Allegiant Makes Unauthorized Charges to My Credit Card

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Jan 2, 2017
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#1
On December 14, 2016, I accessed Allegiant Airlines website, and I purchased roundtrip tickets for my step-son (18) and step-daughter (12) from Fresno to Phoenix. On their reservation, my name is listed as "Customer Name." I did not pay for seats or luggage. About ten hours later, I decided to add Trip Flex which is Allegiant's version on ticket insurance.

With the Confirmation Number, I attempted to purchase Trip Flex by accessing the itinerary online, but was unable to do so. I then called Allegiant's Customer Care Line and with the help from an agent was able to add Trip Flex to the Reservation. I asked if they could just apply it to the card I used when purchasing the tickets, and the agent stated I needed to give him the card information to authorize the additional charge for the insurance. Within minutes, I received an email confirming the additional charge.

On December 21, 2016, I accessed my step-children's Reservation online and processed their Flight Check In for their departure the next day. Sent the kids their Electronic Boarding Passes via text message. The next day, December 22, 2016, my step-children, accompanied by their mother who was responsible for paying for their luggage from Fresno to Phoenix, arrived in Fresno for their departure flight. (Luggage can be purchased anytime before departure online at a lower cost. If purchased at the airport when checking luggage the cost is double! And no cash payments at the Ticket Counter.)

Upon checking their luggage, their mother authorized the charge of two checked bags on MY credit card! The Allegiant Agent did not request the actual credi card itself or
credit card information, but allowed her to "add" the charge to the credit card used to purchase the tickets! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Had their mother accessed the website before arriving at the airport to check the luggage, she would not have been able to just "add" the charge to MY credit card! And/or had she called Allegiant Air's Customer Care Line, they would've asked her for credit card information.

I did not even receive an email confirming the charge for $100 ($50 per bag) when she gave illegal authorization of this purchase! I received an alert from my bank stating a charge had been made!!

First of all, I've flown many times within the past five years (never personally with Allegiant), but I have never been able to pay for luggage at the ticket counter with the credit card I purchased the tickets WITHOUT physically handing the credit card to the Ticket Agent or swiping it at the kiosk! I was NEVER able to ask the Ticket Agent to "add" my luggage charge to the credit card I used
to purchase my tickets!

I contacted Allegiant Air immediately and they stated, "When one purchases a ticket online with a credit card, you allow the ticket holder to charge additional charges pertaining to the flight to the credit card used
for the ticket purchase." RIDICULOUS! How can they be allowed to do this? And how is that not Credit Card Fraud?!! On both parties, Allegiant for allowing it AND my step-children's mother for authorizing it!

I am disputing the charge as Fraudulent Charges with my bank, AND I will be pressing criminal charges against the person who used my credit card without my permission! Should I contact DOT and complain? Do I have a case?
 

Michelle Friedman

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
I am disputing the charge as Fraudulent Charges with my bank, AND I will be pressing criminal charges against the person who used my credit card without my permission! Should I contact DOT and complain? Do I have a case?
Whoa, whoa!!! Why would you be filing criminal charges? These charges aren't fraudulent since they are associated with tickets for your (step) children to bring their bags on their flight. I think there are a multitude of things you can do to straighten this out that do not involve law enforcement or DOT.
Was it agreed upon with the children's mother that she would pay the baggage fees? If so, why don't you just ask her for reimbursement? Also, what is your spouse's take on this? Your stance seems unnecessarily aggressive.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
Press charges? On who? The mother went with them with every intent to pay for the bags - Allegiant is the one who did the charge, not the mother. If you are going to press charges, you better press them on the Allegiant agent, not the mother.

You did the dispute, let it go or have the mother reimburse you. But pressing charges? That is ridiculous. This wasn't her fault.
 

Michelle Friedman

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Sep 19, 2015
471
906
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#5
Not to mention, one of these "children" is an 18 year old adult. It is very likely that the mother dropped these two off at the airport. The 18 year old may have been the one to authorize the baggage fees...then who will you be bringing these "criminal charges" against?... your husband's son. I don't think that will be well received in your household.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
I can understand that you are really upset and feeling quite cheated. But it's a little early for feeling cheated. Ascertain who authorized Allegiant to charge your card and ask that person why s/he did that. Did you have an agreement with the mother about payment for the bags? If so, why weren't the bags prepaid at half the cost? It's very possible that the Allegiant agent just charged the card on record for the bags and nobody even discussed it.

