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Frontier flight attendant spots de-icing issue, prevents 'catastrophic outcome'

March 03, 2021
2 min read
Frontier flight attendant spots de-icing issue, prevents 'catastrophic outcome'
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Well this is quite concerning. According to Twitter user JonNYC, and confirmed by Frontier Airlines, the carrier's former contractor at Nashville International Airport reportedly cut some (very important) corners while performing a critical de-icing last month.

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De-icing is essential during cold-weather operations. Snow and ice on the fuselage and the wings can have a significant impact on lift, limiting an aircraft's ability to become airborne. In other words, operating a flight with an aircraft in that condition can be incredibly dangerous.

Related: Behind the scenes with American Airlines de-icing operation

Airlines or their contractors typically remove ice and snow buildup from an aircraft using a special fluid, and sometimes apply a second "anti-icing" liquid as well, that'll help the plane avoid accumulating new build-up as it taxis to the runway.

Unfortunately in the case of last month's Nashville (BNA) incident, the contractor neglected to complete the de-icing process, reportedly because it was low on fluid. Cutting corners during the de-icing process is of course a terrible idea.

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Related: How de-icing works

Fortunately for Frontier, a flight attendant spotted a snow and ice-covered wing and alerted the pilots before takeoff, leading the aircraft to return to the gate, where a foot of snow was discovered on the wings. According to a Frontier spokesperson:

We can confirm this incident did occur. Safety is our foremost priority and we are very proud of our flight crew for identifying the issue and ensuring the matter was addressed before takeoff. We are no longer using the deicing company in question.

In this case, the contractor reportedly stated that the aircraft had been completely cleared, leading the pilots to begin taxiing to the runway. The passengers, crew members and de-icing personnel certainly owe a debt of gratitude to the flight attendant who expressed concern.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
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  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023