Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review of Allegiant Air

I've heard about Allegiant for years but this was the first time we have flown with them.

Booking flights/Vacation Package:

Overall this was an easy process, comparable to other booking websites.  I was impressed with the prices but after flying with them, I'm not sure that the inconveniences were worth the savings.

They really just nickel and dime everything.  I was drawn in by cheap airfare. But the extra fees really added up.  And you really had to read the fine print, because there were even more fees that I wasn't aware of until getting to Orlando.

Additional Fees:

  • $80 for seat assignments.  I hesitated on whether this was necessary.  But there was no guarantee that if we waited until check-in that we would get 4 seats together.  Which is fine for adults, but since we have 2 children flying with us, I wanted to make sure we were seated together.
  • $110 luggage fees. Only 1 personal bag was allowed for free, such as my purse or a small book bag for each of the girls with toys/books for the flight.  We paid $110 for 1 carry on bag and 2 checked bags.  I didn't want to have to do laundry on vacation but I also didn't want to pay for more suitcases so this made packing plenty of clothes a bit of a challenge. Luckily I have 1 large suitcase and was able to borrow another large suitcase to make the most of our checked luggage fees.
  • $2 drinks. Every other time I have flown, at least a beverage is free during the flight.  Not for Allegiant.  We paid $2 each per can of soda.
  • $66 additional car rental charges.  I booked a package deal with airfare and car rental, pre-paying for the trip months in advance.  So imagine my surprise when I go to rent the car and fine out none of the taxes and rental car fees were included in the package, only the base rate.  This added up to an additional $66 in charges.  So I really didn't get such a great deal as I thought I had.
  • $5 per ticket at airport.  Luckily I read about this the night before and was able to download their app to use for our tickets.  But if I hadn't realized this ahead of time, it would have cost us an additional $20 each way, just for them to print our ticket out at the airport.

Other Inconveniences

  • Limited flight schedule.  Allegiant only has limited flights to each location about 2 times per week.  For our vacation, that meant going from Tuesday to Tuesday.  I was fine with that when I booked the trip.  But once it was time to go, we could have had a few extra days if we would have gone Saturday to Sunday.  The airfare is one of the major expenses of any vacation, and I would have liked a couple extra days.  Plus the Tuesday to Tuesday trip meant that the girls both missed 2 days of school.
  • Limited airports. Allegiant didn't fly into Orlando International, instead flying through Orlando Sandford.  It was only about a 50 minute drive to our hotel.  But with the limited flight schedule and having to an 8 am flight home, we had to get up at 4 am on our last day to make sure we had plenty of time to get to the airport, return the car, check in, etc.  Had I thought that through to begin with, it may have affected my decision on which airline to choose from.

Airplane

The plane was nice and seemed in good condition.  Seats were comfortable.  I don't think they reclined which in my opinion is a good thing since I somehow always get someone in front of me that wants to recline all the way back into my lap.

Overall

When planning our next vacation, I may still consider Allegiant.  Especially if it is just my husband and I, not including the kids.  But I am definitely more aware of what the total cost of flying through them is.  

I would consider them again for airfare, but will never book a package through them again.  I had no idea there would be extra charges for the rental car.  And even though I now realize the fine print states that all the rental car taxes and fees aren't covered in the package price, there is really no way of knowing what those charges will be ahead of time.



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