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COMPLAINT: Allegiant Airlines

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 9, 2009, 7:13 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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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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  #2  
Old Jun 9, 2009, 8:51 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY NY
Posts: 510

1 - You agree to a certain extent that you should read everything before buying a ticket online? To what extent is that? You should read everything as you don't want to get caught into paying for something you don't want. Many travel sites such as Orbitz (my personal fav) and Expedia offer rental cars, hotels, shows, etc, when you only want to book a flight. And most websites (airline and travel sites) offer booking fees. Hell some airlines will charge you to book a ticket by phone... to go further, some will charge you to SPEAK to a real person. You seem shocked and appalled by this. It's nothing new.

2 - And this is a doozy, but you left yourself open to it. You arrived 30 minutes before departure, in a one horse (or one flight) airport and you were surprised there was no one there when you arrived? It would seem as soon as cut off hit, those employees who were working the counter went to work the gate, quite common practice in small airports. And even if the plane is RIGHT there, you were late, so now it's Allegiance fault? The cut off time isn't anything new. So it's their fault for following the rule that EVERY airline follows? Come on! And that plane is allowed to roll away ten minutes before departure, due to the fact that everyone who arrived on time, was checked in and ready to go. It happens with every airline. (at least those that I have flown)

3 - the manager came from behind a mystery door? was the door not there before? Oh yea you were watching your plane leave without you...

4 - Hey you wanna know why Southwest was there when you arrived at the airport? Hmmmm just a guess, but I think they have more than one flight and will always be there until the last flight is gone? and had you arrived 30 minutes prior (like you said you did... thought I take that with a grain of salt) I am sure, that if they had only one flight they would be long gone.

Except some responsibility in this, you were ultimately late for your flight, one flight a day or not, you were late. Sorry but you can't blame someone else for your own actions. True if it's only one flight going out of this small airport, 2 hours is a bit much, but had you given yourself the time to get to the airport, get checked in, and get through security, you'd be in Vegas with no issues. Accept what you've done and move on.
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  #3  
Old Jun 9, 2009, 10:55 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10

1) I agree that you should be careful when purchasing. Yes. What I take exception to is the shady manner in which Allegiant chooses to try and trick people into purchasing things unintentionally...by either baiting you into making seemingly harmless choices (like selecting a seat) or by automatically by default opting you "in" for things that you don't want or may miss. It's shady and you cannot defend it as sound business practice. Legal perhaps...but not a way that I would do business. Your statement of trying to "justify" it because "everyone" is doing it is just as bad. NOT everyone is doing it...and it's not right. I was talking Allegiant specifically...not the industry as a whole. And yes...it is appalling that a company feels the need in any way to try and "trick" or "ambush" people into spending money. For the record I wasn't overcharged for anything booking online because I "caught" all the tricks...BUT others in our group...and other people I know that have booked in the past HAVE gotten stung. That's what I have a problem with...and that's what Allegiant is counting on to boost their bottom line. It's wrong.

2) In no way shape or form did I say we were not to blame for arriving with "only" 30 minutes. The point I was trying to make is that the airline has a choice to either a) put on blinders and ignore paying customers or b) provide some customer service that could have turned a negative experience into a positive experience. That can and will be the difference between a company surviving for the long term vs. a company trying to make next quarter's numbers. I DO expect there to be a certain level of service REGARDLESS of where, how small, how large and airport is. Should I not expect a co-pilot? Should I not expect air in the tires? Should I not expect somebody at the counter to address paying passengers 30 minutes prior to a flight? I don't think that's unreasonable. If this airline wants to compete with the big boys...they better start acting like the big boys. You are right...the plane can roll anytime it wants...the point I made was that we were paying customers that were waiting to board for 20 mintes PRIOR to it leaving the gate early. You really think that it would have taken us 20 minutes...let alone the 30 minutes that we were there early to walk through the TSA check and up the ramp and get seated? Seriously? The cutoff time kept vasillating between 30 minutes and 45 mintues for the "ticket counter closure" depending on whom you talked to. Bottom line...they chose to ignore 8 (6 in our group plus 2 others) paying customers when it would have been a non-issue to get us on board in a timely and safe manner with PLENTY of time to spare.

3) Yeah...the so called manager...did come out of hiding behind the mystery door like the Wizard of Oz, only after the plane was physically gone....because she is a coward and didn't have the guts nor the customer service skills to address us properly. And yes...we were standing in front of the counter AND watching the plane at the same time...that's how CLOSE we were. If we could see them...they could certainly see us, and uh...maybe send somebody over? To help? Assist? Do something? Anything? Nope.