To show you that you're not alone ... I had a similar situation with Chase several years ago when a hotel charged my card without authorization or seeing the card. The event manager had made my reservation, forgot to cancel it, and without further ado, the hotel dug up my card from the year before and charged me for the room. After I did my detective work, you can bet I raised a fuss with Chase, but they never responded to my concern that this hotel still had my credit card info, much less that they charged the card without authorization. So these kinds of shenanigans go on all the time, and there's no point in getting exercised until you find out exactly what happened.

This is one of those family situations that can cause big trouble. Taking action when you're this angry is not a good plan.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#7
Whoa, whoa!!! Why would you be filing criminal charges? These charges aren't fraudulent since they are associated with tickets for your (step) children to bring their bags on their flight. I think there are a multitude of things you can do to straighten this out that do not involve law enforcement or DOT.
Was it agreed upon with the children's mother that she would pay the baggage fees? If so, why don't you just ask her for reimbursement? Also, what is your spouse's take on this? Your stance seems unnecessarily aggressive.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#9
My stance is aggressive but not "unnecessarily agressive" as you state. I will not tolerate anyone using my credit card without my permission!

Their mother is responsible by court order for 50 percent of their travel expenses. She was made aware that luggage was not purchased at the time the Reservation was paid; BUT what does that have to do with Allegiant Air allowing her to authorize charges to MY credit card? I did not give anyone permission to do so.

Again I will reiterate (since apparently you did not read my entire post thoroughly and your focus is on my "aggressive stance")...I am a seasoned traveler and NEVER have I been able to approach the ticket counter with my luggage on a reservation that I purchased for myself with my credit card AND just "add" the luggage fees to the card that was used to purchase the tickets. A ticket agent has ALWAYS asked for a form of payment, because they are not permitted to "just add" the charges! I am familiar with United, American, Delta, Alaskan, Southwest, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines; and not one airline will permit ANYONE to "just add" the luggage fees after the reservation has been purchased to the credit used to pay for the tickets!

FYI: Their mother was contacted by my spouse the day I received the alert from my bank and numerous times since then; she has not sent reimbursement for the amount she authorized on my card. She was aware of her responsibility (and has in the past paid for their luggage.)
The children departed today, and I purchased their return flight luggage fees online last night.

Regardless of who the tickets were for and whose luggage was covered....the purpose of my post is the Fraudulent Use & Mishandling of my credit card information by Allegiant Air!
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#10
Since you were not at the airport it's hard to know exactly what happened. I would suggest just allowing your husband get the reimbursement from his Ex and allow you to move on with the New Year. What happened here is so typical of weird things that can and do happen when traveling. Especially on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

If you would like to pursue this further with Alliegent you can use the executive contacts on the site to send Brief, polite and short letters outlining what happened and your dismay that it was even possible. Leave the emotion out and just stick to the facts. Best not to use words like fraud, etc. this is likely a programming error that allowed this. Good luck and happy New Year!
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#11
I can understand that you are really upset and feeling quite cheated. But it's a little early for feeling cheated. Ascertain who authorized Allegiant to charge your card and ask that person why s/he did that. Did you have an agreement with the mother about payment for the bags? If so, why weren't the bags prepaid at half the cost? It's very possible that the Allegiant agent just charged the card on record for the bags and nobody even discussed it.

To show you that you're not alone ... I had a similar situation with Chase several years ago when a hotel charged my card without authorization or seeing the card. The event manager had made my reservation, forgot to cancel it, and without further ado, the hotel dug up my card from the year before and charged me for the room. After I did my detective work, you can bet I raised a fuss with Chase, but they never responded to my concern that this hotel still had my credit card info, much less that they charged the card without authorization. So these kinds of shenanigans go on all the time, and there's no point in getting exercised until you find out exactly what happened.

This is one of those family situations that can cause big trouble. Taking action when you're this angry is not a good plan.

Your hotel situation is somewhat similar but not the same. I frequent several hotle chains and have my credit card on file along with the hotels rewards program. So I can see how a charge might be made for a stay without the hotel agent ever seeing the card. (Chase Bank? I don't believe they did nothing when you disputed tye charge. I deal with them daily as a travel agent, and they are sticklers when it comes to suspected fraudulent use of a debit or credit card.)

I even have my credit card on file with several airline rewards programs (Allegiant does not have a program), and yet these airlines still do not permit "adding" charges to a credit card post reservation purchase.

