This US Airline Gives Bonuses To Gate Agents Who Charge Customers For Oversized Luggage

Airline baggage fees can appear to be nothing more than a cash grab, serving no other purpose than benefitting the airlines. Of course, this isn't always true. Some airline baggage policies, such as weight limits, exist so that the aircraft can fly safely and baggage handlers don't get hurt.

Unfortunately, some other luggage restrictions might truly be money-making schemes for air carriers and their employees. American budget airline Frontier eventually came clean to the Independent, admitting that it rewards gate agents with a commission for every bag that they check during boarding.

The carrier later confirmed to Newsweek that the bonus amounts to $10 per bag and is "designed to incentivize our team members to ensure compliance with the bag size requirements to ensure all customers are treated fairly, including the majority who comply with the rules." However, some people are convinced the incentive serves anyone but the customers.

Are gate agents abusing the incentive?

In its statement to the Independent, Frontier insisted that agents are rewarded for identifying oversized luggage that doesn't meet the airline's restrictions. "Most customers pay for their bags in advance, in accordance with our policies, and we provide multiple reminders and opportunities to do so at a lower price in advance of departure," a spokesperson explained.

Still, some fliers say they've been forced to check bags that fit within Frontier's size allowances. A TikToker who posts under the handle shared footage of an argument between Frontier gate workers and passengers who were told to check their luggage. In the clip, the customer's bags appear to fit in Frontier's sizer. Another content creator, @moriahdoesmagick, posted a TikTok claiming that 25 people from her Frontier flight were forced to check bags that also fit in the sizers. When she tried to help a fellow passenger who was pressured to pay the oversized bag fee, she said she was reprimanded and also told to pay.

Please make this go viral! The frontier front desk and supervisor were not cooperating with their guest. PLEASE HELP US GET THIS TO FRONTIER! #frontier #viral #flying #flight #carryon #personalitem #frontierairlines

♬ original sound – Dyana Villa

In response to the social media backlash, Frontier has continued to stand by its agents' actions, asserting that the passengers in the clips had too many bags or bags that didn't fit without removing their contents.

What to do if you believe you've been unfairly charged

So is Frontier Airlines' bonus to gate agents problematic? You be the judge. But if you plan to fly with the budget carrier, review its baggage policy carefully before packing to avoid being hit with a surprise fee at the gate. The airline is strict when it comes to personal items and carry-ons: One personal item, such as a purse or laptop bag, is allowed onboard for free, while carry-on and checked baggage must be purchased in addition to the basic airfare. Frontier also requires personal items to be no larger than 14 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 8 inches long.

If you think your bags might exceed the size allowance, or if you plan to travel with more than one piece of luggage, consider checking it in advance. The cost may be cheaper than the fee charged at the gate.

If you're still charged a Frontier Airlines baggage fee for oversized luggage and you believe you shouldn't be, document the charge and the size of the luggage and contact the carrier after your flight. If they refuse to issue a refund, you can file a consumer complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.