Complaint: Allegiant Airlines
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 7:13 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10

Never in my life have I felt it necessary to voice my opinion on the sketchy business practices of any company...but I guess there's a first for everything.

Background info is as follows: 10 of us were meeting in Las Vegas. 6 of us took Allegiant Air out of Stockton. 4 of us made it to Vegas on time. Guess which 6 didn't?

Let me preface this by stating that I have flown on Allegiant Air out of Stockton two other times prior to this flight (May 28, 2009 @ 2:45pm). Both times were uneventful...however...it seems like Allegiant is trying to "tighten the screws" as time goes on.

To begin with...the sketchy business practices and deception going on trying to book a flight on their website borders on criminal. If you are not 100% careful unclicking, clicking, reading, dodging extra charges, assigned seats, ground transportation, etc...your seemingly "cheap" flight suddenly isn't so cheap. The website IS designed to take money from you if you are not 100% careful in each and every step along the way. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. That's warning #1. Granted, you can say that you should always read and be cautious whenever you are buying something...and I agree with that to a certain extent...however...when a company goes out of their way to play games with you...the customer...purposely trying to "trick" or "deceive" you into purchasing items by "default" and "hiding" behind "traps" built into the site figuring that most people won't even notice...it's BAD business. It's also humerous that Allegiant CHARGES you a fee to book online..versus going to the airport counter to book it in person...isn't this counterintuitive?? It's not when Allegiant knows that NOBODY in their right mind is going to take the time to drive to the airport to save the $13 or whatever it is. I guess the extra $13 that you charge for booking online allows you to advertise a lower price...appearances CAN and ARE deceiving when it comes to Allegiant. It would be interesting to know the percentage of customers that end up paying for "extras" that didn't intend or even realize that they were paying for "extras".
I know...Allegiant...it's your "profit center". Nice. I was warned in advance by a friend who is a travel agent (remember those?), and she said that in no way shape or form would she recommend or do business with Allegiant because they "try to nickel and dime you to death". I now understand why.

Moving onto the actual flight...Allegiant seems to try and hide and use TSA "recommendations" as the "bible" when it comes to checking in and getting onto a flight. Let's be serious. Two hours in advance? To check into an airport...that has ONE domestic flight...per DAY!?!? Are you kidding me? We aren't talking an international airport here. There are NO lines for TSA. There are NO lines period...because there is ONE flight out of Stockton per DAY. It's a glorified bus stop. I understand the whole 9/11 thing. I understand that at busy airports lines get long...there are delays...etc. I get it. But in NO way shape or form...is Stockton Airport an airport where anyone needs to be there 2 hours in advance of this flight. Complete waste of time. Funny how every other airport I have flown out of seems able/willing to accomodate travelers...EVEN those that are there with less than the recommended two hour buffer. Furthermore...Allegiant somehow has a "policy" that they CLOSE their check-in/ticket counter 30 minutes prior to flight departure....or is that 45 minutes prior (get your story straight Allegiant...is it 30 min when convenient? or is it 45 minutes when convenient? You can't adjust it to suit you...especially when we have the paperwork from YOUR company in hand to show you stating 30 minutes)? So needless to say...we arrived at the TICKET COUNTER exactly 30 minutes prior to flight departure...and nobody was to be found. Not only was there nobody there...it quickly became clear that NOBODY was going to even address us. Two other customers with reservations walked in behind us... they two stood and waited. And waited. 8 people now waiting to be addressed by ANYONE from Allegiant Air. Nada. Zippo. Zero. So we stand. We wait. At least 5 TSA people are standing around doing nothing (shouldn't they be off work...I mean...if you aren't going to board anyone else...game's over right? No other flights for the day...go HOME). At 2:35pm...10 minutes PRIOR to the departure time...the plane starts rolling away from the gate. Are you seriously kidding me? 20 minutes we were standing there...waiting...and they have the guts to roll the plane away from the gate 10 minutes early...when we could have easily been boarded...and STILL have left on time...without issue? I wonder why? Allegiant...are you trying to meet some sort of on time arrival measurements? Departure measurements? Trying to save some money on fuel by not having to fly as fast due to early departure? Did you overbook the flight? Did you sell standby tickets? Something SKETCHY is going on. Again...I guess it's all about profits...and not any sort of customer service.

Only after the plane departed did a face from Allegiant appear from behind the "mystery" door at the check-in counter...in full defensive mode before we even had a chance to open our mouths. This so called...and possible self-proclaimed "manager"...said there was nothing she could do. There was nothing she was going to do. And that we could write to Allegiant in order to complain. End of story. Needless to say we were ******.

Immediately we got on the phone to Southwest Airlines...reserved six seats on the next flight out of Sacramento (40 minute drive from Stockton Airport) verbally...without credit cards or anything. Southwest had the seats waiting for us when we arrived (again 30 minutes before the 4:55pm departure time) at a MUCH busier airport...much longer TSA line....etc...and somehow we were able to get on the plane without issue. How is this possible? It's possible because ONE airline...Southwest...went out of their way to accomodate 6 paying CUSTOMERS to the best of their ability, stepping up to the plate "to do the right thing" by getting us on the plane in an efficient and safe manner. The OTHER airline...Allegiant...has made the decision that short term profits...aka...playing "hardball" is more important than LONG TERM viability. See the difference? Don't worry Allegiant I won't charge you for the free lesson in "good business practices and customer service".

To make a long story short....I will go out of my way to avoid Allegiant Air at ALL costs. Despite the fact that it is more convenient to fly to Vegas from Stockton for me. What good is a "cheap" flight...if you can't get on the plane? Sidenote...on our return flight...somehow Allegiant was boarding people up to 5 minutes prior to departure out of Las Vegas. What happened? I guess the "rules" only apply when you can screw people at smaller airports that seemingly have no alternative. News flash Allegiant...there ARE alternatives.
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Allegiant Air, don't ignore your Customer Complaints. Reply NOW!