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Orleans: 12/20-12/22 Problems with Allegiant Air!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Blast Chamber, Dec 23, 2004.

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  1. Blast Chamber

    Blast Chamber Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Monday - Drove to Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, WI to catch the 7:20 Allegiant Air flight to Las Vegas. Flight took off on time, but only ascended to 9000 feet, at which time the captain announced that we would have to return to Madison due to a mechanical problem with the plane. Apparently a cabin pressure valve was not working and would need to be repaired. After landing and exiting the plane we were offered snacks by Comair, who has the contract with Allegiant to service their Madison customers. Unfortunately, with the frigid weather and the terminal being under renovation, the gate areas were very chilly and it was a very uncomfortable wait. A mechanic was paged, but after 2 hours the problem was still not fixed. At this point Comair/Allegiant stopped updating the passengers and all of the gate staff disappeared. After 4 hours with no further news, several of us called Allegiant in Las Vegas via cell phone, and finally got an estimated departure time of noon. For some reason the Madison staff never gave us this information. We took off at noon and the flight was normal, except for the temperature inside the plane was EXTREMELY cold, and every passenger wore jackets and used blankets but still froze. More on Allegiant later….

    Upon arrival in Las Vegas, we took the Dollar shuttle and picked up our full-sized Taurus, which we had reserved through carrentals.com for $19.95 per day. No problems or delays using FastLane, and we drove to the Orleans and checked in with the $20/night rate. Requested a king, non-smoking with strip view and got it on the 16th floor. We got a very nice and comfortable room with a fantastic view of the southern strip. Super shower!! The only negative was that my wife said the mattress was a bit too firm for her comfort.

    We were exhausted and hungry from the trip so we went to the French Market Buffet for Seafood night and used our 2-for-1 coupon from the 2005 ACG. The food and service were excellent! Gambled on the video slots for a couple of hours and called it a night.

    Tuesday - Woke quite early and drove to Green Valley Ranch and valet parked. Joined the Boarding Pass slot club and played for several hours. Ate at the Feast breakfast buffet with our 2004 POV 2-for-1. As always the Station's Feast was wonderful. We saw a few security guys from the American Casino show, and we agreed that GVR is a very classy place to spend some time. We may stay there in the future if a room deal can be had.

    After GVR, drove to Caesar's and self parked. Shopped at the Forum shops for some Christmas presents. We had lunch at Margaritaville at the Flamingo. The food, drinks and service were just average, and we probably won't go back again. Went to the Bellagio to see the holiday decorations, which were fantastic. Headed to Barbary Coast to play slots and watch Big Elvis. Unfortunately, BE was a no-show (apparently he was on vacation that week). Disappointed, we drove back to the Orleans and played some more slots. Our luck was up and down (from our experience it seems that the GVR slots were looser than those at the Coast casinos). Used our 2-for-1 coupons from 2004 POV at Don Miguels for beef fajitas. The portions were extremely large and very good. Played some more video slots and called it a night.

    Wedneday - Last day in Vegas before catching the red-eye. Slept in and checked out around 11am. Drove downtown to have lunch at the Fremont Paradise Buffet only to find out it was closed for two weeks. Ended up at the Main Street Station with 2-for-1 from 2004 POV. The MSS buffet was excellent, and we played there after lunch winning some money on their loose slots. Headed back to the Orleans to catch a movie (Meet the Fockers). We loved it even though some critics have panned it; the audience was laughing through the entire film, so what do the critics know anyway. Afterwards we played more video slots but didn't have much luck. Ate a late dinner at the French Market Buffet for steak night (very good) and used our slot points. Played some more slots after dinner and then headed for the airport 3 hours before our flight. It was quite busy with holiday travelers, but we got on the plane with no problems and had an uneventful flight back to Madison.

    Upon landing, the Madison gate staff couldn't get the jetport to line up with the plane! We sat at the gate for over 20 minutes before they finally got some rolling steps and had us walk outside in the zero degree temps. Then, there was some problem with getting the baggage off the plane, as we sat for over 30 minutes in baggage claim waiting for our checked luggage which is unheard of at this airport.

    Summary - We loved the Orleans, GVR, and MSS! Dollar rental car was terrific. Allegiant air had very cheap fares, but we won't fly with them again even for free. They just can't seem to get the basics right (customer communications, jetway use, baggage handling, etc). Of course problems can and will happen with all airlines, but the way Allegiant handled these particular problems showed that they lack experience. In the future we will use Northwest or a more seasoned charter service like FunJet. Thanks for reading!!!!

