Customer Service is Key!

9 10 2007

My husband and I had a bad experience recently on Allegiant Air out of Peoria. I wanted to contact the company to let them know about my bad experience. When attempting to do so I found that you can only mail them a letter, you cannot call or email them. Below are the letter I wrote them and the response that I got (which did not address one of the key issues I mention -the drunken passenger). I will not be using their services again despite the low prices.

My letter:

X October 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

My husband and I recently flew Allegiant round trip from Peoria, IL to Las Vegas. I was seriously disappointed by our return trip – Flight Number XXX on September X, 2007. The flight was scheduled to take off at 4:25 PM Pacific Time and land at 9:45 PM Central Time.

Due to mechanical problems on two different planes, we did not depart Las Vegas until close to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time – more than 3 ½ hours later than promised. We arrived in Peoria at 12:20 AM central time. By the time we deboarded and got our baggage, it was past 1:00 AM central time.

We chose to purchase tickets on Allegiant Air specifically because of the departure and arrival times. We wanted to maximize the length of the trip and decided to return to our hometown in the evening instead of the afternoon, intending to work the next morning.

It was unnerving that three planes had mechanical issues during the time we were waiting to board. In addition to the two planes used for our flight, another plane was met by the fire trucks to extinguish flames that we were told by your employee were caused by “hot brakes”. I am forced to wonder about the safety standards of Allegiant Air.

Once we got on the plane, my husband and I intended to make the best of a bad situation and sleep. Unfortunately, we were unable to do so, due to an extremely inebriated passenger who was disruptive to the people that were sitting around him. The flight attendants should have declined to serve this individual alcohol due to his overwhelmingly drunken state (as is the repeatedly stated mission of your airline). The passenger stated that he lived approximately 50 miles from the airport. I would not be surprised to learn that this individual got in a serious accident or received a DUI on the way home. Carelessness like this puts anyone using public roads in extreme danger.

We are frequent travelers. We have never experienced a flight situation as unpleasant as this one. It is uncertain that we will use your service in the future.

Thank-you for your attention in regards to this matter,

Their response (which by the way, came via email – what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander in this case):

Dear Customer,

I have read and reviewed your letter dated October 1, 2007. Thank you for taking the time to convey your thoughts and frustrations.

First and foremost please allow me to assure you that at no time would we allow our passengers or our flight crews to fly on an unsafe aircraft. We can appreciate the fact that a delay is frustrating and has a negative impact on your travel plans and we regret that situation. Our biggest goal is to operate every flight without delay, however in today’s airline industry, delays occur not only to Allegiant Air flights but to every carrier. It is a fact of doing business.

We of course stand behind our pilot’s decision to delay the flight and have maintenance check performed if he had any reservations before operating the flight. Our dispatch manager made the decision to switch aircraft after receiving the repair time estimate from the maintenance division.

The aircraft with hot brakes is also not as uncommon as you may think and as a precaution we the firefighting equipment standing by if needed. I apologize if the agent made it seem that this was an emergency.

I can understand that you were unnerved by the fact that 2 planes needed to be used to operate your flight. The only comment I have for you is that at no time were you or the other passengers in any danger. Safety is our number one priority.

Again, I understand that you are frustrated with us at this point. We all hope that in the future you will able to accept this apology and provide us another opportunity to serve your travel needs.


They act like this was a short delay. In no place did they mention that the delay was exteme – well over 3 hours. The safety issues were on two planes, not one.

They do not address the very serious issue of the drunken passenger. The staff stated several times during the pre-flight talk that they would cut inebriated passengers off. This passenger was very loud and obnoxious and slurring his words through the entire flight home, yet they kept serving him alcohol. They should have stopped serving him and perhaps asked him to quiet down.

Honestly, I don’t think their foremost concern is safety, I think it is doing things in the cheapest manner possible.

In no place do they accept any responsibility for the problems on this flight, yet they ask that I please accept their apology.

By the way, everyone on the flight got a complimentary beverage for their troubles (read: 1/3 can of soda in an 8 oz. cup filled with ice).

I will not be flying Allegiant again, even if I have to pay more. My husband and I travel a lot and never have I experienced anything like this.




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