4) The point with the comparison to Allegiant's competitor that went out of their way to accomodate us (notice that at no time have I mentioned the name of the competitor)...is a company CULTURE difference. The customer service person on the phone that we called to book the competitor's flight...was NOT in Sacramento...had no reason to accomodate us...had no reason to hold six seats for us...and didn't know us from Larry down the street. What that person DID realize was that she could make a difference for 6 paying customers that have been shafted by a competitor...realized that we were in a time crunch...and went out of her way to get us into the system asap...again VERBALLY with no credit cards or any other identifying information. And before you ask if their flight was full...YES it was when we boarded.

Allegiant can run their airline in the manner that they want. BUT, that doesn't mean that I have to put up with it nor accept it. Time will tell if their "business plan" will work out. Good luck Allegiant you WILL need it.

Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
1 - You agree to a certain extent that you should read everything before buying a ticket online? To what extent is that? You should read everything as you don't want to get caught into paying for something you don't want. Many travel sites such as Orbitz (my personal fav) and Expedia offer rental cars, hotels, shows, etc, when you only want to book a flight. And most websites (airline and travel sites) offer booking fees. Hell some airlines will charge you to book a ticket by phone... to go further, some will charge you to SPEAK to a real person. You seem shocked and appalled by this. It's nothing new.

2 - And this is a doozy, but you left yourself open to it. You arrived 30 minutes before departure, in a one horse (or one flight) airport and you were surprised there was no one there when you arrived? It would seem as soon as cut off hit, those employees who were working the counter went to work the gate, quite common practice in small airports. And even if the plane is RIGHT there, you were late, so now it's Allegiance fault? The cut off time isn't anything new. So it's their fault for following the rule that EVERY airline follows? Come on! And that plane is allowed to roll away ten minutes before departure, due to the fact that everyone who arrived on time, was checked in and ready to go. It happens with every airline. (at least those that I have flown)

3 - the manager came from behind a mystery door? was the door not there before? Oh yea you were watching your plane leave without you...

4 - Hey you wanna know why Southwest was there when you arrived at the airport? Hmmmm just a guess, but I think they have more than one flight and will always be there until the last flight is gone? and had you arrived 30 minutes prior (like you said you did... thought I take that with a grain of salt) I am sure, that if they had only one flight they would be long gone.

Except some responsibility in this, you were ultimately late for your flight, one flight a day or not, you were late. Sorry but you can't blame someone else for your own actions. True if it's only one flight going out of this small airport, 2 hours is a bit much, but had you given yourself the time to get to the airport, get checked in, and get through security, you'd be in Vegas with no issues. Accept what you've done and move on.

Last edited by DNM95377; Jun 9, 2009 at 10:58 PM.
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  #4  
Old Jun 9, 2009, 11:05 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10

1) I agree that you should be careful when purchasing. Yes. What I take exception to is the shady manner in which Allegiant chooses to try and trick people into purchasing things unintentionally...by either baiting you into making seemingly harmless choices (like selecting a seat) or by automatically by default opting you "in" for things that you don't want or may miss. It's shady and you cannot defend it as sound business practice. Legal perhaps...but not a way that I would do business. Your statement of trying to "justify" it because "everyone" is doing it is just as bad. NOT everyone is doing it...and it's not right. I was talking Allegiant specifically...not the industry as a whole. And yes...it is appalling that a company feels the need in any way to try and "trick" or "ambush" people into spending money. For the record I wasn't overcharged for anything booking online because I "caught" all the tricks...BUT others in our group...and other people I know that have booked in the past HAVE gotten stung. That's what I have a problem with...and that's what Allegiant is counting on to boost their bottom line. It's wrong.

2) In no way shape or form did I say we were not to blame for arriving with "only" 30 minutes. The point I was trying to make is that the airline has a choice to either a) put on blinders and ignore paying customers or b) provide some customer service that could have turned a negative experience into a positive experience. That can and will be the difference between a company surviving for the long term vs. a company trying to make next quarter's numbers. I DO expect there to be a certain level of service REGARDLESS of where, how small, how large and airport is. Should I not expect a co-pilot? Should I not expect air in the tires? Should I not expect somebody at the counter to address paying passengers 30 minutes prior to a flight? I don't think that's unreasonable. If this airline wants to compete with the big boys...they better start acting like the big boys. You are right...the plane can roll anytime it wants...the point I made was that we were paying customers that were waiting to board for 20 mintes PRIOR to it leaving the gate early. You really think that it would have taken us 20 minutes...let alone the 30 minutes that we were there early to walk through the TSA check and up the ramp and get seated? Seriously? The cutoff time kept vasillating between 30 minutes and 45 mintues for the "ticket counter closure" depending on whom you talked to. Bottom line...they chose to ignore 8 (6 in our group plu 2 others) paying customers when it would have been a non-issue to get us on board in a timely and safe manner with PLENTY of time to spare.

