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Allegiant delays put Amtrak to shame

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Trogdor

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From http://www2.allegiantair.com/travel-advisory

Travel Advisory
3/30/2013

Flight 571 originally scheduled to depart Honolulu, HI to Las Vegas, NV on March 30, 2013 will now be operating as Flight 1571 on March 31, 2013. The new scheduled time of departure out of Honolulu is 8:00 am, arriving in Las Vegas at 4:45 pm.

Flight 883 from Grand Rapids, MI to St. Petersburg, FL originally scheduled to depart Grand Rapids, MI at 6:20pm on March 30, 2013 will be operated as Flight 1883 on March 31, 2013 departing from Grand Rapids, MI at 10:35 am, arriving in St. Petersburg, FL at 1:05 pm.

Flight 125 originally scheduled to depart Sioux Falls, SD to Phoenix/Mesa, AZ onMarch 30 2013 will now be operating as Flight 1125 on March 31 2013. The new scheduled time of departure out of Sioux Falls is 3:00 pm, arriving in Phoenix/Mesa at 3:50 pm.

3/31/2013

Flight 580 from Las Vegas, NV to Bellingham, WA originally scheduled to depart Las Vegas, NV at 8:00 am on March 31, 2013 will be operated as Flight 1580 on April 1, 2013 departing from Las Vegas, NV at 3:05pm, arriving in Bellingham, WA at 5:45 pm.

Flight 581 from Bellingham, WA to Las Vegas, NV originally scheduled to depart Bellingham, WA at 11:45 am on March 31, 2013 will be operated as Flight 1581 on April 1, 2013 departing from Bellingham, WA at 7:00 pm, arriving in Las Vegas, NV at 9:30 pm.

Flight 966 from Punta Gorda, FL to Peoria, IL originally scheduled to depart Punta Gorda, FL at 2:50pm on March 31, 2013 will be operated as Flight 1966 on April 1, 2013 departing from Punta Gorda, FL at 10:00am, arriving in Peoria, IL at 11:30am.

Flight 967 from Peoria, IL to Punta Gorda, FL originally scheduled to depart Peoria, IL at 5:00pm on March 31, 2013 will be operated as Flight 1967 on April 1, 2013 departing from Peoria, IL at 12:10pm, arriving in Punta Gorda, FL at 3:40pm.
 
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jebr

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They don't even give a reason why they're basically pushing them back to the next day. Sheesh, let the customer know.

However, they're the only ones that fly out of St. Cloud, MN, though they're not very useful (no connections, only fly to certain areas, etc.) I'd consider flying them, craziness and all, if they had decent connections.
 

fairviewroad

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I'm guessing none of those passengers will be offered an emergency can of Dinty Moore beef stew, either!
 

Blackwolf

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There have been a few stories on them and the serious 'delays' that happen in the past. One here locally was about a couple heading to Hawaii to be married; their entire wedding group was already there and they were taking Allegiant from Stockton, CA to Hawaii with a plan of arriving the day of the wedding. Needless to say, the flight got 'bumped' and they missed their own wedding. Better yet, because there were only three flights a week (another familiar Amtrak reference on some routes) they had to wait two days for their next flight; Allegiant would not refund their ticket because it had been bought as a deal and it had conditions which restricted any kind of refund what-so-ever... Even if the airline F**ked up. And because Stockton has no other airline service, simply walking over to another airline's counter and getting on another flight was impossible.

The reason then, as it most likely is now, is that Allegiant only has 6 aircraft capable of flying to Hawaii (Boeing 757-200's.) Usually two are down for service or mechanical difficulties at any given time (they are old, worn-out, and very heavily used aircraft bought third-hand from Thompson Airways in the UK.) The rest of their fleet is a mish-mash of MD 80's of various vintages and troubled histories. Like a lot of other 'low-cost' carriers, they have an old hand-me-down fleet of planes, second-rate crews, and a shoestring budget. But their fares are rock-bottom!