    - Mike

    [ December 24, 2004, 07:09 AM: Message edited by: Blast Chamber ]
     
  2. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Looks like another thumbs up for the Orleans. Glad you had a good time despite the airline wierdness. Are you from Madison or did you just drive in for the flight? I grew up there...
     
  3. bronx12

    bronx12 Low-Roller

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    Exactly what I did not want to hear. We leave through Madison and Allegiant Air on Jan 9th. Hopefully they will have figured this stuff out by then. We didn't book the hotel through Allegiant, but with the cheap flights we just couldn't pass up the deal. I guess we'll find out just exactly what we paid for.

    Did you atleast get drinks and pretzels on the flight...lol.
     
  4. Blast Chamber

    Blast Chamber Tourist

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    doctor_al: We live in Beaver Dam, which is 45 minutes NE of Madison. The Milwaukee airport is twice the drive, but would be worth it to prevent airline headaches. Speaking of headaches, I forgot to mention that I came down with a sinus infection two days before leaving for Vegas. As a result I was feeling pretty sick for most of the trip, and didn't have as much fun as I had hoped. It was still better than working, though. [​IMG]

    bronx12: Hopefully our experience was a fluke as we talked with people who took the Sunday flight to Vegas with no problems. We got NOTHING in compensation from Allegiant other than some caramel popcorn and soda while we waited for 4 hours. I was at least expecting free cocktails on the flight or free funbooks, but all we got was a "Sorry". What should concern you is that both of our flights were less than half full, and with the super-cheap fares I don't see how Allegiant can make any money with this Madison route. I have a feeling they won't be in town for long unless they can get more repeat customer loyalty. That's very tough to do when they farm out their customer service to another local airline that has different priorities than Allegiant.

    [ December 23, 2004, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: Blast Chamber ]
     
  5. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    Blast -- 'couldnt line up the jetport' ??!! Oh brooother. )o: Well, i'm glad you had some good eats & chances to play VP. The French Market buffet (believe you said you were there for the seafood night), anyways--- what all did ya have? Anything specific stick out in your mind? Was it MOSTLY seafood--or a good selection of things. Good, quick TR.

    bronx12 -- now See here! ...On Jan 9--when my SWA plane is trying to pull into the gate--you just BETTER NOT side swipe me in that Allegiant plane, lol. ((just kidding good bud))

    mK
     
  6. Blast Chamber

    Blast Chamber Tourist

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    mrKeno - The seafood night seems to be the normal French Market Buffet with some extra seafood items included. There were crab legs, peel & eat shrimp, oysters, and several other items that I didn't try (no lobster). My wife just loved the crab legs, but I ate more of the normal buffet items since I'm not really into crab. Everything was delicious, and the table service was both friendly and prompt! It was $15.95 per person (which is worth it), but with our 2-for-1 coupon it was a fantastic bargain! You definitely won't leave hungry.
     
  7. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    Blast Chamber - okay, cool. Seems like a good one. Yea, i'm not into seafood very much. I guess i'm a whimp w/ seafood:

    fish n chips - okay
    scampi - okay
    ALL THE REST - yuck

    lol
     
  8. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Blast, glad to hear you had a good time in Mecca. Sorry about your plane problems, but at least you got there and back in one piece!
     
  9. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    Great TR Blast, I always used Allegiant when flying out of Fresno and never had a problem, hopefully it was just a fluke. However, I have noticed that the rates for Allegiant just keep getting higher and higher. I really enjoyed your TR!!!
     
  10. Habanaman13

    Habanaman13 Tourist

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    I have never made it out to GVR myself, but my Uncle and Dad both get some killer deals in the mail since they joined the slot club. So hopefully you will see something worthwhile now, especially if you make a habit of traveling in December. My dad's last deal was for two free nights and he is no "high-roller".

    Sorry to hear you had difficulty with Allegiant. I use them exclusively for my Vegas travels out of Des Moines, if only because they are non-stop. We had some issues with timeliness and the "leased" staff before they hired their own in Des Moines. But have not had problems since, including today.

    However, with half empty planes you are right that they may not be there long enough to hire staff.

    But on the bright side, you got to spend, what sounds like, some good quality time in the city we all love and adore!

    But coming back to this bogus Midwest weather stinks doesn't it?!?!
     
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