3) Yeah...the so called manager...did come out of hiding behind the mystery door like the Wizard of Oz, only after the plane was physically gone....because she is a coward and didn't have the guts nor the customer service skills to address us properly. And yes...we were standing in front of the counter AND watching the plane at the same time...that's how CLOSE we were. If we could see them...they could certainly see us, and uh...maybe send somebody over? To help? Assist? Do something? Anything? Nope.

4) The point with the comparison to Allegiant's competitor that went out of their way to accomodate us (notice that at no time have I mentioned the name of the competitor)...is a company CULTURE difference. The customer service person on the phone that we called to book the competitor's flight...was NOT in Sacramento...had no reason to accomodate us...had no reason to hold six seats for us...and didn't know us from Larry down the street. What that person DID realize was that she could make a difference for 6 paying customers that have been shafted by a competitor...realized that we were in a time crunch...and went out of her way to get us into the system asap...again VERBALLY with no credit cards or any other identifying information. And before you ask if their flight was full...YES it was when we boarded.

Allegiant can run their airline in the manner that they want. BUT, that doesn't mean that I have to put up with it nor accept it. Time will tell if their "business plan" will work out. Good luck Allegiant you WILL need it.

Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
1 - You agree to a certain extent that you should read everything before buying a ticket online? To what extent is that? You should read everything as you don't want to get caught into paying for something you don't want. Many travel sites such as Orbitz (my personal fav) and Expedia offer rental cars, hotels, shows, etc, when you only want to book a flight. And most websites (airline and travel sites) offer booking fees. Hell some airlines will charge you to book a ticket by phone... to go further, some will charge you to SPEAK to a real person. You seem shocked and appalled by this. It's nothing new.

2 - And this is a doozy, but you left yourself open to it. You arrived 30 minutes before departure, in a one horse (or one flight) airport and you were surprised there was no one there when you arrived? It would seem as soon as cut off hit, those employees who were working the counter went to work the gate, quite common practice in small airports. And even if the plane is RIGHT there, you were late, so now it's Allegiance fault? The cut off time isn't anything new. So it's their fault for following the rule that EVERY airline follows? Come on! And that plane is allowed to roll away ten minutes before departure, due to the fact that everyone who arrived on time, was checked in and ready to go. It happens with every airline. (at least those that I have flown)

3 - the manager came from behind a mystery door? was the door not there before? Oh yea you were watching your plane leave without you...

4 - Hey you wanna know why Southwest was there when you arrived at the airport? Hmmmm just a guess, but I think they have more than one flight and will always be there until the last flight is gone? and had you arrived 30 minutes prior (like you said you did... thought I take that with a grain of salt) I am sure, that if they had only one flight they would be long gone.

Except some responsibility in this, you were ultimately late for your flight, one flight a day or not, you were late. Sorry but you can't blame someone else for your own actions. True if it's only one flight going out of this small airport, 2 hours is a bit much, but had you given yourself the time to get to the airport, get checked in, and get through security, you'd be in Vegas with no issues. Accept what you've done and move on.
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  #5  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 5:31 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY NY
Posts: 510

Ok I went to Allegiants website, and if you pay attention you can opt out of those extras they charge for such as hotels, shows, and rental cars... that almost every other travel website does. I don't care that you're making this about allegiants, it's common. So it's not a scam or anything scrupulous. It's not your way of doing business, but it seems those that are in the business do it this way.

Quote:
In no way shape or form did I say we were not to blame for arriving with "only" 30 minutes
Actually that was the point I was making, that you DID NOT take any responsibility for your actions. Cut off is 30 minutes but rather than accept responsibilty for being late, you argue with the agent as if they were wrong for leaving you behind. The plan holds 100 passengers (I checked) and I would agree the 2 hour rule stands and that you have to be checked in 30 minutes prior. They did not ignore paying customers, the paying customers should have been more aware of the time, well you got a pretty good lesson as your plane went bye-bye and you watched it leave. Allegient did their part, they served their customers who showed up on time. Now let's say the cut off time was 45 minutes. YOUR STILL LATE!! You arrived 30 minutes prior, as per your complaint. So that would mean they GAVE you an extra 15 minutes to show up and you STILL didn't make it on time. So again who was wrong??

