Frontier Airlines will address mileage conversion complaints
Jan 29, 2013 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Faced with more than 200 consumer complaints, Frontier Airlines is now promising to take a second look at customers' problems transferring their frequent flier miles to Delta.
Meanwhile, Delta resolved at least one frequent flier's problem on Monday.
Sussex resident Amy Taivalkoski, her two sons and her husband were initially told their mileage transfers were taking extra time because the airlines were running behind, but the miles never went through. That's about to change.
"On behalf of everyone at Delta Air Lines, I sincerely apologize for not meeting your expectations surrounding this courtesy promotion," a Delta customer service representative wrote in an email to Taivalkoski on Monday afternoon. "We are pleased to let you know that we have deposited 21,944 miles into your SkyMiles account as a gesture of goodwill."
"Success!" she wrote to the Public Investigator. "Hopefully the other three in my family will be getting the same email."
Last week, Delta apologized to Dan Chaudoir of Port Washington after receiving his complaint through the Better Business Bureau in Dallas, home of Delta's headquarters. The airline indicated that staff was looking into many problems similar to Chaudoir's but did not offer him an actual transfer.
"We are in the process of collecting all the Frontier transfer issues and researching to determine the cause of why miles did not transfer to us," a Delta spokesman said in his reply to Chaudoir. "Due to the number of requests and the complex issues involved in the transfer it is taking us a couple of weeks to do a thorough investigation. We will reply further when we have completed our investigation."
Since early September, Frontier has continually dismissed complaints from consumers whose EarlyReturns miles, often through no fault of their own, were never transferred to Delta SkyMiles. The airline told them the one-time promotion ended Aug. 31 and nothing could be done.
As of Monday, about 175 people had filed complaints with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and at least 35 complained to the U.S. Department of Transportation, spokesmen for the agencies said.
Airline promises review
Now Frontier is asking customers who applied for a transfer during the promotional period to email the airline about their problems again. The airline promises to evaluate each request individually.
"Would you please help deliver this message to your readers " Frontier spokeswoman Kate O'Malley wrote in an email to the Journal Sentinel. "The promotional program to transfer miles is closed. Customers who have already applied for the transfer of miles during the promotion, but still have questions, may email their question to email@example.com."
She advised consumers to email Frontier, even if they have already filed a complaint with the government.
The Public Investigator approached O'Malley earlier this month on behalf of about 30 customers who said they all fulfilled the conditions for getting a transfer before the end of August, but never got one.
O'Malley replied that they didn't qualify for various reasons. That included "incomplete or inaccurate information, requesting the pooling of mileage from multiple accounts which is prohibited by each program, or the inability to match account information between the two programs."
State and federal authorities offered to look into the matter, and both governmental consumer agencies are corresponding with the airlines about the complaints they received.
"One of our investigators is logging the complaints in our database as they trickle in and has submitted materials from a number of the complaints to Frontier," said Jerad Albracht, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. "The investigator will continue to forward all the complaints we receive. We have received correspondence from Frontier about this issue, and they are reviewing complaints."
Bill Mosley, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said 34 consumers have filed complaints directly with his agency since mid-August. Some may be duplicates of the 30 complaints that the Public Investigator forwarded.
"We are having discussions with the two carriers about the complaints," he said in an email. "Most of the complaints came in within the last couple of weeks, so our time frame on looking into this is typical for this kind of situation."
How to file a complaint
Here are three of the entities taking complaints on Frontier-to-Delta mileage conversions. It's not necessary to file with all of them, but you may.
U.S. Department of Transportation
Online: http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint. Look for the "Airline Service Complaints and Comments" section.
By phone: Call the DOT consumer protection division at (202) 366-0511. Live people answer calls between 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central time, but voice mails can be left anytime.
By letter to Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20590
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and
By email to DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov.
By phone: Calling the consumer protection hotline at (800) 422-7128.
By letter to the Bureau of Consumer Protection,
2811 Agriculture Drive, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911.
Send an email to inquiry with your full name, your Frontier EarlyReturns account number, your Delta SkyMiles account number and your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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