My story starts with 4 of my nephews flying from Phoenix to come and visit me in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Unfortunately Sleepy Eye is pretty remote, so it's a 2 1/2 hour trip one way from my home to Sioux Falls, where they were flying to. To begin with their flight out of Phoenix was delayed about 2, almost 3 hours. Delays happen no big deal. I arrived about 9:30pm at Sioux Falls, expecting the flight to land at about 10pm, it didn't. I looked on the arrival screen and saw nothing, I tried to find an Allegiant Air representative at the 'AA' counter, there wasn't anyone there. I started hearing other people say that the flight had been diverted to Sioux City. Sioux City is an hour drive south of Sioux Falls. Apparently there was a storm that had caused the flight to be diverted. The weird thing is the weather in Sioux Falls was fine and other planes had been landing without issue.
I managed to get hold of one of my nephews via cell phone and he told me that sure enough they had landed at Sioux City, and he wasn't being told a whole lot about what was going to happen next. Was the plane going to come back to Sioux Falls? Were they going to be put up in a hotel for the night? Noone was being told anything. After sitting around for about an hour trying to get some answers from Allegiant, calling back to Phoenix to let my sister know what was going on, then calling back to my nephew for any updates. I knew I had to make a decision. Obviously I didn't want to drive another hour south if the plane was going to be coming back to Sioux Falls. At this point the weather was still fine at Sioux Falls. Finally about 1am my nephew called and said they were being taken to the terminal and that the plane needed to be checked out by the ground crew to make sure it was still air worthy. Great! I called my sister to let her know, she wasn't keen on having them board the plane again. She asked if I would mind going to pick them up. This was the first trip these kids had taken alone, so I wasn't to pleased at the thought of having them spend the night in a new city, without any transport (the eldest is only 17 and only has a permit) and no adult supervision.
As I made my way south, the weather got progressively worse. About 25 miles north of Sioux City I had to pull over and take shelter at a gas station, the wind and rain were that ferocious. I've driven through storms before, but this one was scary.
Half an hour later the weather improved a little and I continued on down. At about 15 miles to the city I had to seek shelter again at another gas station. By the time I got down to Sioux City airport it was about 3am. I arrived at a small building on the airport grounds where my nephews had been dumped. No food, no offer of a hotel for the night, they didn't even let them stay in the terminal. The pilot and crew apparently just took off, I'm sure the company put them up at a nice hotel. To say I was pissed off was an understatement. I couldn't believe an airline would just dump 4 kids by themselves at some airline companies offices for the night. I picked up the boys, found them a McDonalds to get something to eat and then got them into a hotel for the night. We woke up the next morning tired but none the worse for wear.
This is when the insult gets kicked into the injury. I called Allegiant and explained what had happened and asked if we could pickup their luggage at Sioux City. I'd already missed work for the morning and was hoping I wouldn't have to take the whole day off. The Allegiant rep told me that "No it's not possible to collect their baggage" and that it was being flown back up to Sioux Falls, apparently it would be there about 1pm. I explained what we'd been through. But she would not budge. It was about 8:30am at the time. I did my best to make her understand what an absolute pain in the ass it would be to have to go back to Sioux Falls, then have to wait 4 hours for the luggage before making the 2 1/2 hour trip home. Alternatively I would have to make a 5 hour round trip to pick them up at a later time. This wasn't an option I was looking forward to either. I asked if the airline would be willing to deliver the bags to us in Sleepy Eye. She told me NO, if I wanted them to be delivered I would have to pay for the shipping myself. ...o...k. Way to go with the customer service Allegiant. By this time I'm seeing red, but not wanting to spoil my nephews first day of vacation with a shouting match, I decided to remain calm and head back to Sioux Falls. We stopped and got breakfast, and slowly made our way back up. Took our time, did some sight seeing (lots of lovely cornfields), and got to Sioux Falls about 11:30. We went and got some lunch to kill a little more time and then headed to the airport.
Upon arrival I tried to find out if the flight had left on time and what time it would be arriving, again there wasn't a soul to be found at the Allegiant counter at the airport. At this point I blew my stack, I called the Allegiant helpline (I mean JOKE line) and got the following recorded message. "We are experiencing a high volume of calls, please call back later" CLICK! and was promptly hung up on. Now I'm in VOLCANO mode. I'm so pissed off I'm thinking I'm going to get myself arrested because the first person I see with an Allegiant shirt on is going to get their ass beat. I call the 'sales' line and explain to the gentlemen on the phone that I wanted to speak to a supervisor. He told me that supervisors will not get on a call with a customer....oh how convenient!!!!
I apologized to the sales rep about yelling at him (not his fault he has to work for morons). I then explained then entire story so far, told him I wanted some answers and I wanted them NOW!! After putting me on hold 3 times and about 1/2 hour later, he told me that the bags were NOT going to be arriving by plane, that they were being bussed up along with the other passengers from last nights flight. The bus, he said would be arriving in about ANOTHER 45 minutes. This poor guy Alex, got another massive dose of PISSED OFF CUSTOMER. I told him I wanted a message sent to the higher ups, that I was going to do everything in my power to bad mouth Allegiant, that I wanted a refund for not only the tickets, but the hotel, food, gas and my days worth of wages. I told him I was not going to settle for travel vouchers or free tickets. Come to find out they call them Customer Retention Vouchers...what a joke. Why the hell would I want to fly with these douchebags!!! I want cold hard cash for MY refund. He told me he was writing it up and that a customer consultant or some such bullshit would contact me within 24 to 48 hours.
I went back inside the airport to try to find an Allegiant rep to get some straight answers, again there wasn't a single person at the Allegiant counter. I finally had to ask a TSA agent if she could please find me someone to speak to. Thankfully she did, and about 10 minutes later a rep showed up at the desk. It's a good thing I'm not a violent person because believe me, the bullshit answers I got out of this gal would have made the average guy deck her sorry little ass. She said it wasn't her fault and that she was doing her best blah blah blah. I told her she should have kicked this can upstairs and made someone with some bloody authority take charge of the situation and make it right. At this point a reporter from a local new station and his camera guy had shown up and were interviewing irate customers. They wanted to interview me on camera but at this point I was so pissed I knew I would come off as some raving lunatic. I politely declined went back to my truck to wait it out. Finally the bags did arrived and on the way back to the truck with the bags the reporter asked me again to say a few words about the situation. I told them a shortened version of this story. Explained that a little communication on the part of Allegiant would have gone a hell of a long way. All in all it took me 24 hours to rescue my nephews from this nightmare. I left Sleepy Eye at 5:30pm on Sunday and we got back at 5:30pm on Monday. A whole day of my life in Allegiant Hell!!!!!
It's now my mission to get some money out of these freaking idiots and to bad mouth them to every single person who will listen to me. If I have my way, these assholes will be out of business and never get to fly a plane again. They have 24 hours left to call me then I'm going to come unglued and go on a mission. I've already setup this page on Facebook 'Allegiant Air Sucks' (please LIKE IT) and that's just the start. I'm going to be the biggest pain in the ass these guys have ever known until I get some satisfaction and a big check for a refund. Right now their total is about $1310.85. If they think they can ignore me because I'm just one person, they obviously haven't gone to bed with a mosquito in the room. I'm going to be that mosquito. I'm going to keep calling their sales line and waste their personnel’s time and the companies money until the finally pay me to go away. You hear me Allegiant, you pissed off the wrong guy. Pay Up or Prepare For War ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!! F.U!