Just goes to show: you get what you pay for. :eek:hboy:
 
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jebr

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Allegiant would not refund their ticket because it had been bought as a deal and it had conditions which restricted any kind of refund what-so-ever... Even if the airline F**ked up.
That sounds like it could be considered either bait-and-switch or fall under some sort of consumer protection clause (services not as advertised.) Mechanical issues are fully within the airline's control, and they shouldn't be selling services they can't provide, especially if they don't refund the money.

Could be a small claims court case, and one that seems pretty easy to argue. IANAL, though.
 

Texan Eagle

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And because Stockton has no other airline service, simply walking over to another airline's counter and getting on another flight was impossible
Stockton is not out in the boonies. There is not one, but four airports (SFO, OAK, SJC, SAC) within an hour to hour and half of drive from Stockton and there is also public transportation (Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin) to reach these airports. If I was in a situation where I was going to miss my own wedding due to an airline's screwup, I'd go to either of these airports and get a flight on another airline.. but hey, why let facts come in the way of a good sensational story!
 

Blackwolf

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And because Stockton has no other airline service, simply walking over to another airline's counter and getting on another flight was impossible
Stockton is not out in the boonies. There is not one, but four airports (SFO, OAK, SJC, SAC) within an hour to hour and half of drive from Stockton and there is also public transportation (Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin) to reach these airports. If I was in a situation where I was going to miss my own wedding due to an airline's screwup, I'd go to either of these airports and get a flight on another airline.. but hey, why let facts come in the way of a good sensational story!
No, Stockton is not that far away from other airports. But it is still stand-alone and Allegiant is the only carrier to fly from the facility. In fact, not even cargo operations use Stockton any longer, even though UPS used to have a very large operation there as did DHL.

This said, the couple in question were not in the best financial condition to begin with (aka, they should have probably had a justice of the peace wedding and saved the money for a down payment on a house; whats the fun in that, though?) They burned their cash with using a second-rate airline with shoddy equipment and paid the price. OTOH, so did 188 other people at the same time.

I'm plenty familiar with the airports of Northern California; flown out of nearly all of them before, and I've lived here for 28 years. :)

I'd also never fly on Allegiant for more than just their performance issues. The legacy carriers all have Frequent Flyer programs and perks like interoperability that makes spending a few more dollars over what I like to term "Pirate Airlines" so much more worth it.
 

AmtrakBlue

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A little OT. I heard on the news tonight that Spirit, which is starting flights out of PHL was not allowed to land it's first plane there because they had not gotten FAA approval yet, so they landed in ?Atlantic City? and bussed the passengers to Philly.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I'm confused.

Has anyone in this thread been impacted by this change?

Worded another way, has anyone on the entire forum ever been impacted by anything Allegiant (or Spirit or Ryanair) has ever done?

I'm just a little curious since a handful of narrow market regional airlines seem to receive a surprising amount of routine attention on here.
 

Trogdor

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And because Stockton has no other airline service, simply walking over to another airline's counter and getting on another flight was impossible
Stockton is not out in the boonies. There is not one, but four airports (SFO, OAK, SJC, SAC) within an hour to hour and half of drive from Stockton and there is also public transportation (Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin) to reach these airports. If I was in a situation where I was going to miss my own wedding due to an airline's screwup, I'd go to either of these airports and get a flight on another airline.. but hey, why let facts come in the way of a good sensational story!
Not knowing the couple's situation (and, though it's long after the fact, I'm not sure why anyone would plan their own wedding in a far-away location where they don't intend to arrive until day of), it's hard to say. But if Allegiant doesn't endorse their ticket over (and I highly doubt they would), they couple would have to pay walk-up fares at whatever airline they chose.

As for public transportation, the Capitol Corridor does not serve Stockton. The San Joaquin runs infrequently, and probably isn't the first thing on someone's mind when trying to fly to Hawaii. The SJ only has two trips per day to SAC, and connections to OAK, SFO or SJC would take a while.

Their screwup was not allowing a buffer day to get to the wedding (though, even a one-day buffer wouldn't work if the next flight wasn't for two days). If they don't have money to pay for a walk-up fare for another airline, then they simply didn't have the option of going to another airport/airline, since it would be entirely on their dime.

