Today’s Advocate This comes from a concerned mother who hopes we can help her daughter sort out a frustrating and expensive situation with Allegiant Air.
Joanne Smith’s daughter, Megan Emmerich, flew nonstop on Allegiant from Phoenix to Sioux Falls, S.D., in late June. Unfortunately, Emmerich experienced one of my worst travel nightmares. The airline lost her luggage.
Here’s a situation we all can learn from: Emmerich had all of her necessary medications and other belongings — everything except the clothes on her back — in her suitcase. Let me take this opportunity to remind our readers that you should always keep medications and other essentials like a change of clothes in your carry-on, lest you end up in this situation yourself.
Alas, it was too late for Emmerich, so she and Smith visited the Allegiant counter in Sioux Falls as soon as they realized her bag had been lost.
No one was there.
They called the terminal, asking where they could find an Allegiant agent, and were told that no one would represent the airline at the airport until the next day. Frustrated, Emmerich called Allegiant’s customer service number for help. Instead, she was put on hold by a recording for hours.
Finally, she was able to talk to someone, who assured her that her luggage would be sent to her in a timely manner.
In the meantime, Emmerich had to have her pharmacy in Phoenix transfer her prescriptions in order for them to be filled again in Sioux Falls, as well as purchase new essentials and clothing. Allegiant told her to keep the receipts for these items, which she did.
Throughout the week, Emmerich continued to contact customer service, as promised deadlines for receiving her missing luggage came and went. Seven days later, at the end of her trip to Sioux Falls, she finally received her luggage.
All told, Emmerich spent approximately $300 replacing her medications, clothing and other essentials. To date, two months later, Allegiant has still not reimbursed her, even though she immediately submitted receipts as instructed.
As Smith is quick to point out, her daughter is a nursing student who works long hours but still brings home limited income. To Emmerich, $300 is a lot of money.
Emmerich and Smith continue to contact Allegiant customer service and even their corporate offices. Someone they spoke with at corporate promised to look into it — but still, no dice.
Understandably, Emmerich and Smith are very frustrated.
I am too.
A reader once commented on one of my posts that it seemed we here at Elliott.org are against budget airlines that provide necessary transportation to consumers of more limited means.
That’s certainly not the case.
What we are against are corporations and airlines that do not provide the most basic level of customer service. While many of the major carriers are also guilty of this, I can’t count the number of complaints we receive regarding airlines like Allegiant, Spirit and Frontier.
Customer service will improve if we, as consumers, reward with our purchasing power only those airlines that provide it.
In any event, what do you think? Should we take this concerned mother up on her request to help her daughter?