BOISE – A dream vacation quickly turned into anxiety for roughly 180 passengers booked to fly from Boise to Honolulu on Allegiant Airlines.
The Boise Airport’s newest airline Allegiant promises customers a trip to paradise for a nonstop, affordable price.
However, customers scheduled to leave from Boise on flight 1063, Sunday March 10th, were notified that their trip was canceled.
“I thought it was a joke and he says oh yeah it's been canceled,” said passenger Alison Dorsey. “Then you could see the turmoil in the rest of the airport.”
Dorsey, an employee of KTVB, said the flight was bumped more than twice with about an hour of notice the first time. “We had to re-book our connecting flight which cost money,” she said.
A MAJOR DELAY
Twenty-six hours later, on Monday, March 11th, the plane finally took off from Boise and arrived in Honolulu a day later than it was supposed to.
“It was just kind of a miserable flight all around,” said Dorsey. “And the same time, you are missing out on a day in Hawaii.”
Spokesperson for Allegiant Air, Brian Davis, said the plane was stuck in Honolulu waiting on a mechanical error that had to be repaired.
That also meant those passengers returning from their Hawaii trip were also stranded in the Honolulu airport for twenty-six hours.
“That is certainly not the kind of airline operation or customer service that we typically provide,” said Davis on the phone with KTVB from Las Vegas. “We do what we can in terms of hotels were provided, because the delay did roll over night.”
However, according to frequent fliers, delays are not uncommon on Allegiant Airlines.
On Friday, March 15th the Transport Workers local union published an ad in the Idaho Statesman newspaper with the words Here We Go Again at the top.
Union Vice President Thom McDaniel believes Allegiant is not operating with enough planes, and has launched a website in an attempt to remind the company that customers and flight staff are not happy.
However, Davis said they own 70 planes, and of them are six 757 Boeing aircraft which travel from the mainland to Hawaii.
One plane is assigned to fly the Boise to Honolulu route and Davis also said the planes can be assigned to different missions on any given day. Allegiant tried to dispatch another plane to Hawaii, but Davis said considering the circumstances, it wasn’t possible.
“We put some requests out to hire another carrier to possibly operate the flight for us and in that window of time, everyone's planes are scheduled to be doing something so we weren’t able to find an available aircraft,” he said.
Allegiant customers received an apology letter from the President of Allegiant Airlines, Andrew Levy, along with a $140 dollar credit to fly again and a $50 dollar on-site voucher.
“(We) hope the community will understand that we are committed to operating these flights and to providing good customer service,” said Davis.
Dorsey said, she understands the situation and agrees safety is top priority, but when it comes to flying with Allegiant again, she said, “No, no, it’s not worth it.”
McDaniel said Allegiant Airlines has been in contract negotiations with their flight workers for two years. The union claims this happened also in November, where California passengers bound for Hawaii were stranded for 27 hours.