Woman Exposes An Airline For Allegedly Paying Workers Extra To Tell Passengers Their Bags Are Too Big — Even When They're Not

Turns out there's a very simple reason for all those absurd fees — employee commissions.

TikToker revealing Frontier Airlines Pays Employees To Tell Passengers Their Bags Are Too Big TikTok

Most of us love to travel, but it's starting to become not worth the trouble as airlines constantly come up with ever more ways to make travel a nightmare. One discount airline has taken that practice to a whole new level that seems like an outright scam to many customers.

Cassie, a TikToker known as @cassandrabotnick on TikTok, made the claim after her sister was charged a whopping $100 to bring a backpack on a recent Frontier Airlines flight after telling her it was too big despite it obviously being the right size.


But she says this is all part of the airline workers' plot to make more money.

Frontier Airlines is accused of paying its employees a $10 incentive to tell passengers their bags are too big.

Cassie first discussed the incentive in a TikTok video after her sister was hit with a $100 fee by Frontier Airlines despite her bag fitting into a measurement box in the airport. She even videoed it to prove it, and the backpack slid right into the box with room to spare.

RELATED: Woman Steps In After Finding Mom & Kids Sleeping On Restroom Floor While Struggling To Get Home

 Photo: TikTok


Nevertheless, Cassie says, "They wouldn't let her on the flight. The guy was like, 'Your bag's too big.'" Even when her sister protested and said that she had video proving the bag fit just fine, the Frontier agent refused to let her on the flight with her backpack unless she paid a $100 oversize baggage fee.

After a back-and-forth with the agent, her sister finally relented and agreed to the fee, only to be told by the Frontier agent that it was "no, sorry, it's too late." She was forced to book herself a new flight home, and was offered no assistance or compensation from Frontier, Cassie says.

Frontier has admitted that employees are incentivized to tell passengers their bags do not fit.

TikTok is full of videos of other passengers filming precisely the same incidents as Cassie's sister. So much so that Frontier confirmed the incentive program after getting accused of "gaslighting" customers.

Frontier Airlines says its $10 commission 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."


RELATED: Man Meets An 80-Year-Old Man On A Plane That Knew His Whole Story—'I Had An Encounter With An Angel'

Photo: Sharkshock / Shutterstock

"In the past, our carry-on bag size requirement was not consistently applied, which was unfair to the majority of customers who do pay for their carry-on bags in advance and comply with this requirement."


"We have on a number of occasions investigated specific claims by customers who say they were unfairly charged for a bag at the gate and typically find there is more to the story. All complaints are taken seriously and consumers are encouraged to contact our Customer Care team with any concerns," the spokesperson said.

After her TikTok went viral, Cassie was contacted by Frontier Airlines to rectify her sister's situation, but other customers haven't been so lucky. 

Frontier reached out to her "for my sister's email address so they could email her and make things right." Cassie applauded the airline for doing so. "We're very grateful for that," she said. "My sister had to buy a new flight, wasn't allowed on the flight that she paid for, missed work that day—it was just like a fiasco that should not even have been a thing to begin with."



RELATED: Woman Says Plane Passenger Let Baby Crawl On Her After She Wouldn't Move Seats So The Family Could Sit Together


But Cassie's sister's "fiasco" is hardly an isolated incident. After her video went viral, Cassie said she was flooded with messages from "hundreds of people...saying they're having the same issues" with dishonest baggage fees on Frontier, and that the airline itself turned off its own comments on TikTok because it was receiving so many complaints from other passengers.

Cassie herself is flying Frontier soon for a trip to see Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, and is now deeply anxious about what will happen when she tries to board her flight. So much so, she's narrowed herself down to two options—taking only her young daughter's tiny backpack with "just my bra and underwear" inside and then buying an outfit when she lands, or hiding her regular backpack under her partner's giant sweatshirt.

 Photo: TikTok


"I don't think I'm ever going to book Frontier again," she said. "Traveling already creates so much room for anxiety... Am I going to have to pay $100 for a bag that is the correct size? No, thank you. I'll fly with a different airline."

RELATED: Woman Gets Kicked Off A Plane After Demanding A Trump Supporter Be Moved Away From The Seat Next To Her

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.