Cabin: Economy Class
Route: Medford - LA
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-80
I fly budget airlines religiously. Okay I lie, once I flew Air New Zealand economy class form Vancouver BC to Auckland NZ and it seriously felt like business class! Well what I imagine business class to be like.
Surprisingly my flight with Allegiant Air was not all that bad despite the mixed reviews I had read online about the airline. Maybe it helped that it was a short flight, a bit under two hours in total, but even still things were quite pleasant.
The US based carrier has a very unique business model. They fly places that other low cost carriers don’t, offering non-stop services to airports not usually used. They focus on leisure destinations in warm climates allowing travelers living in smaller remote towns to escape somewhere hot. Plus they appear to under cut the competition in fare price… I think I may have a small crush on the airline.
Seat and Amenities
My seat pitch was a fairly comfortable 30 inches. I have definitely had worse with other budget carriers so I was satisfied to say the least. Seats on Allegiant Air also come pre-reclined which is fancy airline speak for they do not recline. For me this is a non-issue. When traveling short distances I do not feel the need to recline my seat out of respect for the people behind me. Non-reclining seats allow more seats to be put in and cuts down on maintenance costs. This allows the airline to make more revenue and in turn keeps your ticket cost cheaper. Now that’s a win for me!
Pre-selecting your seat on Allegiant Air comes at a fee. On the route I traveled seat selection ranged from $9-$22 depending on the amount of legroom and where the seat was positioned in the aircraft. As I was traveling alone I did not feel the need to pre-select my seat, which thankfully kept my ticket price low. I was assigned a seat by Allegiants system when I checked in at the airport free of charge.
There are no blankets or pillows available to be purchased on board the aircraft so if you are after a bit of extra comfort be sure to bring your own supplies.
Customer service on board
Allegiant Air staff were extremely friendly during my flight. They were there when you needed them but otherwise they did not bother to hassle anyone. I have heard from other travelers that Allegiant staff have tried to push selling airport shuttles, hotel rooms and cars to passengers during their flight which I could imagine would be quite annoying. Thankfully this was not the case during my experience. Staff kept the aircraft clean and were extremely friendly and polite.
Nothing comes for free on Allegiant Air flights and the same goes for food and drinks. Not even a small glass of water and a bag of peanuts are complimentary. Snacks and beverages can be purchased on board anywhere from $2.99-$12.99.
No in-flight entertainment is offered on board Allegiant flights so remember to pack at least a magazine if your flight is more then a couple of hours!
The super low cost strategy employed by Allegiant Air means the airline does things a bit differently. You cannot buy your flights with the airline via any online travel agent. Flights are sold exclusively on AllegiantAir.com. The airline also does not offer a frequent flyer loyalty program so you cannot acquire miles or points if you fly with the airline regularly. Unlike most airlines Allegiant also charges for carry on luggage. If purchased online the cost is $10-$30 depending on which route you fly or at the airport it is an astounding $50-$75 per bag each way. Checked bags cost $15-$35 purchased online and again $50-$75 at the airport. So it definitely pays to be prepared and pre book your luggage. The airline also cuts costs by limiting flights to only a few times per week. I know on the route I traveled Allegiant only fly’s into and out of Medford airport twice a week, which can make your schedule a bit inflexible.
When booking my flight online there were many other fees I had to navigate my way through before hitting the confirm button. These included car deals, hotel offers, airport shuttle options and tickets to attractions at my final destination. I do not blame Allegiant for these extra fees. If I am traveling light why should I have to pay for people who are not?
There is no hiding that Allegiant love their fees. If you are flying light, don’t care about where you sit and don’t want to eat anything you can get to your destination for as cheap as chips. Allegiant has become quite skilled at trying to sell you things but in the end if you can navigate your way around their offers they are extremely cheap. Personally I take my hat off to them. Their business model is unique and smart, plus they are one of the most profitable airlines in the US. The product they offer in my opinion is great as well!
Well done Allegiant Airlines. This budget traveler is satisfied.