I personally never pay for luggage at the time of ticket purchase. I do so the night before or at the counter (Allegiant & Spirit charge higher fees at the counter; others do not), because I do not know how much luggage there will be until the day before.

With that said, the mother is aware of her responsibilities; she has a court order. She very well could have logged onto the website with the confirmation number provided to her and paid for the luggage in advance. She did not do so. She stated she authorized the charge at the airport, and she did not have permission to do so!

My point is that even after I purchased the reservation and decided 10 hours later to add Trip Flex to the tickets, I was not able to just "add" those charges to my own credit card on a reservation I purchased! But she was able to walk up to the counter and "add" the charges to the reservation!
No other airline will permit you to do this and they do not charge higher luggage fees at the counter!
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#12
Since you were not at the airport it's hard to know exactly what happened. I would suggest just allowing your husband get the reimbursement from his Ex and allow you to move on with the New Year. What happened here is so typical of weird things that can and do happen when traveling. Especially on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

If you would like to pursue this further with Alliegent you can use the executive contacts on the site to send Brief, polite and short letters outlining what happened and your dismay that it was even possible. Leave the emotion out and just stick to the facts. Best not to use words like fraud, etc. this is likely a programming error that allowed this. Good luck and happy New Year!
Is December 22nd the busiest travel day of the year? And from an airport that handles a few departures and arrivals a day?
Not to mention, one of these "children" is an 18 year old adult. It is very likely that the mother dropped these two off at the airport. The 18 year old may have been the one to authorize the baggage fees...then who will you be bringing these "criminal charges" against?... your husband's son. I don't think that will be well received in your household.
This is about Allegiant's practices! And my step-son explained to me what happened. His mother confirmed she authorized the charge. My point is that Allegiant Air allowed it to happen!!!!!! I was very thorough in my explanation, and the focus seems to be on the mother.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#13
Since you were not at the airport it's hard to know exactly what happened. I would suggest just allowing your husband get the reimbursement from his Ex and allow you to move on with the New Year. What happened here is so typical of weird things that can and do happen when traveling. Especially on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

If you would like to pursue this further with Alliegent you can use the executive contacts on the site to send Brief, polite and short letters outlining what happened and your dismay that it was even possible. Leave the emotion out and just stick to the facts. Best not to use words like fraud, etc. this is likely a programming error that allowed this. Good luck and happy New Year!
I have already been in communication with Allegiant.
Oh good grief, just ask the children's mom to reimburse you. Asking nicely and assume that she had no idea the entire sequence of events involving your credit card. She knew she was responsible for the luggage to just ask her to send you a check in the next few days. Mention how lovely it was having the kids visit.
Good grief to you! She has been asked to reimburse the money it. She has refused. I thought this site would offer more insight on the practices of Allegiant Air!! I don't need advice on how to deal with the mother of my step-children.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#14
Press charges? On who? The mother went with them with every intent to pay for the bags - Allegiant is the one who did the charge, not the mother. If you are going to press charges, you better press them on the Allegiant agent, not the mother.

You did the dispute, let it go or have the mother reimburse you. But pressing charges? That is ridiculous. This wasn't her fault.
Does anyone READ my initial post thoroughly? Everyone is making it about the mother! It's about ALLEGIANT and their Practices!
And by the way, she is not innocent...we have been flying the children back and forth on Allegiant for the last 18 months...she knows what she is responsible for; and how to pay for luggage prior to arriving at the airport; and has paid for their luggage numerous times!! She didn't want the kids to fly out of Fresno, so she was angry. BUT Allegiant allowed her to authorize the charges!!! That is MY point!
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#15
Does anyone READ my initial post thoroughly? Everyone is making it about the mother! It's about ALLEGIANT and their Practices!
And by the way, she is not innocent...we have been flying the children back and forth on Allegiant for the last 18 months...she knows what she is responsible for; and how to pay for luggage prior to arriving at the airport; and has paid for their luggage numerous times!! She didn't want the kids to fly out of Fresno, so she was angry. BUT Allegiant allowed her to authorize the charges!!! That is MY point!
If she intended onmpaying for the bags, she would've done so prior to arriving at tye airport, like she has done numerous times.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#16
Christine,

As you did not authorize the charges, first contact the airline (in writing) of that fact and ask them to reimburse your credit card. You can use the contacts provided by this website. Make your request concise, and without emotion, as the person reading it didn't cause the problem and is in a position to help you.