If the manager was a coward and had no guts, means she would have stayed behind her magic door until you guys were gone. Instead she came out to face you. It's not a fight or a competition, she has nothing to lose, you were in the wrong not her. Doesn't matter if the plane was there or not, you guys were late plain and simple.

Oh and you did name their competitor that accomodated you, you said Southwest lol as per your own statement:

Quote:
Immediately we got on the phone to Southwest Airlines...reserved six seats on the next flight out of Sacramento
And the person you called at Southwest... They didn't go out of their way to assist you, they were doing their job, that's what reservations are supposed to do!!! (Is this guy serious??) Yes you can call reservation, can get seats held, and then pay for seats at the airport. You don't have to give a credit card over the phone; sometimes people are in a public place and don't wanna give this info out, sometimes people don't have credit cards. If I need to make a quick trip to Boston or DC, I call United or Continental and book my trip over the phone and pay for it at the airport. The southwest reservation wasn't doing you any favors, it's what they always do.

Whether or not Allegiant's Business model works, is besides the point; you screwed up: You arrived late and expect them to accomodate you and when they did not, they were wrong. Sorry but you were clearly in the wrong. Accept that you were late and move on.
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  #6  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 6:35 AM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
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If you went to Allegiant's website, actually tried to book a flight, and saw nothing wrong with the games they try to play in order to squeeze each and every extra dollar from their customers then we can agree to disagree. My experience and the experience of others that I have spoken to take issue with their methods.

We WERE there, 30 minutes on the dot prior to departure...standing at the ticket counter...with the expectation that somebody would be available to check us in. Allegiant did NOT meet our basic/reasonable expectation that a breathing human being would be available at the counter...like most ANY service business out there...from the corner convenience store...to Neiman Marcus. I wish I could just shutdown my business when it was convenient for me to do so to save on some payroll...why don't I? I don't because I KNOW that I won't be in business very long if I don't provide the service my customers expect. Business 101. Look it up.

I'm not interested in Allegiant trying to "teach me a lesson". I'm interesed in getting a reasonable level of service for the money that I'm paying. Bottom line is that Allegiant fell well short of that expectation. I'm not expecting champagne and caviar by any stretch of the imagination...I do expect a reasonable attempt to deliver the desired service that I paid for. If Allegiant can't provide the most basic form of customer service for the prices they "attempt" to charge...then perhaps they need to readjust their rates and act like a real company that can. Your statement of the Allegiant "manager" coming out and having nothing to lose...is COMPLETELY incorrect...she DOES have a lot to lose...8 paying customers that are 100% unsatisfied with the lack of service that they received. She doesn't seem to understand that...and you don't seem to get it either. ALLEGIANT is the one that has something to lose...without paying and satisfied customers they won't have to worry about keeping costs down...they will simply be out of business. Nothing I have stated here is unreasonable.

Again...the bottom line point that I am trying to make is that you definitely get what you pay for. Fortunately we had the flexibilty and ability to scramble and get to the next closest airport with little fuss. If this was my mother or grandmother it would have completely ruined their weekend...and THAT'S unacceptable.

Southest DID come through. DID get us on the next flight out. DID answer their phone (something Allegiant doesn't seem to care about either).

Allegiant handled (reality is they didn't handle anything) this entire incident poorly. Is it going to ruin my life? No. Did it wreck our weekend? No. Am I ever going to use Allegiant again? NO. Am I going to make sure that I can inform as many people as I possibly can regarding my experience? I certainly am. Each person can come to their own conclusion.

A letter was sent directly to Allegiant at their PO box in Nevada...time will tell if they even respond to that either...my guess is that if they can't/won't take care of their customers in person or on the phone...they certainly aren't going to take any of their seemingly precious time to answer and respond to a letter as it's probably not "cost effective". If they do I will definitely post a follow up here.

Ball is in your court Allegiant.



Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
Ok I went to Allegiants website, and if you pay attention you can opt out of those extras they charge for such as hotels, shows, and rental cars... that almost every other travel website does. I don't care that you're making this about allegiants, it's common. So it's not a scam or anything scrupulous. It's not your way of doing business, but it seems those that are in the business do it this way.



