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Allegiant Air Charged $50 Bag Fee for a Gym Bag

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 11th, 2019 5:53 am
[OP]
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Apr 18, 2008
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Allegiant Air Charged $50 Bag Fee for a Gym Bag

4 days ago, my mother and I flew from San Diego to Bellingham (1.5 hr from Vancouver). Like many budget carriers, Allegiant charges for carry on bags that need to be put into the overhead bin. You can bring a personal item that can be put under the seat for free. We packed light and didn't pay for bag fee as where we stayed has laundry service. I had a travel bag and my mother had 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.
Last edited by Smither on Apr 7th, 2019 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
20 replies
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I don't know what the problem is. The bag is sticking out of the frame so you need to pay. You should be read the baggage rules ahead of time.
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Think of the Childre…
Budget Carriers are usually pretty strict in regards to carry-ons. It has to be exact size or smaller, doesn't count if you push it in. Don't think you'll win in this case.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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1) bag was oversized
2) you had to pay $50
3) lesson learned, measure and bring a properly sized bag next time
/Thread
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They could’ve let it go but decided to make you guys pay, maybe showing efficiency and trying to please the beancounters.
Either everyone goes thru same check of bags or nobody. The bag isn’t even that much outside the frame so its all just bs.
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Rules are rules. Lesson learned!
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Smither wrote: 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.

Here is the picture I took.

IMG_20190403_103225.jpg
That's the problem with those sizers...they are great for solid bags with rigid or semi-rigid frames that can't easily be compressed, but useless and unfair for soft-sided bags that can be folded easily to fit into the space.

The way I see it, if there was one more side on the sizer - the vertical side where the seam is just outside, this bag would not have been an issue at all, because as it was being placed into the sizer it would have been naturally folded to fit into the space, with absolutely no effort.

What I see from the photo and the fact they charged you an oversized fee, is a person - possibly a company - taking advantage of the fact that without something to physically hold the edge in (whether it's something as simple as a hand gently holding it in place or an additional wall on the frame itself), anything close to the 'size' will go over...and then, BAM! they ding you with the fee.

Imagine if you had a pillow. A regular, soft foam pillow. Stick one of those in the sizer I can guarantee that at least one size would be over. Does that mean it could not easily, or naturally be put in the constrained space under the seat? Definitely not.

Based on what I can see from the photo, their sizer is intentionally designed to maximise revenues.
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Cheapo-Findo wrote: Budget Carriers are usually pretty strict in regards to carry-ons. It has to be exact size or smaller, doesn't count if you push it in. Don't think you'll win in this case.
100% this

It’s how Budget Carriers make up for their discounted pricing
Want to fly with them then you have to plan accordingly
And be prepared for the quirks that come with that pricing
Be thankful... they didn’t charge you for your overcoat, or your Mother’s purse
Some now literally charge for EVERYTHING you carry onboard
And be doubly thankful if you got to your Destination in a reasonable timeframe (or at all)

I don’t fly Budget cause, they are riddled with issues
And my time & peace of mind / frustration factor are worth something too
Cuz sometimes a bargain airline ... just isn’t a bargain
(Air Transat, Sunwing, Allegiant, Jet Blue, Swoop... they are ALL in this category... oodles of stories on the web... some of them downright scary... $ 50 for a carry on bag is the least of it)

PS... if this was WestJet or Air Canada, and you’d got all the way to the gate...
The attendant would have just asked you to check your bag... for FREE
Have seen it happen many times

PS... last time I flew AC they were sizing carry on bags / items at Check In / Bag Drop
If you were approved, your bag got a sticker so it could go on board in hand
This is a GREAT System to cut down on Carry On abuse
New to Canada... but have seen it used elsewhere in the world
And I applaud it
Last edited by PointsHubby on Apr 7th, 2019 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I got dinged €66 at the gate on Ukraine Int'l Airlines last week for oversized carry-on. Totally my fault because I didn't check the dimensions in advance, which are smaller than what other airlines' limits are. Sucks but instead of whining, I was glad that I was only dinged that one time, and not the three other times I took a UIA flight that week.
Last edited by Kiraly on Apr 7th, 2019 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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You have a good point. I don't agree with the airline. The restrictions should be for rigid bags. If you can squeeze the bag to fit, there is no reason it should not be accepted. It seems that the "gentleman" already okayed it but you had Tori the micromanager there. If she is the only one to make the decision, she should have done it in the first place instead of wasting your time.

Side note: people like Tori should not have these types of jobs.
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These bastards will find any reason to charge a fee.
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Had a choice of flying budget airline last year in Europe . After adding the bull fees for carry on and baggage it was cheaper to fly name brand .
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starchoice wrote: Side note: people like Tori should not have these types of jobs.
Tori should be commended for maximizing her company's revenues. I can see why she was promoted to manager. As for OP, you were sloppy in your choice of luggage for the trip. Consider what you had to pay as the cheap cost of an education provided to you courtesy of the cheap airline you chose.
[OP]
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Apr 18, 2008
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woof wrote: Tori should be commended for maximizing her company's revenues. I can see why she was promoted to manager. As for OP, you were sloppy in your choice of luggage for the trip. Consider what you had to pay as the cheap cost of an education provided to you courtesy of the cheap airline you chose.

