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Valley passengers left stranded in Fla. blast Allegiant



Published: Sun, February 2, 2014 @ 12:08 a.m.

By EMMALEE C. TORISK

etorisk@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

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.


Comments

1observant1(74 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Allegiant Air is a lousy airline. They should change their name to DOGPATCH AIR.
On second thought, that would be an insult to the fine community of Dogpatch.

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2Crimson1012(62 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Why all the surprise...? Did you ever look at their website or flight schedule? The whole operation is built from straw and I am astonished it has taken this long for them to be exposed...

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3JaneDoe(4 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Greyhound, 2 days, $250.

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4grazor50(55 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Allegiant airlines is a discount price airlines and have limited resources to operate, so when problems arise,the remedy for the situation is also limited. In the PUNTA GORDA situation, the airport does not have an ILS (instrument) approach system that allows aircraft to arrive and depart during weather conditions other than normal weather, which is not the airlines responsibility. Money cutbacks (sequestration) by Government officials allows NO money for updating small airports and until reconsidering, actually shut down PUNTA GORDA control tower for a few months in 2013. IN summary, the actual problem stems from this OBAMA administration giving federal monies to overseas entities by the billions,, but does not invest in our own countries infrastructure.

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5plwise(8 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

grazor50,
You sound like you work for Allegiant and just wanted to get a dig in on Obama. (By the way, the Repubs forced the sequestration situation.)

My wife and I had to fly to Orlando 3 years ago and we considered Allegiant, but only briefly. Their schedules were not convenient and I could never reach anyone on the phone. Not a good sign.

In the end, we took Southwest out of PIT... had free baggage and saved $200.

I don't know why the Port Authority keeps spending money on trying to get new carriers at the airport, since all they're going to get is iffy ones like Allegiant.

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6lumper(281 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

welcome to airline travel 2014 !! this is how it is and will be for the foreseeable future. airlines don't care what happens to you as long as there's not a crash involved. the airlines are, however a great financial investment for that same reason. buy all the airline stock you can afford: you will make money.

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7stuckinytown(18 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I booked a flight on Allegiant for March 30th to St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport. Do you think I have time to cancel and reschedule? I have known some of my relatives have used Allegiant recently and they never had a problem. They also flew into St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport.

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8Starbuck(6 comments)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

When booking a flight on Allegiant, or any small airline that operates on a limited schedule, one really needs to consider their travel plans and commitments. In the event of a problem, whether it be one like this, or perhaps a family member becomes ill or dies, and you MUST get home - probably an airline with more flights is a better choice. But, if you aren't on a time schedule, or understand that you may have to purchase another ticket in an emergency, then these small airlines are great! You can avoid the hassles of long lines at TSA, and enjoy easy parking and shorter walks. The downside is fewer, or no, rental cars and limited access to food and beverage - and the obvious, inability to plan for bad weather, mechanical problems, or personal emergencies.

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9cynth7905(1 comment)posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Flew to Florida last Thurs on Allegiant 4 hour delay, no explanation, just lie after lie, "boarding in another 30 mins" yeah sure. Flew back to Ohio Sunday 7 hour and 40 min delay!!! Again treated like cattle, no explanation. Actually put us on a plane, sat for an hour, took us off plane and put us back in terminal, completely left in the dark as to why. Never ever again.

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