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Undercover Boss: Frontier Airlines

October 17, 2010 07:57 PM by Sarah_Monson


Undercover Boss flew the friendly skies on tonight’s hit CBS show. Bryan Bedford, CEO of Frontier Airlines parent company, Republic Airways, went under cover as Richard, an out of work welder, and witnessed first hand how his company ticks. Like all flights, he hit some bumps along the way, but in the end, did he earn his wings?

Undercover Boss featured Frontier Airlines CEO Bryan Bedford, who has been in charge of the airline for 11 years. Based in Denver, the company has been in the news lately due to mergers that forced employees to take a 10% pay cut.

The episode begins and we meet Bryan, who lives a castle like home complete with a basketball court and pool with his wife and EIGHT kids. Yes, eight kids. He throws on a terrible toupee, kisses his soccer team sized family goodbye and hits the sky.

Bryan first goes undercover as an aircraft appearance team member to make sure his planes are being properly serviced between flights. He meets his supervisor Sue, in Denver, at the busiest center in the company.

Sue tells him that they only have 7 minutes to turnover the plane, so they need to hustle. Sue cleans like a speed demon, Bryan not so much. They hop from plane to plane cleaning, including a vomit mop up, and then head to lunch. Sue tells Bryan about the hardships she’s faced through her life. Her son, Andre, was murdered at 21, after she moved to Colorado from Chicago. This hits home for Bryan, because he lost his sister when he was a boy.


Bryan then flies to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, where he meet Valerie. His job today is of a cross utilization agent – which means that he’ll be performing basically every job an airline employee could have – all in one. They first marshal in a plane, pull luggage from one plane and put them on another, then run back inside after sweating it out on the tarmac, only to check in more passengers. This bothered Bryan, who felt pretty stinky.

Finally they get a break, and Bryan discovers that Valerie is a single mom who has struggled to make ends meet. Even so, Valerie spends her Saturdays helping the needy in the name of God, which really resonates with Bryan.

Job three takes Bryan back to Denver to pose a flight attendant with jovial Hawaiian, Tui. Bryan is a tad too chatty for Tui’s liking, and ends up slowing down the pace. Tui tells him that the plane is 8 minutes late, which frustrates Bryan.


In the air, Bryan fumbles through the beverage service. After the plane lands safely at its destination, Bryan asks Tui about working at Frontier Airlines. He tells Bryan that he works six days a week and barely makes ends meet, since he’s trying to put his son through college.

Bryan could relate, obviously, the dude has eight kids. Tui also tells Bryan that he really wants his 10% back that he got taken away form him the merger. Fair is Fair!

The next day, it’s Bryan’s job to literally clean up poop as a lavatory services employee alongside Hector. The airline goes through 1,400 gallons of poo per day, which viewers get see first hand. Hector drains some nasty poop and then lets Bryan take the reigns. He doesn’t do a very good job. Hector tells Bryan that shoveling poo doesn’t pay that much and tears up thinking about how much sacrifice he and his fellow employees have gone through since the merger.


The long week finally comes to an end and Bryan resumes his position as CEO, then tells his higher ups how to improve the company. Then the Frontier Airlines employees head to HQ where, naturally they are surprised to find out who Richard really is.

Here’s a rundown of the goodies that each hand picked Frontier Airlines employee got in exchange for their honesty and good will.

Valerie got $10,000 to donate to the charity of her choice.

Hector got a promotion and a week vacay for him and his wife.

Sue got an aircraft dedicated to her son, Andre! She also got a free cruise.

Of course they saved the best for last – and loveable Tui got a huge promotion and Brian then gave Tui $20,000 a pop for both of his kids to get through college. Wow! Good thing Bryan had tissues on hand!

After Bryan’s weeklong shenanigans, he decided to reinstate the 10% that had been taken away! Wow! That may be the most impactful episode of Undercover Boss yet, for the employees of an entire company, that is.

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Photos Courtesy of CBS

Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Undercover Boss |

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5 Responses to “Undercover Boss: Frontier Airlines”

  1. vinnyb123 Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 5:28 am

    The Frontier episode was OK, but it really upset me that employees took a 10% pay cut and that CEO lived in a CASTLE !!!!!

  2. mo mo Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Me too. How could Bryan be so religious and actually feel good about cutting his employees pay 10% while he lives in a MANSION with an indoor basketball court?!? And he didn’t actually agree to reinstate their 10% pay cuts right away…it was over 3 years. Infuriating. And if I were a Frontier employee and I saw Bryan’s house on TV I’d be furious!! How about Bryan give his pay to the employees and live in a normal size house.

  3. Sarah_Monson Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Agreed. It was a pretty heavy handed show with all the religious talk. And while he did make improvements (that actually affect more than JUST the employees featured on the show – flying lessons, anyone?? – he was REALLY slow to implement them. A lot of people dont have three years to wait for a pay raise.

  4. Steve X Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    This guy was a clown. Living in a Castle and preaching about the “Lord” Give me a break.

    I dont think his Lord Jesus walked around in gold sandals and lived in a palace.

    What a hypocrite and cheapskate. Those employees deserve better.

  5. Randy Says:
    February 12th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Steve X, Just because a man lives in a large house and is a CEO of a company doesnot make him a hypocrite. The man loves the Lord and he is a Christian. God never said one has to be poor to serve Him. SteveX what have you done for the Lord lately?


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