Valley passengers left stranded in Fla. blast Allegiant



It’s not likely that Donna Bobeck will fly Allegiant Air again.

The Girard woman said she and her husband, Walter Bobeck, have been stranded in Punta Gorda, Fla., since Thursday, when their first flight back to Youngstown was canceled for “operational need.” Flight 980 then was renamed Flight 1980 and rescheduled for Friday, but, again, was canceled, along with several others — this time because of “the weather in Punta Gorda,” according to Allegiant Air’s website.

After Friday’s flight was canceled, airline representatives distributed a letter to “passengers for whom the canceled segment is a return flight,” explaining they’d “waive change fees and fare difference for passengers who wish to reschedule their flight to any other flight in Allegiant’s network within the next two weeks,” and if they elected not to reschedule on Allegiant, they’d “receive a refund of the unused airfare on their Allegiant itinerary.”

The letter, the text of which is available on Allegiant’s website, also noted that passengers could “submit receipts for reasonable transportation expenses related to returning to their origination city that exceed their airfare refund,” and that all would receive “an additional $100 voucher for future travel with Allegiant.” The airline apologized, too, for the “inconvenience.”

Allegiant could not be reached for comment.

Bobeck said the most frustrating part of the entire situation is that the airline has offered virtually no assistance to its passengers. She added that her original Jan. 9 Allegiant flight to Punta Gorda from Youngstown had also been canceled, then rescheduled to Jan. 10.

“They didn’t do anything to help us,” she said. “The letter basically said, ‘You’re on your own. Make your own arrangements.’”

Bobeck then was forced to book a Monday flight from Fort Myers, Fla., to Akron via AirTran Airways. In all, the fiasco has cost her an extra $1,000, which includes the full-price flight back home, the rental car to drive from Akron to Girard, and hotel costs.

Peggy Scott of Warren is in a similar situation. She estimated that she spent a similar amount of money booking a Delta Air Lines flight out of Fort Myers on Friday, then arriving in Cleveland at about 11:30 p.m., only to drive a rental car home.

Scott, too, said she was angered by the airline’s lack of explanation and sympathy.

“I’m just amazed at the uncaringness of the whole thing,” Scott said.

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