One could debate how much play a story like this should get, but in my opinion, people should be aware of the potential downsides of flying an airline like Allegiant. The average person on the street has no reason to know what kind of reliability Allegiant has vs. other airlines, or the fact that there is little/no backup opportunities should things go wrong. Why should we expect them to know those details? How transportation works is a mystery to most people (even many people on this forum don't understand how railroads work, and these are folks who dedicate a disproportionate amount of their attention to railroads). The idea of spare equipment, rested crews, equipment substitutions, duty hour regulations, inspection requirements, etc., are all things that airlines (or other transportation companies) are supposed to know and be the experts on, so the end customer doesn't have to deal with it.

But if you are just a normal person who travels extremely infrequently, on a limited budget, you probably don't have much, if any experience with any of the airlines. All you know is, there is an airline flying from A to B, selling a ticket for $X. You buy the ticket, fully expecting to get from A to B when the airline says you'll get there. If there is any reason to believe that the airline isn't going to be able to fulfill that expectation, you sure as hell aren't going to find out on their website when you book your ticket weeks or months in advance. Allegiant isn't going to post a banner above their booking engine saying "We have a limited fleet of old planes with high maintenance requirements, and many cities don't have mechanical personnel or parts on-hand, so if something goes wrong, it might take a day or two before we get the plane running, and we can't rebook you because we fly to airports that nobody else does, and we only fly two or three times per week, so you could be completely screwed."

So, if the airline itself won't tell you what to beware of, who will? You'll have to learn about the experiences others have had. Of course, one should always use caution when reading negative stories, because they will always emphasize only the negative, and you rarely get a sense of overall context to learn how often the problem occurs compared to their overall operation. But that's just the nature of the beast.
 

saxman

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I wouldn't call Allegiant a shoddy airline. They operate on a totally different business practice than any other legacy or LCC. Their market is to take leisure travelers from smaller markets to the vacation spots, Florida, Hawaii, Vegas, Arizona. And they seem to do pretty well at at it. Their crews have as much experience as any legacy carrier crew does as well because they hire from the regionals or corporate world. As far as the wedding couple, yes I think they should have at least offered a refund or something.
 

jebr

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I'm confused.
Has anyone in this thread been impacted by this change?

Worded another way, has anyone on the entire forum ever been impacted by anything Allegiant (or Spirit or Ryanair) has ever done?

I'm just a little curious since a handful of narrow market regional airlines seem to receive a surprising amount of routine attention on here.
My guess is that, for these regional airlines, it's when they have an issue, even a minor one, it quickly becomes a major issue or inconvenience for travelers.

For example, if United (or any major airline) had a cancelled flight due to mechanical issues, passengers are fairly easily routed to either another airline or one of their other multiple flights a day. It's a pain, but you generally are only late by a few hours, unless it's a weather issue and no one's flying. (My guess is SWA also doesn't appear for the same reason - even though they won't rebook you on another airline, they have enough flights each day that you'll still get there with only a delay of a few hours.)

However, if Allegiant only flies one flight a day, your airplanes are booked solid, and the mechanical issue takes time to fix, you all of a sudden are put in a predicament where you literally can't fly people out for another day, at least. (Some places only fly out every couple of days, so there's an even greater delay there.) Pair this with the fact that they won't rebook you on another airline, and you're stuck.

Ryanair and Spirit are put here mainly because they have so many fees, and people hate paying fees or going a la carte, even if it's overall a better value. (For example, if I'm just going somewhere for a day or two, I can get by with a backpack with a change of clothes inside it, along with some toiletries. But only Spirit rewards me for that decision by having a lower base fare...other airlines would still charge me the higher base fare which includes a carry-on suitcase, even though I'm not using that.) I think most people here are used to the Amtrak model where fees are few and far between, and to see an airline that basically operates on fees is seen as crazy, because they're used to everything being included.

(Me, personally? If Spirit is cheap enough, why not? I won't rely on it for a business meeting or something of that grave nature, but Spirit is cheap enough to do a day trip to a close city by plane. I don't need more than a backpack for that.)
 

trainman74

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Worded another way, has anyone on the entire forum ever been impacted by anything Allegiant (or Spirit or Ryanair) has ever done?
Just this past Sunday night, I was picking a friend up at LAX who was flying Spirit from Chicago.

