Allegiant Air Needs to Improve Customer Experience

My recent decision to travel from Silicon Valley to Eugene, Oregon, via Amtrak is due to frustration with Allegiant Air on its twice weekly trips between Oakland, California, and Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is not the easiest place to fly to. Long delays and the announcement of delays until after you arrive at the airport are my biggest complaints about Allegiant Air. Perhaps they are trying too hard to save money.

  • The airport staff is pretty junior and not well-prepared for dealing with customers having a “not so great” customer experience.
  • Allegiant Air is flying old MD-80 aircraft they purchased for about $4 million each, a dirt cheap price. They painted them nicely and changed out the interiors to make it feel like you’re on a new aircraft. But, that beauty is only skin deep. Mechanical delays are common—too common for my taste. I’m sure they meet FAA standards, a requirement to fly in the U.S.
  • There was no kiosk to print a boarding pass at the airport—I had to stand in line for an hour after I left my boarding pass sitting on my printer in my office. Big mistake on my part! Yet, to save money, they don’t have kiosks like other airlines.

Finally, Allegiant Air has a Twitter account but they don’t monitor or provide updates via Twitter. They give you a phone number to call on their Twitter profile and warn you that you won’t get a response via Twitter. They had issued a total of 3 tweets from their account back on the 20th of December. I call this “the illusion of using social media.” “Oh, you can communicate or complain about Allegiant on Twitter but this isn’t a way Allegiant chooses to communicate with customers” They want you to call them. What’s wrong with this picture. It’s 2013. Hello?

Allegiant Air needs to pick up its game in terms of communicating with passengers. If Allegiant Air knows hours earlier that they are going to be late several hours, they should let their customers know as soon as they detect this. We are adults. We can handle it. Nobody wants to wait in an airport for 3 or 4 hours if we don’t have to. This only compounds the problem of being late.

Being a low cost carrier doesn’t suggest that their customers should experience lower quality service and a poor customer experience.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© Dave Gardner 2013

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2 Responses to Allegiant Air Needs to Improve Customer Experience

  1. Hi Dave, the Allegiant social media team saw your post. We are always on the lookout for traveler feedback, and opportunities to engage with our travelers.

    The Allegiant business model is based on giving leisure travelers in small cities access to inexpensive, nonstop service to world-class vacation destinations.

    We can assure you that our aircraft are regularly inspected and serviced, and that the safety of our passengers and crew is always priority. We are sorry to hear about delays – they are never intentional and we try to mitigate them the best we can. We very rarely (if ever) are able to anticipate delays hours in advance. Even when we are able to anticipate the possibility of a delay, there is no way to definitively know the length of the delay. Best to have all travelers checked-in and prepared to board so that we may takeoff as soon as is possible.

    In regards to Twitter. you are correct, We do not respond to every Twitter complaint. Our social media accounts are not a part of our customer service team. We do monitor our Twitter account for feedback and answer questions, but we do not have someone on Twitter 24/7. Our business model – and our low fares – are dependent on lean, efficient staff and thoughtful, purposeful prioritizing of resources. .

    Again, thanks for your feedback!

    Like

  2. Dave says:

    I’m sorry, but, I’m having difficulty understanding what you are going to do to improve customer experience. You seem content with the status quo. I find your response to be more “corporate speak” than reassuring that you are interested in improving the customer experience. It seems you are looking at the issues I raise from Allegiant Air’s perspective, not your customer’s perspective. I don’t feel your strategy is going to work on a longer term basis. In your industry, it’s not hard to be a stand out. I would think you’d want to stand out for things you can proud of, not things that are major frustrations for customers.

    Like

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