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MADISON, Wis. - A group of Frontier Airlines passengers said they're frustrated about the company’s lack of communication following a mechanical problem that caused them to become stranded in Madison for nearly 48 hours.
“Frontier never even bothered to communicate what was going on," Orlando passenger Christine O’Brien said. “It’s really frustrating.”
Saturday afternoon Dane County Regional Airport Public Information Officer Brent McHenry said the Frontier plane experienced a major mechanical problem in Orlando, and was unable to make it to Madison. But passengers say that information was never officially shared with them. Instead they were just sent to area hotels with vouchers that night.
“We came here at 9 p.m. that day and have been here since. They’ve canceled the flight so many times. And I feel like I can’t trust anything,” Madison based passenger Karen Foxgrover, who is headed to a family reunion, said as tears streamed down her cheek. “I have muscular dystrophy and it’s harder than you can imagine. In the winter it gets harder and harder. But I can’t really go home and come back and forth. That’s just kind of silly.”
Foxgrover and other travelers said while some made other travel arrangements they could not afford to do the same.
“I’m here with a family of four so for us to do so it would be more than $1,000,” O’Brien, who is from Orlando, said. “I had ACL surgery on the 24th. So if we were to rent a car we can’t split driving because I’m on pain medication.”
After spending what money she had on Christmas presents and to visit family in Johnson Creek, Orlando nursing home attendant Dorenda Felton worried she may have lost her job if the Monday afternoon flight had not become available.
“I have a truck sitting at the International Airport that’s costing me about $20 a day,” Felton said. “This is all a financial burden also. And if I don’t have a job it’s just going to be worse.”
McHenry said when flying a low-cost carrier, like Frontier, there is always a greater delay risk because they do not have an abundance of parts to be able to perform quick fixes.
Frontier Airlines has not returned repeated requests for comment.
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