The flight was supposed to get in at 11:00 P.M., but due to a mechanical delay, it arrived at 3:15 A.M.

So, yes, I have been impacted by something Spirit did, extremely recently.
 

Devil's Advocate

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If you are just a normal person who travels extremely infrequently, on a limited budget, you probably don't have much, if any experience with any of the airlines. All you know is, there is an airline flying from A to B, selling a ticket for $X. You buy the ticket, fully expecting to get from A to B when the airline says you'll get there. If there is any reason to believe that the airline isn't going to be able to fulfill that expectation, you sure as hell aren't going to find out on their website when you book your ticket weeks or months in advance. Allegiant isn't going to post a banner above their booking engine saying "We have a limited fleet of old planes with high maintenance requirements, and many cities don't have mechanical personnel or parts on-hand, so if something goes wrong, it might take a day or two before we get the plane running, and we can't rebook you because we fly to airports that nobody else does, and we only fly two or three times per week, so you could be completely screwed."
Hmm. Now let's try saying it this way...
If you are just a normal person who travels extremely infrequently, on a limited budget, you probably don't have much, if any experience with [Amtrak]. All you know is, there is a [train] from A to B, selling a ticket for $X. You buy the ticket, fully expecting to get from A to B when [Amtrak] says you'll get there. If there is any reason to believe that [Amtrak] isn't going to be able to fulfill that expectation, you sure as hell aren't going to find out on their website when you book your ticket weeks or months in advance. [Amtrak] isn't going to post a banner above their booking engine saying "We have a limited fleet of old [trains] with high maintenance requirements, and many cities don't have mechanical personnel or parts on-hand, so if something goes wrong, it might take a day or two before we get the [train] running, and we can't rebook you because we [travel to stations] that nobody else does, and we only [travel] two or three times per week, so you could be completely screwed."
Interesting.

Worded another way, has anyone on the entire forum ever been impacted by anything Allegiant (or Spirit or Ryanair) has ever done?
Just this past Sunday night, I was picking a friend up at LAX who was flying Spirit from Chicago. The flight was supposed to get in at 11:00 P.M., but due to a mechanical delay, it arrived at 3:15 A.M. So, yes, I have been impacted by something Spirit did, extremely recently.
That makes one person. Anyone else?
 
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PRR 60

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Worded another way, has anyone on the entire forum ever been impacted by anything Allegiant (or Spirit or Ryanair) has ever done?
Just this past Sunday night, I was picking a friend up at LAX who was flying Spirit from Chicago.

The flight was supposed to get in at 11:00 P.M., but due to a mechanical delay, it arrived at 3:15 A.M.

So, yes, I have been impacted by something Spirit did, extremely recently.
How much money was saved using Spirit instead of United or American? Isn't this a little like going to the Dollar Store and then complaining that it's not like Nordstrom?
 

fairviewroad

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If you go to flightstats.com, it shows that for the current reporting period (Jan 15-March 15), Spirit

Airlines had an OTP of 72%.

In the same time period, United had an OTP of 73%; American 77%, US Airways 76%, Air Canada 71%, British

Airways 74%,

So Spirit is definitely in the range of the legacy carriers.

Allegiant, OTOH, was just 62%.

As far as Spirit arriving into LAX 4 1/4 hours late...well, the last time I had to spend the night at an airport was

at LAX trying to fly to ORD on a United red-eye, which canceled with no explanation. After re-booking me on the

next flight out (6 a.m. the next morning) the gate agent told me no hotel vouchers would be issued but that he

was happy to recommend a quiet-ish spot in the terminal where I could try to get some sleep on the floor.

Not exactly Nordstrom service.

Why shouldn't a passenger book the cheapest ticket they can find?
 

Trogdor

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Hmm. Now let's try saying it this way...

