Refund issued after WBTV questions airline for telling COVID-19 positive passenger to come to airport

The father and son have been trying and failing to get a response from Allegiant about their policy for over a week.
When a Charlotte man battling cancer tested positive for COVID-19 the morning of his flight, he didn't think twice before deciding to quarantine and reschedule.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - When a Charlotte man tested positive for COVID-19 the morning of his flight, he didn’t think twice before making the choice to quarantine and reschedule his travels.

But despite Elijah Corbin’s diagnosis, he says Allegiant Airlines told him he’d only receive credit for his flight if he showed up at the airport before the flight’s departure.

His father, Robert, reached out to WBTV, saying the policy went against all kinds of logic.

“Fundamentally asking people to go to the airport and putting other people at risk for COVID,” Robert said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

Passenger with COVID-19 asked to come to airport

There’s a reason Elijah frequently flies budget carrier Allegiant Airlines out of Concord Regional Airport to Orlando, where he’s in graduate school at The University of Central Florida.

“I have been diagnosed with terminal cancer,” Robert said. “So, our window is pretty small for being able to see one another.”

Robert is immunocompromised. And his son instantly self-quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 on June 24, the morning he was supposed to fly back to Orlando.

He says getting clarification from Allegiant was nearly impossible.

“Started calling Friday, June 24, that Saturday, that Sunday. Sent them an email and never got a response,” Robert told WBTV.

Eventually, Robert says they were told a flight credit could have only been issued if Elijah had shown to the airport the day of his flight. He was shocked at their response.

“I was like, how is it ethical or moral to send a person to the airport who is infected with COVID?” Robert asked.

The father and son have been trying and failing to get a response from Allegiant about their policy for over a week.

But Monday, the airline replied to WBTV just hours after we reached out, issuing a full $126 refund of the originally purchased ticket and saying in part “When a customer can’t fly due to illness, we will work with them to adjust their travel arrangements if they contact us before their flight departs. We apologize to Mr. Corbin for the delay.”

For Robert, this was simply about doing the right thing.

“It’s less about the refund with Allegiant than it is they’re encouraging people to unilaterally show up at the airport without any context.”

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