Actually that was the point I was making, that you DID NOT take any responsibility for your actions. Cut off is 30 minutes but rather than accept responsibilty for being late, you argue with the agent as if they were wrong for leaving you behind. The plan holds 100 passengers (I checked) and I would agree the 2 hour rule stands and that you have to be checked in 30 minutes prior. They did not ignore paying customers, the paying customers should have been more aware of the time, well you got a pretty good lesson as your plane went bye-bye and you watched it leave. Allegient did their part, they served their customers who showed up on time. Now let's say the cut off time was 45 minutes. YOUR STILL LATE!! You arrived 30 minutes prior, as per your complaint. So that would mean they GAVE you an extra 15 minutes to show up and you STILL didn't make it on time. So again who was wrong??

If the manager was a coward and had no guts, means she would have stayed behind her magic door until you guys were gone. Instead she came out to face you. It's not a fight or a competition, she has nothing to lose, you were in the wrong not her. Doesn't matter if the plane was there or not, you guys were late plain and simple.

Oh and you did name their competitor that accomodated you, you said Southwest lol as per your own statement:



And the person you called at Southwest... They didn't go out of their way to assist you, they were doing their job, that's what reservations are supposed to do!!! (Is this guy serious??) Yes you can call reservation, can get seats held, and then pay for seats at the airport. You don't have to give a credit card over the phone; sometimes people are in a public place and don't wanna give this info out, sometimes people don't have credit cards. If I need to make a quick trip to Boston or DC, I call United or Continental and book my trip over the phone and pay for it at the airport. The southwest reservation wasn't doing you any favors, it's what they always do.

Whether or not Allegiant's Business model works, is besides the point; you screwed up: You arrived late and expect them to accomodate you and when they did not, they were wrong. Sorry but you were clearly in the wrong. Accept that you were late and move on.
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  #7  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 6:49 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by DNM95377 View Post
We WERE there, 30 minutes on the dot prior to departure...standing at the ticket counter...with the expectation that somebody would be available to check us in. Allegiant did NOT meet our basic/reasonable expectation that a breathing human being would be available at the counter...like most ANY service business out there...from the corner convenience store...to Neiman Marcus. I wish I could just shutdown my business when it was convenient for me to do so to save on some payroll...why don't I? I don't because I KNOW that I won't be in business very long if I don't provide the service my customers expect. Business 101. Look it up.
From the Allegiant Air website:

Quote:
  • What time should I arrive at the airport for my flight?
  • Allegiant Air recommends arriving at the airport at least two (2) hours prior to scheduled departure. Customers need to be checked in no less than 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure which is when the Ticket Counter closes.
You were late. Plain and simple. The reason Allegiant is able to offer low fares is that they keep costs down. Those costs include labor. As was mentioned up-thread even major airlines have cross-utilized agents at smaller airports. They run the ticket counter and then close the counter and move to the gate to act as the boarding agent. It's just the way they do things and it's made perfectly clear on their website.
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  #8  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 7:16 AM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
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Herein lies the problem...the website is not consistent with the email confirmation that we had PRINTED out and in hand at the airport.

This is a cut and paste from my confirmation email:

<Check-in: Please check-in at the ALLEGIANT AIR ticket
counter. Customers must check in 2 hours prior to departure, be in the
gate area 30 minutes prior to departure to avoid forfeiting their
reservation and all associated amenities.>

Nowhere does it say that the counter closes 45 minutes prior to departure. What I suspect that has happened is that perhaps Allegiant changed their policy at some point after we booked our flight MONTHS ago...and neglected to inform us? Is that our fault too? Should we have to play the decipher what Allegiant really means...and semantics game?

Don't think so. Allegiant, get your act together. I am making it perfectly clear that I am 100% disatisfied with the way you operate.

Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
From the Allegiant Air website

You were late. Plain and simple. The reason Allegiant is able to offer low fares is that they keep costs down. Those costs include labor. As was mentioned up-thread even major airlines have cross-utilized agents at smaller airports. They run the ticket counter and then close the counter and move to the gate to act as the boarding agent. It's just the way they do things and it's made perfectly clear on their website.
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  #9  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 7:24 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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That is a bit misleading, however, being in the gate area and at the check-in counter are not the same thing. Most airlines do have a 30-45 minute cutoff time for checking in 9it varies from airport to airport) however you can sometimes cut it closer if you do not check a bag and check in on-line ahead of time. Could you have utilized on-line check-in?
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 7:48 AM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
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It is misleading...it is inconsistent...and again...I don't feel it is the customer's responsibility to have to try and decipher and compare notes from the confirmation email against their website.

No, Allegiant doesn't offer on-line check in, nor did I have any baggage to check. Funny thing is that at this particular airport...the gate, the check-in counter, and the luggage carousel are pretty much one in the same..we aren't talking a big place here.

