Blind man says Frontier Airlines refused to let him board flight

A Frontier Airlines plane sits on the tarmac at the Pittsburgh International Airport Wednesday.

Jeff Swensen/Getty

TAMPA, Fla. -- A legally blind man says an airline refused to allow him to board a flight with his 18-month-old granddaughter.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Kliphton Miller tried to board a Frontier flight from Tampa to Las Vegas with the child on May 23.

The 44-year-old Miller asked for help getting on the plane once he reached his gate. That's when airline employees began to question his ability to watch over the young child during the trip, according to Miller.

"I frequently fly with my granddaughter on other airlines and had flown on Frontier with her before too, but they still denied me access," Miller told the newspaper. "I was denied because I am blind. They told me I was a liability."

Frontier employees told Miller that he would be a liability in the case of an emergency, he said. They said it was against their corporate policy to let him on board.

"I would have been fine on the plane," Miller told The Tampa Bay Times. "Usually flight attendants will help me to the bathroom if I need to change her, but I can do it myself. I was a single dad for 10 years before I got married, and then I was a stay-at-home dad. I am completely capable."    

Frontier later apologized and rescheduled his trip to Las Vegas free of charge. Richard Oliver, a spokesman with Frontier, called the incident a "customer service failure."

"We apologize to the passenger for the inconvenience he encountered while traveling with us last week," he told the newspaper.

Miller says he flew two days later without issue.

"People like to make assumptions. They like to judge a book by its cover and always assume the worst about someone. That doesn't get nobody anywhere. I just hope this doesn't happen to anyone else," Miller told The Tampa Bay Times.