Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

St. Louis airline passengers stranded for days in Vegas after red-eye canceled

ST. LOUIS - Airline woes for an O’Fallon, Missouri family stuck in Vegas. Kathleen Barton, and her two daughters, along with some extended family were celebrating one of their daughter’s 40th birthday.  That was until Frontier Airlines informed their fight was canceled, leaving the family stranded at the airport.

“They told us that they sent us an email but not until 2:20am, which was two hours after our flight was supposed to leave to tell us we had been canceled,” Barton said during a cellphone video interview.

Barton said she has proof that the monitors showed Flight 86 leaving Vegas at 12:20am Saturday and getting into St. Louis at 5:28am, even after the family was told the flight is canceled.

They were told the next flight home wouldn’t be until Wednesday.

“First a person told us it got hit by lightning, then a second person said it was an environmental problem with the plane, and a third person said they could not get a plane to land in St. Louis to come to Vegas because of the weather,” Barton explained.

Barton said that she and her daughters were among the approximately 200 Frontier passengers stuck at the airport.

“It is crazy, we feel like we have been kidnapped,” she continued.

The family was left scrambling looking for a hotel. Barton said that due to a major sporting event in town nothing was available until late Sunday.

“Then they tell us they will give us back a $100 each back on the credit card for all the people that want to fly on a different flight but not for another seven to ten days so you can’t even use the money,” she said.

The family claims the airline didn’t offer any food or hotel vouchers. Barton said taking another airline home would cost them more than $1,500.

“We didn’t win that kind of money so we can’t spend that kind of money.”

Fox 2 reached out to the airline for a comment and in a statement, we were told:

“The flight was canceled due to hail damage – meaning the aircraft was not able to depart for Las Vegas. Airlines run tight schedules and there is not always another plane available to make up for a cancellation, especially during the busy summer travel season.

“In the airline industry, there are controllable and uncontrollable reasons for cancellations.

A maintenance issue would be an example of something controllable, and in that kind of situation, the range of options offered to passengers could include refund, re-booking on the next available Frontier flight, vouchers for future Frontier travel, food vouchers, and a voucher for up to a certain amount of money (the amount can vary, depending on the situation) towards travel on another airline.

A weather delay is an example of something uncontrollable. Hail is that kind of delay. In a situation like this, which is not the fault of any airline, passengers have the options of a refund or being re-booked on the next available Frontier flight.

One of our customer relations representatives spoke to Ms. Barton at the phone number you provided, and as a one-time exception, we have offered to reimburse hotel expenses. They will send us their receipts and we’ll see what we can do.

We understand that unexpected delays are frustrating and we want to get our passengers to their destinations as soon as circumstances permit.”