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“We should have caught the error,”

Posted in Canada Provinces

Published on February 15, 2020 with No Comments

As Ont. woman, child boarded wrong flight

U.S.-based Frontier Airlines has said that one of its gate agents “should have caught the error” that led to a Guelph, Ont. woman boarding the wrong plane in Florida.

On Feb. 3, Merissa Goodchild and her four-year-old child arrived at the Tampa International Airport to catch her lunch-time flight to Buffalo, N.Y.

They had passed through security and were waiting in line at what Goodchild thought was her boarding gate. But that lineup was for a flight to Philadelphia, not Buffalo. It turns out their actual gate was several metres away, where attendants from the same airline were onboarding passengers. But Goodchild didn’t know that.

She showed her and her child’s boarding passes and passports to the Frontier Airlines gate agent and they made their way onto the plane. The passes weren’t electronically scanned, as is standard at most gates, because Frontier Airlines’ check-in system was down that day.

“We were about to take our seats and the flight attendant came on the line to let us know about flight times and the weather: It was to Philadelphia,” Goodchild shared with a leading TV channel.

She frantically began asking other passengers where they were headed and they all said Philadelphia. Before the jet bridge was pulled away, Goodchild managed to flag a flight attendant to tell them she’d been allowed to board the wrong plane.

Goodchild said they had to wait until everyone was seated before she and her child were hurriedly ushered to the other gate. She said that it was only by the “luck of God” did she manage to make her flight to Buffalo in the nick of time.

A spokesperson for the Denver, Co.-based Frontier Airlines shared with the TV channel that a series of factors led to the mishap. “In this particular instance, the computer check-in system went down and gate agents were manually processing passengers’ boarding passes,” Frontier Airlines spokesperson Jennifer de la Cruz said in an email. “Be that as it may, the gate agent still should have caught the error. Given the manual check-in, we purposely increased the level of communication on board the aircraft to ensure all passengers were clear on the flight’s destination,” she added.



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