ORLANDO, Fla. - Some Allegiant Air customers claim the airline violated their privacy and shared their sensitive information.
Customers who have used service and emotional support animals found out their personal email addresses were sent to hundreds of passengers.
Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich reports a class action lawsuit is demanding the airline protect customer information.
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When Lois takes a flight, her miniature dachshund is on board, too. Oscar is her registered emotional support dog. Action 9 isn't using her last name because Lois considers that private information. So a recent email from Allegiant Air felt like a violation.
"Yeah, I am disappointed. And I fly the airline a lot," she said.
Three weeks ago, the airline sent the email to hundreds of passengers who had flown with service or emotional support animals. It announced policy changes and included hundreds of personal email addresses belonging to people who used support animals.
Attorney Chuck Douglas told Action 9 his wife is one of the passengers who got that email. The next week, he filed a class action lawsuit against the airline.
"It was an invasion of privacy," he said. "Allegiant clearly screwed up."
The lawsuit said Allegiant exposed hundreds of email addresses of people who submitted medical or psychiatric information to Allegiant.
The lawsuit also claims many of the email addresses include passenger names and addresses and that they can be easily identified.
Douglas said that violates customers' privacy and Allegiant's passenger contracts.
"Compensate the people for violating the email policy of Allegiant, which promises that your email information will not be shared with others," he said.
A week after filing the lawsuit, Allegiant offered a $100 voucher to passengers listed in the email.
Lawyers behind the lawsuit said customers have already signed up from 15 states.
Lois said she is still worried about her privacy.
"I may have to change my email, and I'll have to contact Allegiant to let them know," she said.
Allegiant Air told Action 9 its policy is to apologize for errors and to provide travel vouchers as a goodwill gesture and that it can't comment on the lawsuit.
Allegiant Air provided Action 9 the following response:
"We don't comment on pending litigation. I can confirm to you that $100 vouchers were issued to a small group of passengers impacted by an email error. The no-conditions vouchers were not offered, they were simply sent out to passengers as a courtesy. Our customer service policy is to apologize when we make an error, and to provide a travel voucher as a gesture of goodwill. That is what we did in this case."
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