Frontier Airlines Flight Delayed.. When Someone Stole an Exit Sign?

Frontier Airlines flight 827 from Trenton, New Jersey to Charleston, South Carolina was delayed for an unusual reason. A passenger on board reports that “someone stole an exit sign” from the exit row so the plane couldn’t take off.

Copyright: zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

A police officer on board as a passenger volunteered to “sit at the door with [his] flashlight if [they] have to sky dive.” The airline didn’t take him up on this offer. Instead they eventually addressed the deficiency and departed six hours late.

I have reached out to Frontier Airlines for a statement and will update with any additional information they provide.

(HT: Teresa)

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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. Oh hi,
    They suddenly boarded the flight 5-1/2 hours late…then they suddenly canceled it and deplaned. Disheartening. I guess the crew timed out.

  2. Roll out the inevitable groans… If the captain departed without an operational exit sign, they would no longer be a captain.

    There is a Minimum Equipment List with no room for interpretation or “it’s okay, I have a flashlight.”

    This is one critical element of why aviation remains far safer than driving to the airport.

  3. Ironic to see this get posted on the same day the Aeroflot 1492 accident reminds us all that a few seconds of indecision during an evacuation due to the plane being on fire can mean the difference between life and death.

    As picky as the Minimum Equipment List can seem to be, it exists for a reason.

  4. Instead of ‘picky’, I would use the term precise. But yes.

    Of note, Canada requires a verbal repetition of exit locations after four hours in flight. Little things. Important things.

  5. The photo is funny. TTN is a tiny airport, it accommodates only one Frontier flight at a time, you walk out on the tarmac to a set of stairs that get you to the plane.

  6. To be fair to Frontier for the six hour delay, most likely they had to fly the sign from their hub or a MRO. No airline is going to keep an exit sign as a spare part at all outstations.

  7. Once in Denver I was on a United flight and they noticed the exit sign was missing. They had to fly one from San Francisco. Can you believe that they did not one to spare at Denver? Also, it was just a white background with exit in red. They could have fashioned one with a piece of cardboard and a red marker. Several hour delay, and then a seven hour flight!

  8. @CW – Nicely done, even though that’ll probably go over peoples’ heads 🙂

  9. @Jamieo – Minimum Equipment Lists also require approved parts. If there was a previously approved process to fashion one out of cardboard, then fine. But if an AME did the cardboard thing and signed off on it, they would no longer be an AME.

    I know it seems trivial, but once the concept of discretion enters airplane safety, everyone will start to draw the line further and further away.

  10. This happened to me on a Delta flight out of SAT. A missing exit sign and one had to be flown in from ATL. Passengers kept asking “Why can’t you just make a sign?” Obviously if they could they would. If you look closely at ANY placard sticker on an aircraft registered in the US there is a serial number in the corner of the placard. They don’t play around with signs and placards.

  11. @cw I’ve lived 30-45 minutes away from Trenton for over 40 years now (time based on where in the area I was living) and up until Frontier started flying from the airport in 2012, I did not know that the sign existed. The sign should read “The people make and Trenton takes” (a double reference to the city and the state govt that is there). Thankfully, Trenton Airport is in a good section of Ewing because if it was in Trenton people would be stealing the planes hubcaps all the time 😉

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