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Frontier cancels Bozeman, Billings flights until next summer

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 19:45:29-05

You’ll sooner have fewer options, when it comes to air travel in and out of Billings.

Frontier Airlines is canceling all flights to both Billings and Bozeman until next August.

Frontier Airlines confirmed the cancellations Thursday, providing this statement: "The Frontier business model is changing in many ways and we continually review our flight schedules for sustainability."

This is at a time when Billings Logan International Airport is in the middle of a major expansion.

Air travel these days is rarely easy, but a Billings woman learned Thursday – just how frustrating flying can be.

Gillette Vaira got an email from Frontier Airlines that her flight next July had been canceled so she called to change her reservation.

"It wasn't clear," she said. "He just kept repeating that Frontier Airlines would not be servicing Billings to Denver for the time being."

Vaira and had planned a special trip with her mother.

"Thought I would just call someone to reschedule for another date," Vaira said. "I thought it would probably be maybe a couple days difference or maybe even a couple of hours. But the booking agents said that there were no flights available and that, in fact that they were not going to be offering flights at least for the time being."

The change comes as the Billings airport is expanding to accommodate more aircraft. Management says COVID brought furloughs and early retirements, which led to fewer pilots and fewer flights.

"I recently talked to all the airlines individually, face to face, because we're talking... about getting additional service for Billings," said Kevin Ploehn, director of aviation & transit for the city of Billings. "Every single one of them said that they have a pilot issue. They need pilots."

Ploehn said a decrease in flights is normal for this time of year. Frontier flights to Billings have always been seasonal, but service typically resumes in April.

As for Vaira, she’s now looking to book another flight on another airline, and she's thankful she has plenty of time to find another option.

"We like to do a mother-daughter trip and so this was something we've been really looking forward to," Vaira said. "We'll still find a way to make it happen. We might drive or maybe we'll fly to another city. But we'll still make it a fun time, whatever we decide to do."