Passengers booked on a Sunday flight to Hawaii from Stockton on Allegiant Air are still fuming at a 27-hour delay.
Among them is groom-to-be Chris Habr. He and his fiance, along with over a dozen wedding guests, were stuck at the passenger terminal after failing to get information about if and when the flight would leave.
“We were sitting in an airport with no kind of information at all and my bride is bawling her eyes out because she’s afraid we’re just going to have to cancel the whole wedding,” said Habr, from Hawaii.
Allegiant eventually said it took time to get a plane to the airport after a mechanical breakdown and that the delay was for the passenger’s safety.
Allegiant is a low cost, high profit carrier that has numerous online complaints about delayed flights and poor customer service. Some critics say the airline uses older planes that it acquires cheaply, but are prone to break-downs. Its strategy of keeping few planes in the air means if there is a break-down, passengers will have a long wait for a replacement.
But the web’s largest airline review site, Skytrax, gives Allegiant a 3 out of 5 star rating which it calls satisfactory except for poor or sub-standard service in some areas. Still, over 110 airlines share that rating, including low-cost leader Southwest Airlines. The ratings are not based on the site’s customer reviews but from its own assessment of airline performance.
Habr’s frustration mirrors many online reviews that say the airline is not forth-coming with information or provided stranded passengers with a means of finding out what was going on.
“When you understand that there’s a delay you should be trying to accommodate your passengers. To take 27 and half hours to get another plane out there is ridiculous,” said Habr.
Luckily, Habr’s wedding party booked a flight five days before the wedding in case there were unknown complications. Allegiant says it will reimburse the Habr party for a night’s lost lodging that cost them about $1,000.