It just goes to show what little or no ethics the management team at Frontier has.

  8. @Dave – Ha, like you??? Obviously, you’re not smart enough to realize that the comment was tongue-in -cheek and meant to be humorous. Lighten up a little why don’t you.

  9. “@cj Thanks for clarifying that planes don’t have ears. I’m glad you were able to clarify for any numbskull with a 1st grade level of reading comprehension.”

    I was thinking the exact same thing. Like why even bother? Yayyy, you caught a typo. If you do nothing else with your life, you can now die an accomplished soul.

    It’s like those folks who feel the unnatural need to correct a texter’s use of “u,” by saying, “I think you meant ‘you.'”

    Comedians the world over are impressed by your wit and humor. Truly.

  10. @AJ Excuse me for being a person who prefers to speak the English language correctly and write in grammatically correct sentences. Obviously, you are not one of those people.

    Americans in general have become extremely lazy and complacent in both speaking and writing correctly. Texting or blogging is not an excuse for improper grammar or incorrect spelling.

  11. Given the low opinion many Americans have of the media, perhaps Frontier is making a smart play here.

  12. Incredible, a real, bona fide, honest-to-goodness stickler for grammar… on a travel blog.

    Thank you for your service to humanity. Without you, the rest of us dunces were all scratching our heads trying to figure out if Ben had divined some way to talk to planes (!), you know, instead of talking *to people on planes.*

    You must be a real hoot at parties.

  13. Actually, I’m a ton of fun at parties! A person can be both intelligent and funny. I’m sure you have your charming characteristics as well.

  14. To the folks who ripped at me yesterday for calling out Kyle for reporting FAKE NEWS, there is a new definition of that term and it has been democratically introduced to the world: media that takes one insignificant piece of a story and spins it solely based on their own preconceived bias. Kyle took a video of Frontier employees holding a banner at a PR event and made a FAKE NEWS story out of nothing, just because he hates Frontier. This is why there is so much backlash against the mainstream media these days. Maybe Kyle should apply for a job at CNN, the world’s leading purveyor of FAKE NEWS.

  15. Have not flown Frontier since they came out of their last bankruptcy and went ultra low cost. With the kind of management and policies displayed in this recent kerfuffle I see another bankruptcy for them in the future.

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