Bleeding Frontier Airlines Passenger Lands In Wrong Country By Mistake

A passenger bloodied her arm boarding a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia, and wound up in another country without a passport by mistake.

A regular Frontier Airlines commuter between Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Florida where she keeps a second home, arrived at the correct gate – but then went to the restroom since the gate agent confirmed she had time.

When she returned “she found the flight almost fully boarded and the jetway door about to close” so everyone was in a rush. Frontier was apparently more interested in policing the size of her carry-on bag than in making sure her boarding pass was for the correct flight. Her flight had had a gate change.

When she went to board her flight, the gate agent questioned the size of her personal travel bag, so she put it in the baggage sizer.

“I put it in and when I went to take it out my arm right here got all scrapped up. I was bleeding,” she said.

She said the gate agent then hurried her to board.

A flight attendant helped the woman with her “bloody wound” and together they discovered the woman was headed to… the wrong country. And that she had to passport. At first she thought it was a joke.

Once on the ground, she remained on the jet bridge accompanied by crew. She had to deplane, but she couldn’t enter the country. And when the return flight to Philadelphia boarded after several hours, she went back on the aircraft.

Frontier should have checked her boarding pass before boarding her… and her passport. According to the airline,

We extend our utmost apologies to Beverly Ellis-Hebard for this unfortunate experience. We sincerely regret that Ms. Ellis-Hebard was able to board the wrong flight.

As a gesture of our apology, we have issued a $600 Frontier Airlines flight voucher tied to the name Beverly Ellis-Hebard that is valid for one year.

Only Frontier would acknowledge fault and note the expiration date of their apology voucher?

Occasionally one person, or a couple traveling together, wind up in the wrong city. Here are 5 times passengers wound up in Sydney, Nova Scotia instead of Sydney, Australia. If nothing else you’d think boarding an Embraer E-175 for what you expect to be a transpacific flight would be a dead giveaway.

And United sent a French woman to San Francisco even though her boarding pass said Paris, flew an 80 year old blind woman to Denver instead of Raleigh, and sent a puppy on a 24 hour journey after boarding the wrong dog to Minneapolis. But it’s rare for a passenger to get on an international flight without a passport.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. >Occasionally one person, or a couple traveling together, wind up in the same city.

    I’d say this happens a lot more than “occasionally”, my man. It probably happens, well, all the time.

  2. Post 9/11, with scanners at the gate in place (so this was circa 2006-7 or so?) I arrived at O’hare to board my USAirways flight back to Philly, except it was delayed. So no big deal, I hung out at a bar nearby (F11, F10 gate?) and had lunch. An hour later, I got back, and boarded my flight. I’m in 1st class. I am relaxing, having my drink, when the pilot says, “Ladies and Gentleman, this is the pilot… blah blah blah, weather in PITTSBURGH is 72 degrees…”..

    I’m on the wrong flight! SO before the door closes, I confirm with the stewardess and yep, I’m on the wrong plane!

    So I deboard- the plane leaves.

    Except my actual flight to Philly already left. So, I’m like OK- mistakes happen.

    EXCEPT… they couldn’t rebook me. The reason- because someone else checked in my name on the real flight to Philly!

    It literally took 30 minutes for them to sort this out- the computer wouldn’t let them reassign me since I was technically not in Chicago, lol. Finally, they re-ticketed me, in a variation of my name, and I took the next flight back.

    So yes, this is absolutely possible to happen!

  3. “And that she had to passport.”… Where did she have to passport to?

    It’s laughable how bad at proofreading you are.

  4. @Jon The scanner doesn’t help if you’re in an exit row. Found out the hard way that the alert for “You’re on the wrong flight” is the same as the alert for “You’re in an exit row” when I woke up on descent to the pilot announced my flight to Dulles as landing in New Orleans.

    Fortunately Dulles is also a United hub and one “I’m not supposed to be here” got me rebooked on the next flight to IAD.

  5. In the early 1990s my elderly great-grandmother who was using wheelchair assistance was trying to fly from Santa Barbara, CA to Syracuse, NY and somehow ended up in Tusla, OK including i believe connecting in what was a different city than she was originally scheduled to connect in if I’m remembering the story correctly.

