Allegiant Air Charged $50 Bag Fee for a Gym Bag
When it's time for us to board, the gate agent, Tori, asked us to step aside for the other agent to size our bag. So we stepped aside, and a gentleman asked us to put our bag into the metal frame. Our bags have to be within the metal frame to not be charged a bag fee. We put our bags into the metal frame and he said our bags are okay. He said that he just needs to wait for Tori, the supervisor, to come over to approve it on the computer, then we will be free to go. We waited for awhile and until everyone boarded the plane. Perhaps this is my first mistake. I complained why we become the last to board and why can't Tori just come over to approve it on the computer then we could go. So after everyone boarded, Tori came over and the gentleman said to her that we are okay. Tori told us to put our bags into the metal frame. This is my second mistake. I asked why do we need to do this again? Tori said she needs to see it herself. So I put my bag in. Tori said the seam is sticking out so I will need to pay for a bag fee. Then I pushed the bag in a little bit and said "I know it will fit." That was my third mistake. She said okay that's fine. Then it's my mother's turn. My mother's bag is smaller than mine but longer. Tori said the seam is sticking out, so my mom has to pay for the bag fee. I push the side in. Tori said the bag has to be within the frame when my hand is not touching the bag. I thought she was being "a little" difficult, so I took some pictures of the bag. But she was adamant. Then I stepped on the bag so the seams stay inside the frame. She said: "nope, you have to pay. It's $50. " I asked the gentleman whether we should pay. He said he just started working there so he couldn't help. I asked if there is a manager, then Tori said she is the manager. Then Tori gave us an ultimatum that "you either pay or I will close the gate and you won't be able to board". We don't want to be stranded at a foreign place so we paid. I thought it's incredibly unreasonable. I feel like Tori didn't like the comments I made earlier so she's retailating to punish us.
After I got home, I chatted with an agent on their website. This is what I got: "The requirements for the personal item to be 7x15x16 inches or smaller are very strict. It is up to the discretion of the agents at the airport to decide if the bag is indeed that size." and "The agent at the airport does have final say for sizing." I feel dumbfounded. Allegiant is saying that I cannot contest the gate agent's decision, as they cannot be wrong. So apparently the gate agent has more power than a judge. If a judge is wrong, you could appeal in appellate courts. But if the gate agent says you have to pay, then there is no way to appeal? I felt quite disappointed at Allegiant. Then I tried calling in to talk to someone. The CSR on the phone said about similar things. She said I could try submitting a claim on their website with the photo I took, it will be considered on a case by case basis. I submitted a claim but haven't heard back from them yet. Since both Allegiant CSR said about similar things, I suspect the result will be the same. Both CSR have confirmed Allegiant's value. Because of this mishap, we have decided not to fly with Allegiant Air again. It's too much trouble. We might as well just save our travel time and hassle, flying from Vancouver instead.