Mixing Helpfulness and Humor Since 2005

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Allegiant Air Tip of the Day

UPDATED MAY 2012 & JUNE 2013

Allegiant Air can be an inexpensive way to fly, plus they flight from smaller airports which can make it convenient if you don't live in a large city, but you'll end up paying a bit more then advertised. There are many fees and optional add-ons, but these tips and tricks can help you keep what you pay still dirt cheap.


Avoid Fees

There are tons of hidden fees, some of them you can't get around but many of them you can.

Don't choose a seat When buying online, it almost looks like you have to pay a seating charge, but look closely, there is a little skip button that will save you some money. Don't worry they won't make you stand in the aisle.

Book at the airport: Allegiant is charging at $13.50 $10 "Carrier usage charge" for buying your ticket online (and tack on another $10 $15 for buying over the phone). Regulators said there has to be a way around the fee so you can buy a ticket at the ticket counter at the airport aka. "the old fashioned way". The trick is, their ticket counter is only open for 1 hour after a flight takes off, and for most airports Allegiant only flies a couple times a week. Here are the details. Luckily, most airports allow you to park your car free for 30 minutes.

Avoid checking a bag: You can carry on one piece of luggage that is no bigger than 22"x14"x9" aka. standard carry on size. Pack light or be ready to lighten you wallet. But with most carriers already charging for checked bags, its not that big of a surprise.

UPDATE April 2012: Pack EXTRA Light or Plan Ahead: Allegiant is the second US airline (behind Spirit) to charge to carry on luggage. You can still bring a giant purse or other personal item for free, but carry on suite cases will cost you. If you wait to declare you have one until you get to the airport they'll slap you with $35 $50 each way, but if you plan ahead and say you'll have luggage when you buy your ticket, you'll pay $13-$15 $20-$30 to carry on, or $15-$25 $40 to check a bag each way. The price varies depending on the route.

Some taxes and fees are unavoidable: On a recent purchase, there were around $10 in taxes and fees for each leg of the flight (a recent regulation change requires that all taxes be included in the advertised price); remember their prices are one way, so you'll also need to fly back. $56+$15×2=still a good deal

What you won't get:

Snack No peanuts, not pretzels, no drinks, no nothing, oh that is unless you're willing to pay for it.
Tray Tables no need to worry about putting your seat backs and tray tables in their upright and locked position. There are not tray tables and your seat doesn't move.
SkyMall They don't have the iconic mail order catalog, but you can buy a Disney beach towel and other souvenirs on board. And don't even think you're getting a magazine to read.
Jetway While everyone else at the neighboring gates it walking to the airplane in air conditioned comfort, you'll be walking across the tarmac up to a ramp (at the Lexington Bluegrass Airport at least).
Frequent Flyer Miles Hah. Not that big of a deal, unless you plan to take a LOT of vacations to Florida.

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