So. About Frontier.
Next has heard from a few thousand of you about our back-and-forth with the airline, which is now getting some discussion nationwide.
If you missed it, I called out Frontier management for using hard-working flight attendants as awkward props during executives' speeches about the virtues of the ultra-low cost airline. Frontier's Head of Corporate Communications then wrote me an email to say that I'm a jerk with short man's disease - and various other insults.
Well, in the last 24 hours, this has gone from funny to kind of concerning, because anyone should be able to criticize a corporation without improper retaliation. Judging by Frontier's customer satisfaction rate - second worst among airlines - plenty of you have critical things to say. And you should be able to say them publicly without Frontier doing what it now admits it did in this case: improperly accessing my travel history and future reservations after our report.
Jim Faulker, the Head of Corporate Communications who explained that I'm a jerk with height issues, was already scheduled to leave the company Friday. Frontier says he is out one day early now.
His boss, Frontier's Vice President of Communications Tyri Squyres, apologized for ordering the improper accessing of my travel history and reservations after I criticized the company.
I had asked Frontier a direct question today: is it standard practice to look for potentially compromising information - say a history of complaints - when they are publicly criticized by a passenger... or a journalist?
"We take the privacy of our customers seriously and have strict standards in place for accessing travel plans or other related customer information. It won't happen again."
For the record, when Frontier went searching my file to see if I'm a disgruntled passenger with an ax to grind, what they found is I've been a regular customer for a decade without any complaints, even when they went to their ultra-low cost model. And I was due to fly them again in a week. Needless to say, I booked different flights. They can keep my money.
And they should keep in mind when you or I raise a concern, responding with personal insults or peering through our personal records is not low cost; that's low class.
UPDATE: Frontier has posted Faulkner's former job online. They say they're looking for someone who has the "ability to communicate effectively and work under pressure."