Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Allegiant adds five destinations, 14 new routes

Low-cost, no-frills carrier Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) is adding five new cities and non-stop jet service on 14 routes to its existing flight network.

Allegiant Airbus aircraft
Allegiant will now offer service to Pittsburgh, Pa. (PIT), Indianapolis, Ind. (IND), Omaha, Neb. (OMA), Richmond, Va. (RIC) and Jacksonville, Fla. (JAX). The additions bring new, low-cost vacation options to five new communities, as well as new destination options for those communities the airline currently serves.

"Allegiant is dedicated to making vacations more affordable for more people, offering travelers the lowest possible base fare and the best deals on vacation packages," Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company senior vice president of planning, said in a statement announcing the additions.

New service will be rolled out starting in mid-February 2015 and continuing through mid-March.

The new service will include non-stop flights to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) from Syracuse, N.Y. (SYR) and Columbus, Ohio (LCK); to JAX from Cincinnati, Ohio (CVG) and PIT; to Las Vegas (LAS) from Indianapolis (IND); to Orlando (SFB) from IND and Austin, Texas (AUS); to Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches via Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) from IND and PIT; and to Tampa Bay (PIE) from PIT, IND, RIC, Hagerstown, Maryland (HGR), and OMA.

To celebrate its expansion into those five new cities, the company is offering introductory one-way fares as low as $55 as well as the opportunity to win free Allegiant flights for an entire year.

Tickets are already on sale for all of the routes. Unlike many airlines, which make fares and schedules available through travel websites, flight days and times can be found only at Allegiant.com. Introductory fares come with restrictions. Allegiant also offers discounts on vacation packages, including hotels, rental cars and attraction tickets through its website Allegiant.com. Restrictions apply to the promotional fares.

No purchase is necessary to enter the contest, which will award five prizes of free flights for two from the winners’ local airports as frequently as once a month for a year. To enter, visit Allegiant.com/FreeFlights.

Allegiant differs in many ways from other U.S. airlines. While the company spin is that its “focus is on low-cost, non-stop leisure travel, providing customers with low base fares and great value,” and that its “innovative business model has allowed it to grow from one plane and one route just over a decade ago,” the airline has been widely criticized for a variety of practices ranging from charging for carry-on luggage and paper boarding passes to not turning on air conditioning until actually in flight (making the planes especially uncomfortable in places like Vegas and Phoenix) to older, poorly maintained aircraft.

Based on passenger reviews, respected air travel rating and review service SkyTrax has given the airline a three-star rating out of a possible six stars.

“The 3-Star Airline rating signifies a satisfactory standard of core Product for most travel categories - but may reflect inconsistent standards of Staff Service and/or Product delivery in either the Onboard or Airport environments,” according to the SkyTrax website.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo courtesy of Allegiant Travel
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