Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Business

Passengers scrambling after Allegiant cancels flights because new planes haven’t arrived

CLEARWATER — A rash of flight cancellations that hit Allegiant Air passengers Wednesday will continue into next week and possibly longer, leaving hundreds of disgruntled customers looking for rebooking options and complaining of partial reimbursement.

Kevin Raper, a Knoxville resident, flew to Las Vegas for a few days and expected to come back Friday. But his return was pushed until Saturday after his flight was canceled, sticking him and his travel companions, who also flew the Las Vegas-based airline, with hefty additional costs.

"We are stranded and spending $1,000 a day in hotels and food because of your crappy service," he tweeted. "How do you plan to reimburse us and fix this?"

In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Raper said he and his companions each received a $100 voucher — less than half the cost of a ticket. Frustrations over partial reimbursement were echoed by other passengers on Twitter, as well.

"Needless to say, it’ll be the last time we use them," Raper said.

Scott Hooker, a Seminole resident whose wife was scheduled to take an Allegiant flight to visit her sister, fared a little better.

He said the couple was given about 24 hours notice that the flight was canceled. They received a $150 flight voucher (the flight cost $156) and $225 as an apology.

"I was just surprised more than anything at the lack of any notice whatsoever," he said. "We were within 24 hours and you’re telling me that you didn’t know about this?"

As of Thursday afternoon, 32 flights had been cancelled: 18 flights for Thursday, eight Friday flights and six flights on June 21. In addition, two Friday flights were rescheduled.

Allegiant did not return multiple requests for comment Thursday. According to Allegiant spokesperson Krysta Levy on Wednesday, the planned transition away from the MD-80 planes was the issue.

"We are in the process of transitioning to an all-Airbus fleet," Levy said in an email. "We have offered options to our passengers on canceled flights including re-accommodation to other flights or refunds."

Related coverage: Breakdown at 30,000 feet

It was an unusual statement given that in October, the airline said the St. Pete-Clearwater airport had finished its Airbus transition ahead of schedule. Of the affected flights, 12 were through St. Petersburg.

In a tweet to a passenger, Allegiant said "supply chain issues delayed delivery dates for aircraft scheduled to join our fleet."

Allegiant is in the process of replacing all of its MD-80s with new Airbus planes by 2019. The MD-80s, a Times investigation found, caused Allegiant’s planes to fail at quadruple the rate of other airlines in 2015. The MD-80s were older, averaging about 22 years each, and had constant mechanical issues.

Staff writers Justin Trombly and Hannah Denham contributed to this report.

MORE: Go here for more Business News

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Justin Trombly at [email protected] Follow @JustinTrombly.

Contact this reporter at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

Comments
Looking to ‘cut the cord’? Consider an antenna

Looking to ‘cut the cord’? Consider an antenna

It’s no secret that Tampa Bay residents are "cutting the cord" and moving away from cable. But last month, when the Tampa Bay Times asked readers to reach out about the non-cable entertainment services they used, a common theme emerged — antennas.The...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Walmart to roll out delivery, return changes to compete with Amazon over holidays

Walmart to roll out delivery, return changes to compete with Amazon over holidays

Walmart says it will work with third-party sellers to make millions of items available for free two-day shipping on orders over $35.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Review: iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

Review: iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

Based on several days of testing, it looks like Apple made the right cost-cutting trade-offs with the XR, which starts selling Friday for about $750.
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Largo Safeway turned Publix will reopen soon, its Starbucks cafe intact

The Largo Safeway turned Publix will reopen soon, its Starbucks cafe intact

LARGO — The once Safeway and soon-to-be Publix will reopen Nov. 1, retaining some of fixtures from the California grocer’s store.Chief among them, the Starbucks and cafe seating near the front will stay put, said Publix spokesman Brian West. Tampa Ba...
Published: 10/23/18
Which candy will Floridians buy the most this Halloween?

Which candy will Floridians buy the most this Halloween?

Last year, Floridians’ trick-or-treat bowls were leaning toward Skittles. But a more savory — but still sugary — treat has taken over as the Sunshine State’s preferred candy this Halloween. The Snickers bar wins out, according to a recent survey by s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas reports a concerning rise in Hepatitis A. Officials urge vaccination.

Pinellas reports a concerning rise in Hepatitis A. Officials urge vaccination.

Health department officials across Tampa Bay are encouraging residents to get vaccinated against hepatitis A, which is on the rise. As of this week, 58 cases of the virus have been reported in Pinellas this year, including a jump of 10 cases from Sep...
Published: 10/22/18
Tampa ranks No. 7 for complaints of tech support scams

Tampa ranks No. 7 for complaints of tech support scams

Ever receive a phony "tech support" email or call? In the city of Tampa, you’re not alone. Tampa has the dubious honor of ranking No. 7 on Microsoft’s list of nine cities with the highest number of complaints about such scams. Tampa’s total: 1,970 su...
Published: 10/22/18
Ron DeSantis says Florida public schools are wasting money. Are they?

Ron DeSantis says Florida public schools are wasting money. Are they?

Florida’s school leaders have made plain for years their desire for more money to run their districts. They’ve asked lawmakers for higher per-student funding, and the freedom to spend the money where it’s needed. They’ve requested more construction m...
Published: 10/22/18
Pasco Business Digest for Oct. 26

Pasco Business Digest for Oct. 26

News and notes about Pasco businesses
Published: 10/22/18
Dear Penny: I have a $30k inheritance and no debt. Why do I feel stuck?

Dear Penny: I have a $30k inheritance and no debt. Why do I feel stuck?

Dear Penny, I recently received a $30,000 check from my grandparents as an early inheritance. Don’t panic: They’re both still alive. They gifted it to me for tax purposes. Ever since I received the check, I’ve just been staring at it. I don’t know wh...
Published: 10/22/18