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Old 07-23-2014, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Historic Gulfport
464 posts, read 522,793 times
Reputation: 417

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Has anyone used this carrier out of St. Pete airport? Allegient is truly no-frills, but has some interesting non-stops out of PIE at very low rates.

Friends near Orlando have used Allegient to bring parents down to Sanford airport from NE Penn. Varying results, including cancellations if flights don't sell a lot of seats. Not a huge deal for my friends as their parents just go home, get the next flight in a day or two.

If we used them, it'd likely be for a getaway with a non-refundable B&B and/or vacation rental at our destination, so a last minute cancellation would be costly. Allegient flights from PIE to other destinations are usually every few days, not daily.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:21 AM
 
219 posts, read 286,223 times
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I use them all the time to fly into Sanford and have flown into St. Pete once. We have never had a flight cancelled, maybe a weather delay, but never a cancellation. The rates do vary, depending on how far in advance you book..and everything is "a la carte." You do get charged for EVERYTHING. So, if you are traveling with more than a backpack or purse that will fit under the seat, your rate will increase. Seat selections are a charge, as well as priority boarding. I do suggest you pay for your seat selection and priority board. I've seen people who didn't pay for their seat, get assigned seats already purchased by other. It gets crowded in the aisle while they are figuring out that mess, etc. Priority boarding gets you on the plane first. The advantage to this is you are guaranteed to get you carry-on bags directly above you. Otherwise, someone assigned a seat in the back of the plane, may dump their bags in the front on their way through making it easier on them.....then your bags end up in the back of the plane while you are sitting up front.

We use them not so much for the cost, as once you add up all the extras there is no savings, but for the convenience of the smaller airports with less hassle than Tampa and Orlando International. The airports are a lot less crazy, which makes for a more pleasant traveling experience.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:00 AM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,948,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachgoer44 View Post
The rates do vary, depending on how far in advance you book..and everything is "a la carte." You do get charged for EVERYTHING. So, if you are traveling with more than a backpack or purse that will fit under the seat, your rate will increase. Seat selections are a charge, as well as priority boarding. I do suggest you pay for your seat selection and priority board. I've seen people who didn't pay for their seat, get assigned seats already purchased by other. It gets crowded in the aisle while they are figuring out that mess, etc. Priority boarding gets you on the plane first. The advantage to this is you are guaranteed to get you carry-on bags directly above you. Otherwise, someone assigned a seat in the back of the plane, may dump their bags in the front on their way through making it easier on them.....then your bags end up in the back of the plane while you are sitting up front.
Um, that sounds like American, United, Delta or the rest of the hub-and-spoke airlines.

[disclaimer: I have an Allegiant flight pass which allows for unlimited standby travel]

Their model is different than any other airline. They only fly back and forth between their hubs in FL/CA/AZ/NV and tiny towns, which means they do not offer connecting flights. If they do not go nonstop to where you want to go (say, east coast to west coast), you can't book it as one trip. They don't have a frequent flier program and they don't allow for flight changes (it would be cheaper to throw the ticket away than pay what other airlines charge for flight changes). While a few business travelers will use Allegiant (how else do you get to South Bend, IN or Elmira, NY in a hurry?), most of the passengers are, shall we say politely, amateur fliers. Expect a passenger or two to be carrying their clothes in a Hefty bag.

They also have ridiculously high load factors, which means almost every flight runs 95-100% full. If you can throw your clothes in a duffel bag for a two-day trip and don't care about a middle seat for your 2 hour flight, tickets will cost you $50-75 each way to most of their locations. Plus, PIE is a dream airport to get in/out of (but TPA is also very good in this regard).

They have a very low cancellation rate compared to larger airlines, because they don't have other flights to stick you on. If there is a plane in Branson, MO and you are scheduled to fly to PIE, there is a 0% chance you will get cancelled for weather/mechanical reasons. They will send another plane if they have to, because the crew is based out of PIE and they need to get back home.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:41 AM
 
Location: South Tampa
1,160 posts, read 1,734,635 times
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I haven't found Allegiant to be as cheap as some of you are letting on. Let's say I'm going to Chicago.

For example, before I even get into baggage/seating charges/etc with Allegiant...$198 in October (a good timeframe away) for a Thurs-Sun trip. Add cheapest middle seat in the back of plane for $11 each way, total is $220. Then I still have a hour drive into Chicago. If my plans change, Allegiant charges me $75 to reschedule.

$262 RT with Southwest to a better airport in city, 2 checked bags and 1 carry on free, and you build FF miles. Also, I can apply the cost of the ticket to any future flight at no charge. $42 doesn't seem so much, then.

Adding just 1 checked bag to the Allegiant flight makes it break even...taking a carry on will save you $15 over Southwest.

