In November 2022, Beverly Ellis-Hebard flew from Philadelphia to Jamaica when she was supposed to be on a flight to Jacksonville. According to Ellis-Hebard, she owns a second home in Jacksonville, Florida, and often travels there from Philadelphia. She flies once every six weeks and, late last year, decided she would fly Frontier, but little did she know what would occur.

How it began...

Ellis-Hebard was recovering from back surgery when she was due to fly to Jacksonville, which meant she was moving slower than usual. Upon arrival at her gate at Philadelphia International Airport, she asked the gate agent if there was enough time for her to use the restroom before they began boarding the flight. According to Ellis-Hebard, she was told that she had 20 minutes.

Frontier Airlines Airbus A320-251N N352FR (2)
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

When returning a short time later, Ellis-Hebard saw the flight was almost entirely boarded and was nearly closed. At the gate, an agent gave Ellis-Hebard a hard time because of the size of her personal item, requiring her to put the item in the baggage sizer. When removing her bag from the sizer, Ellis-Hebard scraped her arm and began bleeding, but the gate agent hurried her and told her to get on the aircraft.

Where it led...

Ellis-Hebard says she was asked for her boarding pass and that after the gate agent scanned the pass, she asked, "Are you Beverly Ellis-Hebard?" After confirming the passenger was indeed Ellis-Hebard, the gate agent again hurried her and told her to get on the plane. Unfortunately, things only get worse once onboard the aircraft, with a flight attendant telling Ellis-Hebard she was on a flight to Jamaica.

Because she was meant to fly to Jacksonville, Ellis-Hebard did not have a passport with her, which should have been confirmed at the gate when she boarded the aircraft. At first, she thought the flight attendant was joking in saying they were flying to Jamaica, but she quickly realized it was not a joke. It turned out that the Jacksonville flight had a gate change and Ellis-Hebard was not aware, and the gate agent did not do her job correctly, allowing a passenger to get on a flight for which she did not have a boarding pass.

Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 NEO
Photo: Frontier Airlines

Upon arrival in Jamaica, Ellis-Hebard remained in the jetbridge after deplaning, as it was not considered Jamaican soil. The flight crew remained with her for hours until the next flight to Philadelphia. All Ellis-Hebard wanted was an apology, but she was also given a $600 voucher and a refund for her original flight.

Simple Flying asked Frontier Airlines about the incident, and the airline replied,

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. The voucher must be used by April 18, 2024, although, travel does not need to occur by April 18, 2024. The voucher is one-time use (it does not hold residual value following a transaction).

The carrier added that the issue was addressed with airport personnel.

Source: ABC 7