It just seems like Allegiant is looking for reasons not to make your experience a good one with their hard nosed policies...rather than empowering their employees to do, within reason, whatever it takes to satisfy basic expectations. I realize that mistakes happen...but how you recover from those mistakes is what matters most.



Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
That is a bit misleading, however, being in the gate area and at the check-in counter are not the same thing. Most airlines do have a 30-45 minute cutoff time for checking in 9it varies from airport to airport) however you can sometimes cut it closer if you do not check a bag and check in on-line ahead of time. Could you have utilized on-line check-in?
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  #11  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 2:42 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
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What difference does it make how many passengers the plane holds? But in the spirit of accuracy, I'm not sure what you checked...from Allegiant's website:
  • What type of aircraft does Allegiant Air fly?
  • Allegiant Air operates the McDonnell-Douglas MD 82/83 and McDonnell-Douglas MD 87 series aircraft. Both are powered by two (2) tail-mounted Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines. Both aircraft have two (2) flight deck crew members and three (3) in-flight crew members The MD 82/83 aircraft has 150 coach class seats. The MD 87 aircraft has 130 coach class seats.

[quote=Silent Bob;9007]The plane holds 100 passengers (I checked)
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  #12  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 3:23 PM
Corbel Corbel is offline
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OMG!! this is plain and simple. YOU were in the wrong. YOU were late for the flight. i fly out of RFD on allegiant alot (small airport) and like it says they recommend you checking in at least 2 hours prior to dept. the agents in RFD do both counter and boarding. they close the counter 30min. before departure if your not checked in tough, they need to get the plane out on time. even if you were there 30min. its not so easy as you think to get you checked in, through security then on the plane. there is also the paper work from the flight deck...putting you on board would have meant to start it all over and possibly take a delay. admit the fact, you thought "small town airport, 1 flight a day, who needs 2 hours?" you could have shown up 1 hour and would have made the flight. you were in the wrong, you missed the flight!! people in my local airport do this thing all the time, and the next time they fly, they get there on time!
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  #13  
Old Jun 10, 2009, 3:54 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
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No worries...there are 4 legit airports, with legit airlines, with OPTIONS...within 1 hour in any direction of here. I don't need to deal with the playing of games and the "hardball" tactics of Allegiant. Maybe Allegiant can pull this nonsense off in Fresno, as there really is no other option from there...but Stockton is just too close to SMF, SJC, OAK, and SFO. Again...you get what you pay for. Lesson learned.

Originally Posted by Corbel View Post
OMG!! this is plain and simple. YOU were in the wrong. YOU were late for the flight. i fly out of RFD on allegiant alot (small airport) and like it says they recommend you checking in at least 2 hours prior to dept. the agents in RFD do both counter and boarding. they close the counter 30min. before departure if your not checked in tough, they need to get the plane out on time. even if you were there 30min. its not so easy as you think to get you checked in, through security then on the plane. there is also the paper work from the flight deck...putting you on board would have meant to start it all over and possibly take a delay. admit the fact, you thought "small town airport, 1 flight a day, who needs 2 hours?" you could have shown up 1 hour and would have made the flight. you were in the wrong, you missed the flight!! people in my local airport do this thing all the time, and the next time they fly, they get there on time!
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 6:24 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by DNM95377 View Post
No worries...there are 4 legit airports, with legit airlines, with OPTIONS...within 1 hour in any direction of here. I don't need to deal with the playing of games and the "hardball" tactics of Allegiant. Maybe Allegiant can pull this nonsense off in Fresno, as there really is no other option from there...but Stockton is just too close to SMF, SJC, OAK, and SFO. Again...you get what you pay for. Lesson learned.
Just how is Stockton not a "legit airport"? You make it sound as if you were planning to fly to Vegas on a crop-duster from a corn field!
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 7:26 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
Just how is Stockton not a "legit airport"? You make it sound as if you were planning to fly to Vegas on a crop-duster from a corn field!
PHX when I first read his complaint I thought it was a tiny plane. However I see now I made the mistake in my count and its a 130 seater, not a 100 seater. Which means that small airline has a lot of work to do. 130 is not like 10 or 15.


