An incident today at the Greenville/Spartanburg airport between an Allegiant employee and a customer leaves me wondering, “Whatever happened to customer service?”
My boyfriend and I were in line to check in for our flight back to Ft. Lauderdale. There was a nice looking couple ahead of us and one Allegiant representative behind the counter. She was not tall but I could spy her behind the pens and fake flowers. She did not look up.
After a few minutes of waiting without a word, I asked the couple if they had been acknowledged yet. They said, “Yeah, they said, ‘If you’re going to Ft. Lauderdale you have to wait.’ They won’t check you in till 9:20. If you’re flying to Sanford though, that’s different.”
We waited a bit more. The Allegiant employee never said anything, nor did she look up. The line grew from 4 to 14 quickly, and 2 more Allegiant workers showed up behind the ticket counter. Neither one acknowledged the line. Then came a wave.
The couple ahead of us moved forward. Then, we were waved over. While we were checking in, a man, clearly hurried and harried, came up to the counter.
“Sanford?” he asked. “Did the flight to Sanford leave?”“It pushed back,” the attendant said flatly without looking up.“Can I get on it?”“No, the flight was closed ½ hour ago.”“But it doesn’t leave till 9:50,” he contested. It was 9:15ish.“The flight leaves at 9:30” she replied, still staring down at the computer.“Is there any way I can get on it?” he asked again.“No.”
“What should I do?” he asked, clearly upset.The attendant still did not look at him. “You can buy a ticket to Ft. Lauderdale or St. Pete,” she offered without the slightest atom of compassion.“#&*! U” responded the man who succumbed to dickishness.
My BF and I checked in, and got comfortable at the gate. About 20 minutes later I noticed an Allegiant plane just beyond the window. It was stopped just a few feet from our gate’s jetway. I asked the BF, “Are they towing that in? Is that our plane?” He was engrossed in something on his iPad and didn’t answer. I went back to my work.
A few minutes later, about 30 minutes since checking in, I looked back up. “Hey where’d the plane go?” I asked. From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see it. The BF went to the window. There was no plane! “That wasn’t out plane. That must’ve been the plane to Sanford,” he said.
I understand regulations and duties, but I don’t understand unnecessary rudeness. Perhaps airline employees should be trained on handling stressed out passengers who may miss or do miss their flights. Maybe the new fee for carry-on bags could go toward paying an airline concierge who could step up as needed. If airline employees practice dispensing bad news with a glimmer of humanity maybe passengers wouldn’t get so dickish.