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Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

Des Moines, Iowa
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Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

We had booked a car with Alamo through Allegiant with our flight as a package since rates seemed fairly competitive. When we picked up our car an attendant told us if the hurricane hit later in the week and we needed to drive out just call them and let them know.

So, my flight out of Florida got cancelled yesterday due to the hurricane. Allegiant sends us an email saying the flight is cancelled and they wont reschedule but will refund the return trip in 3 days. I get it, Allegiant doesn't control the weather. So I call Alamo's 800 number you call for support to let them know I plan to drive home... and I am informed that because I'm an allegiant customer there is a contract location drop change fee of $750.... I couldn't believe it. They strand me and then I want me to pay some BS charge to get back home. I could have just got a whole new rental agreement online for $200 but was worried with the mass evacuation I might not get another car. I called back two more times and got the same answer from the different service reps, the fee is part of their contract with allegiant. I finally got a direct line for the Alamo location and talked to someone at the location who agreed to waive the fee due to the circumstances. I went back through Allegiants stuff and see no warnings or terms and conditions that I would agree to pay any ridiculous fees the rental companies wouldn't charge their direct customers. The reps I talked to all seemed genuinely surprised and confused at the fee amount as well. Seems like a scam.... they really don't give you any substantial discount, and you lose any flexibility you would get from. I don't think I will be booking anything from Allegiant again, at all but if anyone else does, at least don't book your car there....

25 replies to this topic
Garden Bay, Canada
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1. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

So you didn't book direct. Always book directly with the provider. Third party deals are never as clean as they look. They may be fine if everything goes as planned but wen things go wrong, game over. It is pretty typical of most reservations, car, air, hotel, and packages.

In your particular situation, it isn't the airline but the car rental company that was sticking to their "deal". I wouldn't blame the airline.

Dubai, United Arab...
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2. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

First, all's well that ends well, as they (Alamo) waived their fee.

Secondly, the fee is from Alamo and not Allegiant. Air lines offer these deals not as airline service but as third party service. Please see comments above from GeoMedic.

Further, if there is a special fee of USD 750, that needs to be mentioned somewhere either in the T&C's or in the contract, otherwise it would not be valid.

<<I couldn't believe it. They strand me>> <<Allegiant doesn't control the weather.>> Not sure if you really understand that Allegiant did not strand you on purpose but that this was due to one of the most dangerous hurricanes in Florida in a decade.

London, United...
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3. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

Hmm, ok, your post is slightly illogical in places, for example, you say you could have got a whole new agreement but were worried you couldn't, just book it and you ve got it, end of, no more hassle. If no availability then continue with Alamo, continuing when you don't even know is illogical. If you simply didn't want the hassle of returning the car and changing, then just say that.

As for the airline stranding you, well ehrm, there is a hurricane, they didn't strand you did they?

Lastly the fee was waived and you got good rates, so you got a good result and you got to keep the car without going back and changing,

Seems like you came out on top to me,

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

"[Allegiant] strand me"

You would prefer that they try to fly you out during one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit Florida in a decade? They are an airline. They *fly* places. Not much flying going on during a hurricane, so what did you expect them to do?

As others have stated, your issue is with Alamo, not Allegiant. That is one of the risks you run when you do not book directly with the provider.

-JimG

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

Regarding the "being stranded," reminds me of a pax, who was "stranded" at HNL. In 777, that we were all to take back to LAX, arrived with a broken engine. It landed safely, but with only one fully functional engine. No part in Hawaii, so flight cancelled, and rebooking taking place. He demanded that UA fly the broken plane, as he has an important meeting in LA that evening (Sunday!?), and could not take the evening flight back to the Mainland. Danger airlines are always looking for an excuse to not fly - hurricanes, volcanic ash clouds, broken engines... always something.

Hunt

Des Moines, Iowa
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6. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

Sorry, I just got home from my 20h drive and was still angry when I wrote that so it might not be totally coherent.

"If no availability then continue with Alamo, continuing when you don't even know is illogical. If you simply didn't want the hassle of returning the car and changing, then just say that."

We heard in the morning from someone at our resort it was getting difficult to find a car, remember there were several million people in the area evacuating so that was probably a legitimate concern. I was told by the call center people I would have to return the car and enter a new rental agreement to avoid the fee, I didn't want to risk losing my car and getting stuck it wasn't just a convenience worry.

"<<I couldn't believe it. They strand me>> <<Allegiant doesn't control the weather.>> Not sure if you really understand that Allegiant did not strand you on purpose but that this was due to one of the most dangerous hurricanes in Florida in a decade."