Quote:
I don't need to deal with the playing of games and the "hardball" tactics of Allegiant.
Hardball tactics??? What hardball tactics? You were LATE for your flight! They didn't play hardball with you, didn't give you the run around, didn't try to bamboozle you. The ultimate truth is that you were late for your flight, bar none. Allegiant didn't do anything wrong, they didn't drop the ball. You're trying to turn blame onto the them, when in fact you were completely to blame. Why is that so hard to accept?
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  #16  
Old Jun 11, 2009, 2:34 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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When it comes to non-refundable fares one must always realize they are, in effect, putting the amount of money paid on a dice table. Maybe you'll win. Maybe you'll "crap out." Just like the gambling casino the odds almost always favor the house or, in this case, the airline. All it takes is your breach of ONE rule, in rules applying to your fare, for your airline to be able to say GOTCHA, you lose! Unless, of course, you feel those worthless vouchers the airlines hand-out are, really, worth something (when they’re even offered.) Deep discounters, like Alligent and Spirit, are very quick to play the “gotcha” game. When one considers the many rules to be complied with it's obvious the airlines have stacked the deck in their favor. Make enough rules and you'll have a situation where you can nail just about anyone. On several occasions, when I've dared to use a non-refundable fare, I've traveled to the airport the night before and stayed at an airport hotel just to avoid the problem of late check-in. Even then a hotel catering to flight attendants can sabatoge your best laid plans as these hotels allow flight attendants on their van ahead of everyone else. Ultimately going for the big bucks and buying a fully refundable ticket can protect you against what is a significantly unreliable, and borderline dishonest, (domestic) air transport system.
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  #17  
Old Jun 11, 2009, 3:51 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Wow talk about being way off based there chief. But ok. See the thing is, even if he bought a refundable ticket, he'd still be under the check in rule of 30 (or 45) minutes - which is what we're talkin about. I've bought first class tickets, arrived late and still not allowed to board, but I don't blame the airline for my own mistakes. The problem is we have a person, who thinks just because it's a small airport and a small airline, they can just walk in and be catered to, when surprise! They win the prize of watching their flight fly away.The OP repeatedly states they arrived 30 minutes to departure when Allegiant's rule is 45, so really who's wrong here?
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 4:17 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Wow. All I can say is wow. The OP is a perfect example of people who can't take personal responsibility. And then Butch has to chime in with the conspiracy crap. It's plain as day to me that he's a republican. Acts just like one. Deflect blame form the real problem. In his post pretty much just change the words airline for gun control and flight attendant for Obama. OK, maybe not exactly, but I'll bet he was Dubya's biggest fan.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 4:29 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Jetliner View Post
Wow. All I can say is wow. The OP is a perfect example of people who can't take personal responsibility. And then Butch has to chime in with the conspiracy crap. It's plain as day to me that he's a republican. Acts just like one. Deflect blame form the real problem. In his post pretty much just change the words airline for gun control and flight attendant for Obama. OK, maybe not exactly, but I'll bet he was Dubya's biggest fan.
Actually, I think Butch might be a democrat. Or at least a Log Cabin Republican. Hey, it's America. The likes of myself and "Butch" are entitled to our opinions!

OMG - I'm sticking up for Butch! This is indeed a banner day!
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  #20  
Old Jun 11, 2009, 4:50 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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If one takes the cynical view that the OP is a perfect example of people who can't take personal responsibility, rather than someone who travels infrequently, and is not used to the airlines' shell games, then a refundable fare is ideal, albeit expensive, for this type of person. Yes, one of the rules requires check-in by a certain time. The OP didn't follow this rule and he got nailed for it. Was the airline acting within the law? Absolutely. Did the airline even offer one of those worthless vouchers they like to hand-out? No. Did they cancel his return reservation? Almost certainly. So was this man treated fairly under the circumstances? I think a lot of non-airline people would answer no?

The only reason why the many rules connected to a given fare are legal is because said rules are NOT subject to state law. Under the laws of many states some of these fares would be illegal transactions because of the length and other confusing aspects of these rules.

As to my political affiliation: The main reason why you see me bashing flight attendants is because I am a strong supporter of civil rights and am therefor repulsed at the idea that a group of people, who aren't anything near a law enforcement officer, are allowed to effectively exercise police powers in a manner completely contrary to the notion of justice in a free Democracy. Accordingly I am one of a small group of "Second Amendment" Dems in a sea of Republicans in the northern Rockies.
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  #21  
Old Jun 12, 2009, 1:06 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
If one takes the cynical view that the OP is a perfect example of people who can't take personal responsibility, rather than someone who travels infrequently, and is not used to the airlines' shell games, then a refundable fare is ideal, albeit expensive, for this type of person. Yes, one of the rules requires check-in by a certain time. The OP didn't follow this rule and he got nailed for it. Was the airline acting within the law? Absolutely. Did the airline even offer one of those worthless vouchers they like to hand-out? No. Did they cancel his return reservation? Almost certainly. So was this man treated fairly under the circumstances? I think a lot of non-airline people would answer no?