    My grandmother found her bag on the carousel at the Syracuse Airport but no sign on my great-grandmother. I know she made it to Syracuse I think a day later (obviously with yet another connection, don’t think there’s ever been a Tulsa-Syracuse nonstop).

  6. Frontier screwed her with the $600. It will only be good for one r/t flight and the rest is gone. Always ask for $100 increment flight vouchers.

  7. Three weeks ago flying AA ROC-DCA, the head count on the plane was one less than the number of boarding passes scanned. The FA or gate agent (cannot recall which) made an announcement asking “XXXXX if you are on this aircraft press your FA call button” at which point a family member of the missing passenger came forward and said the missing passenger would not be traveling. It turned out a family of six was all booked and checked in on the flight, one decided after checking in (presumably online) not to travel or could not travel for whatever reason. One family member quickly scanned six boarding passes but only five boarded, and no one noticed until the headcount. Someone wearing a DHS shirt and a sheriffs deputy spoke with the crew and gate agents for a few minutes then the plane was allowed to depart. If someone had somehow gotten on the plane having scanned an invalid boarding pass or none at all, the headcount would have matched the number of valid boarding passes scanned, and presumably someone would have flown who should not have been there. For most of boarding, there was a single gate agent handling boarding including tagging gate-checked bags, car seats, and strollers.

  8. Please check your ableist language. A wheelchair doesn’t confine or bind someone, it ENABLES them to have more mobility.

  9. The proper headline would have been “Idiot traveler can’t use baggage sizer correctly and boards wrong plane”. This “frequent” flyer screwed up on so many levels that she should not be allowed on a subway, much less an airplane. But let’s spin this to blame the airline. And no, I don’t work for Frontier or even like the airline.

  10. An American agent actually fat-fingered a rebooking for me, after a snowstorm-induced roundabout day of travel. Short story, I had a direct RDU-ORD that was canceled, rebooked RDU-DCA-ORD. Delayed into DCA, misconnected, other flights canceled due to more snow, and everything getting worse. Got rebooked on DCA-SDF-ORD by a “helpful” ExPlat agent.

    Except when I land at SDF, start looking for my gate because I only have minutes to spare, there is no gate of that number. And I look at the flight boards and couldn’t find my flight. The agent booked me DCA-SDF (Louisville) but apparently fat fingered her search in Sabre and put me on a “connecting” flight out of SGF(Springfield, MO) to ORD.

    Took them a while there at the airport to figure that one out “sir, why are you in Louisville if you are flying out of Springfield?”

    The SDF-ORD was already oversold, but realizing what had been done, they did get me on that flight!

  11. –“but then went to the restroom since the gate agent confirmed she had time.
    When she returned “she found the flight almost fully boarded and the jetway door about to close” ”

    How long was she in the bathroom??? There was a gate change and a new flight had almost fully boarded by the time she returned?

  12. In Belgium, shortly post 9/11, I was so used to extra security for New York bound transatlantic flights, that I found my gate, went through more extra security at the gate, heard the last boarding call, rushed into the jetway and onto the aircraft, and the flight attendant wished me a happy flight to Tel Aviv! Israel? I wanted to go to New York. So I immediately turned around in the galley and got off the aircraft, back into the concourse to walk some more to find my New York flight.

    Some day I’d like to actually fly to Israel, maybe next year.

  13. If you click on the link “Wound Up” it takes you clearly to the original story she wound up in Jamaica. And yes, frontier flies to Jamaica. You just have to do a little sleuthing here. lol

  14. RT $600 good for 1 year? Nope Should have got a Transferable RT for 2 does not Expire in Stretch with free drinks.
    She wasted her time because of their error. . She was sent to a country I would NEVER , Jamica!

    Many Jamaicans are hostile towards LGBT and intersex people, and mob attacks against gay people have been reported. Male homosexuality is illegal and punishable by imprisonment. In 2017 there was a 22% increase in murders over 2018

    It is like sending a women to UAE in a tank top and hot pants.

  15. I’ve also bloodied myself in a Frontier bag sizer. (The gate agent couldn’t have cared less by the way.) At least I wound up in the right city!

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