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