No, I do. I bought my flight and car as a PACKAGE though. I understand they can't fly in a hurricane. But I would expect that they would let me make reasonable changes to my PACKAGE or offer some kind of support when they can not honor my package as purchased, not try to screw me with bogus contractual agreements they entered into with other customers. I tried contacting Allegiant but was on hold forever and gave up. I called Alamo's 800 number they want you to call for reservation modifications and kept getting the same answer from different reps. And like I said, the reps seemed surprised by the amount of this charge and sounds like there is usually little if any fee to change it for direct book customers, and also the guy I got the car from when we got there sounded like it wasn't a big deal to change if needed. I eventually got a direct number for the location I rented from and they guy I talked to there waived it. So yes, I feel like Allegiant pretty much left me with few options to get out other than pay some stupid contract fee they entered into. I spent a good 2+ hours calling/on hold stressing about it and dealing with this instead of trying to enjoy a vacation already getting cut short.

"Further, if there is a special fee of USD 750, that needs to be mentioned somewhere either in the T&C's or in the contract, otherwise it would not be valid."

Agree, all that my rental agreement says is "Allegiant Exclusive" under the rules and rates header no mention of actual charges or rules on the agreement or to be found any where on allegiant's website that would lead you to believe it would be significantly different from direct booking.

"So you didn't book direct. Always book directly with the provider. Third party deals are never as clean as they look. They may be fine if everything goes as planned but wen things go wrong, game over. It is pretty typical of most reservations, car, air, hotel, and packages."

Ive never really had any major problems booking with 3rd parties until now, lesson learned and I guess that's the thing I'm trying to warn others about

Knoxville, Tennessee
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7. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

It's not at all surprising that there was a fee to return the car to another location. We have encountered this when wanting to fly into one location and out of another, and rent a car to get between the two locations. This drop-off fee can easily be $150 or more. The initial rental car location ends up with a car that now can't be rented in it's local area, so it ends up being down a car. Without seeing the T&C's, we have no idea whether the $750, which does sound very high, was based on the location/distance you were driving the car to or was a flat fee that Alamo has in it's contract with Allegiant.

Hurricane Mathew is reeking havoc on so many levels. In addition to the airlines having stranded passengers they will have to move, which will take days, car rental companies are going to have a nightmare trying to sort out where all of their cars ended up. Just imagine all of the people flying into FL airports in the days to come that have reserved cars that won't be there because those cars are in other states. They too aren't going to be happy either.

When there's a major weather issue which impacts thousand of people, there are things that will happen that aren't planned. You were just one of tens of thousands of people who had flights cancelled and were trying to get assistance from their airline, tour operator, etc. You simply aren't going to get the best information or assistance in a situation like this.. Sometimes it's just best to deal with the situation as it is and wait to straighten it out later, when things are calmer, either directly with the vendor or see what your trip insurance covers. No one likes to be out-of-pocket for additional expenses, but it happens. Even though $750 does sound high, you got home safely and isn't that the most important thing?

Even before Mathew, Alleginat was not known to be the most reliable airline or have good customer support, so perhaps in the future you will consider not only your choice to book thru 3rd parties but also your choice of airline.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

Could not have said it better BarbP

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Syracuse, New York
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9. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

M: Your title is not fair. The $750 fee information could have been avoided altogether if you had just called back to the rental location as the attendant told you to do. His intention was to waive the drop fee in this circumstance, or else he would have had to mention the charge for not returning the car. The 800# is in St. Louis, they can only recite rules. The local franchise can waive rules.

Yes, I worked in the car rental business. Next time you rent, look for their ph# on the contract.

London, United...
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10. Re: Warning - why you should NEVER book a car with Allegiant air

I maybe am missing something, but having done these sort of packages before, my first call would have been to the car depot I got it from, I wouldn't have expected the airline to deal with it, but as you booked with them I can see why you did, just if the fee was to be waived, the person doing it would be Alamo, not allegiant, as otherwise allegiant would have to pay Alamo on uour behalf.

As for someone in the resort saying it was hard to get a car, I accept it's a legitimate concern, my point was, you wouldn't know till you tried and you didn't even try,

Sorry, I do think you made it a little harder on yourself than was probably necessary, and you got a really good deal on the car, you didn't even have to pay the fee for changing the drop off location, and as barb says, those are usually quite steep. Seven fifty is a huge amount, but it seems you were driving a long way away, so possibly the fee was based on how far you want to take it versus the original location,

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