We could have used some tape to hold the bag in place or change our bag. But since we were made to be the last to board, we didn't have the chance to do that when she told us she will close the gate.

Indeed, lesson learned not to fly with a cheap airline again.

Yes, Tori tried to maximize the profit this time. But she ends up making Allegiant permanently losing a family of 4 of repeat customers as we will never fly with Allegiant Air again. Yes you gained $50 of revenue this time, but you are losing thousands of future earnings from this family.
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Smither wrote: We could have used some tape to hold the bag in place or change our bag. But since we were made to be the last to board, we didn't have the chance to do that when she told us she will close the gate.

Indeed, lesson learned not to fly with a cheap airline again.

Yes, Tori tried to maximize the profit this time. But she ends up making Allegiant permanently losing a family of 4 of repeat customers as we will never fly with Allegiant Air again. Yes you gained $50 of revenue this time, but you are losing thousands of future earnings from this family.
Lol, still not getting it

Still believing that CHEAPER is better

Thinking IF ONLY they’d do X then we’d HAPPILY book again (many times for THOUSANDS of Dollars)

:rolleyes:

Truth is... next time if not your carry on, it will be some other issue

Google these Budget Airlines (any one of them)

Their issues are not headaches (like yours) ... but often NIGHTMARES

Here’s something to get you started with Allegiant:
In summer 2015, a rash of midair breakdowns drew federal scrutiny. "Before the night was finished on June 25, 2015, five Allegiant flights had been interrupted in four hours, all because different planes had failed in midair," reported the Tampa Bay Times.[28] Since October 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration has kept Allegiant under close supervision
You can read more on Wikipedia, under SAFETY CONCERNS
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegiant_Air

Try and tell me this is NORMAL ???

Count yourself lucky.

Like I said a BARGAIN AINT ALWAYS A BARGAIN

They gotta cut corners somewhere... in this case it was maintenance

I don’t fly (or sail) with hacks.

Part of my trip planning includes RESEARCH into who I am travelling with / giving my hard earned dollars to.
And that includes looking at an Airlines Safety Record, as well as Customer Service Record
Easy to do on the internet
[OP]
Member
Apr 18, 2008
353 posts
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PointsHubby wrote: Lol, still not getting it

Still believing that CHEAPER is better

Thinking IF ONLY they’d do X then we’d HAPPILY book again (many times for THOUSANDS of Dollars)

:rolleyes:

Truth is... next time if not your carry on, it will be some other issue

Google these Budget Airlines (any one of them)

Their issues are not headaches (like yours) ... but often NIGHTMARES

Here’s something to get you started with Allegiant:



You can read more on Wikipedia, under SAFETY CONCERNS
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegiant_Air

Try and tell me this is NORMAL ???

Count yourself lucky.

Like I said a BARGAIN AINT ALWAYS A BARGAIN

They gotta cut corners somewhere... in this case it was maintenance

I don’t fly (or sail) with hacks.

Part of my trip planning includes RESEARCH into who I am travelling with / giving my hard earned dollars to.
And that includes looking at an Airlines Safety Record, as well as Customer Service Record
Easy to do on the internet
No I think you misunderstood me. I meant that no matter what the outcome of the claim is, we have decided not to fly with Allegiant or other budget airlines again. Because as exactly what you said, we have reflected on this incident and decided that not worth the hassle for the same or similar issues again. I have the exact same thought that next time if it's not baggage problems then it would be something else. It is indeed you get what you pay. Won't go cheap again.
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OP did you measure your bag? Seems to me whether you get sympathy or not would depend on whether your bag was oversized or not?
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all local airlines in this entire continent (north america) are "cheap" these days, they are charging for every possible thing.

they can only dream of being in the league of qatar, turkish, emirates, etc. Even 3rd world airlines are better in service than the crap northamerica has.
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Avenger wrote: 1) bag was oversized
2) you had to pay $50
3) lesson learned, measure and bring a properly sized bag next time
/Thread
Sounds like the OP was being a prick to the airline personnel. Before going on flights, I always measure my luggage and compare it to what they have listed on their site for acceptable dimensions. If mine is bigger, I either get a different bag or check the bag in and pay the money.

You clearly didn't do your due diligence and had to pay a fee for it and are complaining.
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apnayloags wrote: all local airlines in this entire continent (north america) are "cheap" these days, they are charging for every possible thing.

they can only dream of being in the league of qatar, turkish, emirates, etc. Even 3rd world airlines are better in service than the crap northamerica has.
Funny you mention. Qatar/Emirates etc who are all in big financial difficulty and just like Cathay was before they lowered quality

But I disagree all carriers in North America are budget carriers, AC doesn't charge for overhead bins and will gatecheck carry one for free and don't charge for printing a boarding pass or selecting seats at check in unlike budget airlines who don't allow seat selection anytime and actively separate passenger on same booking to encourage people paying

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