Allegiant Air plans to cut flights to Hawaii from seven of the nine cities it serves from the mainland. This came as a surprise to travelers trying to book their summer vacation in the islands, as they couldn’t make reservations beyond Aug. 14.
Although there was no official announcement, that’s apparently the cut-off date for flights from Boise, Idaho; Eugene, Ore.; Phoenix; Spokane, Wash.; and the Californian cities of Fresno, Stockton and Santa Maria. Flights unaffected by this change will be the three-days-a-week service from Las Vegas to Honolulu, and the twice-weekly-service from Bellingham, Wash. to both Maui and Honolulu.
Allegiant’s spokeswoman told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that it is a “seasonal hiatus…(that’s) not an uncommon occurrence in our business model.” The airlines strives to connect secondary cities to leisure markets, like Hawaii. And because leisure travel fluctuates throughout the year, so will Allegiant’s flight availability, the article reports.
Stranded by Allegiant
This “seasonal hiatus” sprung up on customers after a string of recent flight cancellations and delays. The most notable being a few weeks ago, when a delay in Honolulu stranded 1,700 passengers for days because of mechanical issues. A few days before that massive set-back, hundreds of California-bound passengers had also experienced multiple delays because of mechanical issues.
Starts to make you wonder if cheaper flights are worth the hassle. The Transport Workers Union warns travelers not to fall for the trap of Allegiant’s affordable airfare. TWU launched a website in an attempt to remind the company that customers and employees aren’t very happy.
The website (www.willallegiantbethere.org) reveals the truth in pricing by highlighting hidden costs. For example, a one-way ticket may cost $159.99, but after tacking on $14.99 for booking through a call center, $35 for checked-in bags, $75 for carry-on bags (!!), $5 for priority board and $2 for bottled water, a one-way ticket could easily double in price.
I cringed as I clicked through the “Will Allegiant Be There?” website. A long list of updated flight delays and cancellations take up about half of the homepage. Negative customer feedback seemed to be just as rampant – ranging from “I will never fly Allegiant again” to “Allegiant airlines left me at the airport…Twice!”
Yikes! That surely convinced me not to rely on the cheaper route when flying. I’d rather pay a little extra for a flight that’s safe and on-time than spend my vacation in an airport.
Photo Courtesy: Allegiant Air