The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing as passengers screamed for the flight to end
A video shared on social media shows the engine's protective casing becoming loose, exposing the interior mechanism.
Brandon Rittiman, anchor for the US news channel ABC10, shared a picture on social media that his friend, passenger CJ Gunnerson, had captured onboard Frontier flight 260.
“The hatch came up and ripped off during take-off,“ Gunnerson told Rittiman. “People were jumping up screaming, slamming on the roof. Yelling stop.”
The damaged plane was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing in Las Vegas.
It is believed that 171 passengers and six crew members were onboard the flight, which departed for Tampa airport at 7.12am local time on 30 November.
According to the airline, the plane landed safely and there were no injuries, with the airline stating on Twitter that “safety is our top priority".
A spokesperson for Frontier, Allison Redmon, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the passengers onboard had been issued a refund for the flight, a $500 voucher for future travel with Frontier and breakfast vouchers.
Redmon also confirmed that Frontier picked up the bill for transporting passengers to their final destination on alternative airlines.
In February, a Frontier flight from Orlando, Florida, to Arizona was forced to divert after a passenger's lithium battery caught fire. It was connected to a smartphone.