If you are just a normal person who travels extremely infrequently, on a limited budget, you probably don't have much, if any experience with [Amtrak]. All you know is, there is a [train] from A to B, selling a ticket for $X. You buy the ticket, fully expecting to get from A to B when [Amtrak] says you'll get there. If there is any reason to believe that [Amtrak] isn't going to be able to fulfill that expectation, you sure as hell aren't going to find out on their website when you book your ticket weeks or months in advance. [Amtrak] isn't going to post a banner above their booking engine saying "We have a limited fleet of old [trains] with high maintenance requirements, and many cities don't have mechanical personnel or parts on-hand, so if something goes wrong, it might take a day or two before we get the [train] running, and we can't rebook you because we [travel to stations] that nobody else does, and we only [travel] two or three times per week, so you could be completely screwed."
Interesting.
Yes. We have an entire forum on this very website for things like that. Plus the occasional "horror story" that makes it into the news media and whatnot.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Yes. We have an entire forum on this very website for things like that. Plus the occasional "horror story" that makes it into the news media and whatnot.
What I don't understand is why some folks who are so relaxed toward Amtrak are so critical toward random airlines. Amtrak has told passengers that their train is canceled for days on end with no bus or flight to take its place. Why is that only a big deal when some regional airline does it? I've flown on more airlines than I have fingers but I've never once seen Allegiant come up as an option when searching for flights across the major aggregators. Allegiant may be a terrible airline for all I know, but so far as I can tell it doesn't appear to be the sort of airline that most folks are likely to encounter or is otherwise representative of most common carriers.
 

jis

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It has to do with emotional attachment issues. That is why at least I try to ignore most of that. Just call out the most egregous ones from time to time, as I think does PRR.

I also sometimes do completely blasphemous things like post a positive item about airlines, and then duck :) I do that only when I am feeling particularly mischievous.
 
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fairviewroad

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I've flown on more airlines than I have fingers but I've never once seen Allegiant come up as an option when searching for flights across the major aggregators. Allegiant may be a terrible airline for all I know, but so far as I can tell it doesn't appear to be the sort of airline that most folks are likely to encounter or is otherwise representative of most common carriers.
Your point about it not being representative is true, but the reason you've never seen Allegiant come up as an option when searching for flights has nothing to do with their potential usefulness and everything to do with the fact that they don't participate in the travel industry's major booking databases. All of their tickets must be booked directly from the airline. (Southwest employs this same model, IIRC)

For all the garbage people love to say about Allegiant...they have been one of the nation's most profitable airlines:

http://thegazette.com/2013/01/30/allegiant-records-sharply-higher-4th-quarter-annual-profit/

How many other carriers have posted 40 consecutive profitable quarters? None of the legacies, that's for sure.
 
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Swadian Hardcore

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This airline is crazy. They somehow found a way to make loads of profits flying Peoria-Punta Gorda. I guess it's a combination of the monopoly, low fares, and high fees for everything. Still, their planes are really bad. It's like the Megabus of airlines.
 

Texan Eagle

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This airline is crazy. They somehow found a way to make loads of profits flying Peoria-Punta Gorda. I guess it's a combination of the monopoly, low fares, and high fees for everything. Still, their planes are really bad. It's like the Megabus of airlines.
How many times have you flown on Allegiant to make this statement? I ask, because I have flown them about half a dozen times and their planes are as good, or bad, as the so-called "legacy" airlines. And the tons of extra fees, I call them "dumb tax". Every time I flew Allegiant, I only paid the first displayed price, you have to be smart to know how to refuse all the add-ons they try to force on you.
 

Swadian Hardcore

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This airline is crazy. They somehow found a way to make loads of profits flying Peoria-Punta Gorda. I guess it's a combination of the monopoly, low fares, and high fees for everything. Still, their planes are really bad. It's like the Megabus of airlines.
How many times have you flown on Allegiant to make this statement? I ask, because I have flown them about half a dozen times and their planes are as good, or bad, as the so-called "legacy" airlines. And the tons of extra fees, I call them "dumb tax". Every time I flew Allegiant, I only paid the first displayed price, you have to be smart to know how to refuse all the add-ons they try to force on you.
The "legacy" airlines don't have good planes, either. And if you like Megabus, then you would probably like Allegiant too, it's just not what I prefer. I actually kinda like the MD-80, but the poor legroom is always a problem. I liked the AA MD-80 when they had More Room Throughout Coach.
 
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