If the airline doesn't resolve this within a timely manner, then dispute the charges as unauthorized with your bank. The key, though, is you need to show that you gave the merchant an opportunity to resolve it first. Be mindful of any deadlines imposed by your bank. Most allow disputes up to 60 days from the date of the statement the charge appears on.

Good Luck.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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#17
Christine,

As you did not authorize the charges, first contact the airline (in writing) of that fact and ask them to reimburse your credit card. You can use the contacts provided by this website. Make your request concise, and without emotion, as the person reading it didn't cause the problem and is in a position to help you.

If the airline doesn't resolve this within a timely manner, then dispute the charges as unauthorized with your bank. The key, though, is you need to show that you gave the merchant an opportunity to resolve it first. Be mindful of any deadlines imposed by your bank. Most allow disputes up to 60 days from the date of the statement the charge appears on.

Good Luck.
THANK YOU!

The best advice and response I've read. Then I shouldn't send a complaint to DOT of Allegiant's practices? I did talk to an Allegiant Air Agent in Phoenix who stated to me that they are always required to ask for ID and form of payment (except cash; no cash at the counter.) Thank you again.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#18
THANK YOU!

The best advice and response I've read. Then I shouldn't send a complaint to DOT of Allegiant's practices? I did talk to an Allegiant Air Agent in Phoenix who stated to me that they are always required to ask for ID and form of payment (except cash; no cash at the counter.) Thank you again.
You can file a complaint if you wish. The DOT will forward it on to the airline for them to provide you a response. They won't be able to do anything more, except it becoming part of their complaint metrics.

This is basically a dispute between you, the airline and your credit card provider. Normally if you didn't authorize it, and the airline doesn't have proof of authorization (i.e. signature, online booking or phone recording), then it shouldn't be a difficult case to resolve.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,995
12,236
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
Does anyone READ my initial post thoroughly? Everyone is making it about the mother! It's about ALLEGIANT and their Practices!
And by the way, she is not innocent...we have been flying the children back and forth on Allegiant for the last 18 months...she knows what she is responsible for; and how to pay for luggage prior to arriving at the airport; and has paid for their luggage numerous times!! She didn't want the kids to fly out of Fresno, so she was angry. BUT Allegiant allowed her to authorize the charges!!! That is MY point!
I fully read your post and you are absolutely correct- this is about Allegiant and their practices so why are you getting the police involved? The Allegiant rep. at the airport is the one that permitted the charge to go through on your card. So that is who you should be directing the police to if you are pressing charges.

You rightly need to take this up with Allegiant because their policy is ridiculous.

We have customer contacts on our page. Find the contacts for Allegiant. If you have already written to the customer service contact, write to the first executive. State what happened and that their policy needs to be fixed because it allows unauthorized people to make charges on cards. Yours is a perfect example of why the policy is wrong.

Give him/her a week to get back to you. If you hear nothing, move to the next executive. Repeat weekly until you get to the top if necessary.

I also suggest you write to the Attorney General in your state about the practice.

Your goal should be to get the policy changed so this can't happen to you or others again.

As a step parent, your anger is going to come across to your step kids. It's not fair to them to be put in the middle of problems you have with their mother. Your husband needs to be handling this piece of the problem. The 18 year old was old enough to see what his mother was going if she did actually tell the rep. to charge your card. The Allegiant rep. is the one who allowed your card to be used.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#20
Christine,

This is actually common practice in the airlines despite your experience. In the past year I have had children traveling with Delta and AA and both were able to check in on the return flight without me present, check their bags and my credit card was charged. I had to check my bag recently (my old one sadly broke and I ended up buying a really cheap one at Walmart that couldn't fit in the overhead) and I never gave them my credit card again. I am sure it's buried somewhere in their terms of service about the charge authorizing all appropriate taxes and fees. So it's not just Allegiant.

On one of those trips I was able to book a hotel room for my son (flight was canceled) and he charged room service to the bill all without the card present. It's not uncommon in the travel industry.

If you disagree with this practice, feel free to start a dispute with your credit card company. Because neither you nor the card was present, you stand a decent chance of winning though I don't see much of a chance of the practice changing. You can also contact your local Attorney General though I think that's a waste of time.

As for the rest of your post, let me caution you. Filing charges would be seen by family courts as an irrational, hostile act. Not only could it boomerang on you legally (filing false charges isn't a joke) but something like that could be used against you and your husband in a battle of visitation, custody rights and support amounts. Neil is right - your anger should not come across to your stepchildren and if you're unable to let that go then I suggest you let your husband deal with this issue.