Discount carrier has track record of cancelling routes and abandoning entire communities
PUNTA GORDA, FL – Members of the Transport Workers Union, representing more than 600 flight attendants at Allegiant Air, will leaflet passengers at the Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda, Florida on Halloween – Thursday, October 31stfrom 9 am to 1 pm.
Responding to reports that Allegiant frequently abandons routes and cancels service, union members will ask if Allegiant’s proposed expansion of service to and from Punta Gorda is “A trick or a treat?”
Who: Members of TWU Local 577
What: Informational Leafleting, informing passengers of reports that Allegiant has cancelled routes and abandoned service in many communities.
Where: Charlotte County Airport
2800 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
When: TODAY – Thursday, October 31, 9 am to 1 pm (Eastern Time)
Allegiant, a discount carrier, claims low fares but has been reported to add fees which can double the price of a ticket. The airline recently announced new flights from Punta Gorda to communities in Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
“We’re always glad to see our company add new service,” said Debra Petersen-Barber, an Allegiant flight attendant who is lead negotiator for TWU Local 577. “We’re convinced that success for our company depends on mutually-beneficial long-term relationships with employees, passengers and communities.”
To accommodate the proposed increased flights, Charlotte County Airport is undergoing a $7 million expansion. Ninety percent of the funding is expected to come from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a report in the Charlotte (FL) Weekly, with the remainder provided by the state of Florida and the airport authority.
“It’s always a treat to see announcements for new routes and new service,” said TWU International Vice President Thom McDaniel. “But the trick is that Allegiant has claimed it’s a ‘badge of honor’ when they abruptly cancel a route or completely abandon service to a community,” he added, referring to comments made by a senior company official during a June 5, 2013 interview on Fox Business News.
“With millions of dollars in public money at stake, the public has a right to know about this company’s track record,” said McDaniel.
An ‘UnRoute Map’ on a TWU website, WillAllegiantBeThere.org, shows a dozen communities where Allegiant has completely abandoned service, and 23 routes that have been cancelled by the airline.
Allegiant has been reported to add fees for items like using a credit card when buying a ticket. Passengers have enduredreported mechanical failures and other events that have caused inconvenience, emergency landings and delays of up to 52 hours.
The leafleting at the Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda is not a work stoppage, nor a request for any individual or group to take action.
A majority of flight attendants at Allegiant voted in favor of TWU representation in December 2010. Union representatives began negotiations with company officials in June of 2011. More than two years later, Allegiant has yet to reach a first contract agreement with flight attendants.
The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) represents 200,000 workers and retirees in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads, including 11,000 flight attendants. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.