Allegiant Air / customer focus
Allegiant Air Experience
Our brother Greg was hospitalized for seven months up at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN after a very aggressive bacterial infection left him fighting for his life. The illness he survived left him disabled with conditions requiring continued medical attention and assistance. Upon his release in March, he wanted nothing more than to get on with his life and enjoy his family and friends again.
On March 26 his only child, a son, would be graduating from the Police Academy in Phoenix, AZ. Greg’s determination to attend this event had him boarding an Allegiant Air flight out of Cedar Rapids on March 23rd along with our sister. They selected Allegiant Air because of its nonstop flight feature and this accommodated Greg’s needs with little or no disruption. Allegiant Air travel seemed an obvious choice to avoid layovers and excessive walking through airports.
My daughter and I booked a flight with Allegiant Air to fly out and to meet up with my brother and sister in Arizona. Our flight was scheduled to fly out of Cedar Rapids on March 25th at 12:35 PM. We arrived at the airport approximately 11:00 AM. We checked in, got through security and were at our gate 50 minutes prior to departure. The monitor reflected that our flight was “ON TIME”. There was NO Allegiant aircraft at our gate.
President Obama was arriving on Air Force One that same morning at 12:05, but our flight was to depart at 12:35 and the monitor continued to read that it was “ON TIME”. For some reason our Allegiant aircraft was still not at our gate. President Obama arrived and departed the CR airport by 12:30. We watched the monitor and listened for an announcement in regards to our flight status. There was still no aircraft at our gate by 1:00. We were finally informed that our flight 631 was “loading passengers in Des Moines”. It was well after 1:30 when we received a second update that our plane was, “re-boarding passengers and heading back to Cedar Rapids”. At no time did the monitor reflect this flight was delayed. We were there at least 45 minutes at our departing gate and there was no aircraft until about 2:15 PM. This would qualify as a NO SHOW on Allegiant Air’s part.
Flight 631 seemed to be the only flight that was diverted on this day. President Obama arrived into Cedar Rapids, made his appearance in Iowa City, and flew back out of Cedar Rapids before we even left! We sat on the plane at our gate for nearly 45 minutes before our luggage was loaded and we departed about 3:00 PM. There was no explanation as to why we could not have departed while the President was in Iowa City.
I have traveled numerous times for the company that I work for and I have never experienced an airline so inconvenient, strict, unfriendly, and non-customer focused.
There were no complimentary drinks, no reclining seats, and the speaker system on board was extremely poor quality. When the flight attendants or the pilot spoke all we could hear is this high pitched screeching sound that was deafening. I was so agitated and we hadn’t even left the gate yet!
The choice to fly Allegiant Air backfired on us severely during our return travel on March 30th at the Phoenix-Mesa airport. The morning of our departure our brother experienced some medical issues that detained us slightly. Understanding the terms of arriving at the airport and being at our gate 45 minutes prior to departure, we made every attempt at getting to the airport without haste. Upon our arrival, we were rudely declined at the ticket counter because we did not fall within the thirty-minute window of being at our gate; we fell short by 10 minutes. The Allegiant policy reads:
Pre-purchased seats will be held for you until 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. Failure to check in at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure may result in loss of seat assignment and forfeiture of pre-purchased seat fee”
We explained the situation and were told that there were no exceptions and directed to rebook four new tickets. We were absolutely devastated! At no time did the ticket counter personnel offer to help us find alternative options or make any attempt at getting our disabled brother on that flight! They were totally insensitive to our situation. We realized at that point we were in a hurt locker. Not only was the cost of new airfare, additional lodging and public transportation a concern, but also the welfare of our brother was slightly compromised. Greg had only one day of prescription drugs left, two IV bags, and limited ostomy supplies. His precarious situation had us all scrambling for alternative plans.
Consequently, we were all forced to purchase new tickets. My daughter and I had to get back to our jobs in Iowa and chose Continental Airlines to fly back. We had a much better, and much more affordable, experience. My sister and brother were inclined to stay with Allegiant’s more affordable flight offered on April 2nd only because of the nonstop flight. Overall, this fiscally challenged every one of us. We had to purchase all new tickets, additional lodging, transportation, meals, medical supplies, and my daughter and I lost a day’s wages on March 31st.
I paid $1126.64 for the roundtrip flight for my daughter and me through Allegiant Air. That price included various fees, including $50.00 for EACH piece of baggage, which I am hearing now, is essentially unheard of. Besides the terms and agreement read that, “When purchased at time of booking, a fee between $15 and $25 for the first checked bag and $25 to $30 for the second checked bag will apply per person…” Why were we charged $50.00 for each checked bag? I understood Allegiant flights were so cheap and I purchased them electronically and well in advance. I do not consider this or its unreasonable policy as fair practice, convenient, or cheap. It is a bait and switch that incurs more cost. It is borderline criminal.
I am requesting that the full reimbursement be considered for the forfeiture of all of our tickets. This caused a financial, medical, and emotional burden for all of us as passengers with Allegiant Air.
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