I think you may have missed this in the original post...

Originally Posted by DNM95377 View Post
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.
It sounds to me like this was more of an error of complacency. The OP also stated he thought the recommendation to arrive at the airport 2 hours early was ridiculous. Perhaps the first time he indeed arrived with 2 hours to spare and ended up waiting around at the gate. So perhaps the second time he only arrived an hour early and was still ok. This time it seems he cut it too close and it bit him in the butt. Lesson learned. But he still seems to want to blame the airline when he made a choice to arrive at the check-in counter with only 30 minutes to spare. There was no mention of a flat tire or traffic jam so this was a situation that was entirely within his control.
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  #22  
Old Jun 12, 2009, 6:06 PM
DNM95377 DNM95377 is offline
 
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I think the debate here has gotten bigger in scope than it needs to really be. The issue that I have is that I don't think Allegiant's rules and policies are handled "fairly" in the overview. Legal perhaps...shady at best. That's the bottom line. I feel that they are trying to cut corners and costs so much, that they have no choice but to play games in order to "make up the difference" so to speak. That's where I have the problem. Play things straight up...be fair...be honest...be transparent...act like you WANT to be in business serving customers...rather than viewing your customers as an incovenience. "Do the right thing" when you can and are able to do so. I feel that Allegiant could have chosen to do the right thing...make themselves look good by going above and beyond to give good service. Instead...the wanted to take a page out of the DMV or Post Office customer service manual as their template and act like noncaring government zombies "just doing their job".


Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
I think you may have missed this in the original post...



It sounds to me like this was more of an error of complacency. The OP also stated he thought the recommendation to arrive at the airport 2 hours early was ridiculous. Perhaps the first time he indeed arrived with 2 hours to spare and ended up waiting around at the gate. So perhaps the second time he only arrived an hour early and was still ok. This time it seems he cut it too close and it bit him in the butt. Lesson learned. But he still seems to want to blame the airline when he made a choice to arrive at the check-in counter with only 30 minutes to spare. There was no mention of a flat tire or traffic jam so this was a situation that was entirely within his control.
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  #23  
Old Jun 12, 2009, 7:33 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Play things straight up...be fair...be honest...be transparent...act like you WANT to be in business serving customers...rather than viewing your customers as an incovenience. "Do the right thing" when you can and are able to do so.

As you may have discovered, among US-based carriers, Southwest comes closest to this idea. Next would be Virgin America, and, Continental "mainline" (Continental Express and Newark, NJ/"EWR" both suck, big time.) In Canada, West Jet seems to adhere to this idea. Worldwide it's Lufthansa, Singapore, and Cathay Pacific.

The remaining US-based carriers are simply biding their time and waiting for the government to step-in with large scale re-regulation.

With the exception of Southwest, if someone is looking only at price when they're looking for a domestic flight they can expect to get burned in one or more ways. Also, with just about any other major purchase, people will read the "fine print." Not so with air travel. So when things turn to s**t these people cry foul. It's not necessary to read the entire Contract of Carriage. However, familiarizing one's self with certain provisions can save a lot of grief later, and even expose those airline employees who "make-up" rules. Examples are:

* Check-in times,
* Criteria for denied boarding and procedures when it happens
* Rules relating to checked baggage

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  #24  
Old Jun 13, 2009, 7:06 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Originally Posted by DNM95377 View Post
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
Your the one that needs to get the story straight. I went through the booking process, and in the information provided (which must be where you got those times from) it says:

You must check in at the ticket counter or online at least 45 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time; if you do not, your reservation for that segment is subject to cancellation.

Sorry, but they clearly state that checkin closes 45 minutes prior to departure. It doesn't matter the reason why. Yes, it may be that they are using the counter staff to then work the gate. But in a smaller airport, that is not uncommon for any airline. If they only have one flight at a time (or in this case only one all day) they are not going to have two sets of staff, one for the counter and one for the gate.

Again, the reason why is moot. It does not matter. What does matter is that the terms state (and in bold by the way on your printout) that checkin closes 45 minutes prior. You said yourself:

Originally Posted by DNM95377 View Post
So needless to say...we arrived at the TICKET COUNTER exactly 30 minutes prior to flight departure
this means you were 15 minutes too late to check in.

Originally Posted by DNM95377 View Post
especially when we have the paperwork from YOUR company in hand to show you stating 30 minutes)
Refer to the above. You need to read that again. Sorry, but this is another case of someone who wasn't paying attention, didn't read, etc, then instead of admitting they made the mistake, they want to blame the airline.
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