All the extra costs associated with the airline plus those getting to your destination after just aren't worth it for me. Plus, I think TIA is easy to get in and out of.

Maybe for travel or if I had another home furnished with clothing...I'd do it?
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:28 AM
 
3,313 posts, read 4,296,635 times
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Just went on their website to play with numbers. Flight from Clearwater to Chicago, October 16 through October 31. Total debit card price - $158. 1 carry on bag - $26, 1 checked bag - $40. If you have family of 3 traveling , savings might be very noticeable. Traveling with them is a good alternative.

The same days for Southwest came up to $294 for a round trip. Almost twice the price! And even though Southwest is not charging rescheduling fee, they charge the difference in fare which is magically always been pretty high for me.
Let's keep in mind Southwest is one of best airlines with best baggage policy for sure
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:01 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,948,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpur View Post
I haven't found Allegiant to be as cheap as some of you are letting on. Let's say I'm going to Chicago.
That's your problem right there. You wouldn't fly Allegiant to Chicago.

Allegiant does not fly to the Chicago area. You may be confusing them with another airline. Read my earlier post -- Allegiant does not cater to travel between major cities and Florida. They fly to small towns and regions that can support several hundred people a week that want to go to Florida. That is their entire business model.

Rockford, South Bend, Grand Rapids or Peoria are nowhere near Chicago, so you are comparing apples to oranges.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:48 PM
 
4,817 posts, read 3,468,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_tino View Post
That's your problem right there. You wouldn't fly Allegiant to Chicago.

Allegiant does not fly to the Chicago area. You may be confusing them with another airline. Read my earlier post -- Allegiant does not cater to travel between major cities and Florida. They fly to small towns and regions that can support several hundred people a week that want to go to Florida. That is their entire business model.

Rockford, South Bend, Grand Rapids or Peoria are nowhere near Chicago, so you are comparing apples to oranges.
I have tried using them just to get out of PIE but unless you are a retiree the flight times and frequency are non starter, they flight to small airports close to big cities which sometimes is doable, like they fly to allentown which is close enough to nyc, they flight to rockford, ill which is close enough to Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison you could also flight to South bend again an hour from Chicago. If I am travelling to NJ and I wanted to go Jetblue into JFK and rent a car I might as well flight into Allentown it might be an easier drive than JFK, I am not too familiar with the Chicago area I do know enough to avoid Ohare at all cost but I dont know how bad of a drive is to Rockford or South Bend I guess it also depends if you are going to the city itself or the suburbs.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 3,783,383 times
Reputation: 3505
Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNNDFRNT View Post
I have tried using them just to get out of PIE but unless you are a retiree the flight times and frequency are non starter, they flight to small airports close to big cities which sometimes is doable, like they fly to allentown which is close enough to nyc, they flight to rockford, ill which is close enough to Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison you could also flight to South bend again an hour from Chicago. If I am travelling to NJ and I wanted to go Jetblue into JFK and rent a car I might as well flight into Allentown it might be an easier drive than JFK, I am not too familiar with the Chicago area I do know enough to avoid Ohare at all cost but I dont know how bad of a drive is to Rockford or South Bend I guess it also depends if you are going to the city itself or the suburbs.
ORD is not that bad, even if you have to go to the far away C gates in terminal 1. A drive from Rockford or South Bend would definitely not be worth it unless your ticket was free.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:21 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 1,948,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNNDFRNT View Post
you could also flight to South bend again an hour from Chicago.
No, South Bend is nowhere near Chicago. It is easily a 2+ hour drive or 1.5 hours by train (which may also be a several hour wait). I traveled it on a last-minute trip when TPA-Chicago fares were $800-1000 RT.

It's really not a hard concept to grasp, but everyone is missing the point: if you are going to a small town or rural region, Allegiant is a fantastic deal. If you are trying to get to a big city, there will typically be no savings for an advance fare.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:37 PM
 
4,817 posts, read 3,468,285 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_tino View Post
No, South Bend is nowhere near Chicago. It is easily a 2+ hour drive or 1.5 hours by train (which may also be a several hour wait). I traveled it on a last-minute trip when TPA-Chicago fares were $800-1000 RT.

It's really not a hard concept to grasp, but everyone is missing the point: if you are going to a small town or rural region, Allegiant is a fantastic deal. If you are trying to get to a big city, there will typically be no savings for an advance fare.
What I am.saying is that part of their marketing is that they fly to big cities but smaller airports like MacArthur in LI, Allentown, Rockford, airports that market themselves as an alternative to their bigger counterparts, as the metropolitan areas get bigger this smaller airports in the outskirts become more appealing for suburbanites.
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