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Old Jun 17, 11, 11:45 am   #1
 
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Allegiant Air rant

First off, I like Allegiant's no frills approach, and the convenience afforded by the fact that they fly out of some remote and obscure airports.

I do NOT like the fact that they do not add the $16.99 pp 'convenience' fee for booking online to the cost of the fare when it is displayed on their calendar grid.

Yesterday I priced a round trip flight with hotel from FNL to LAS for 7/8 through 7/10, and the total cost was around $160pp, rt before the 'convenience' fee was added. Fine, I'll buy the tickets at the airport to avoid paying the 'convenience fee'. Not so fast. Their ticket counter at FNL is open from noon to 1pm. I'd missed the deadline. Fine, I'll go today. But wait! Today, the cost of the trip has jumped about $100 due to an increase in airfares! I'm glad I checked before I made the drive to the airport on my lunch break.

Funny thing is, when I priced the airfare yesterday through Kayak, the least expensive rt for those dates was around $360pp. On a whim, I search again today, and it's now $160pp rt from DEN via US and CO. And I have status with US.

Allegiant lost that booking. The airfare on US/CO is LESS than Allegiant, and after booking 2 nights at the same hotel as their package, the net cost was the same. I have more flexibility in the event of irrops or a missed flight, since Allegiant only has one flight per day. The outbound leg of my itinerary connects through PHX - a bit of an inconvenience compared to Allegiant's direct flight, but I'll arrive much earlier anyway. My only loss is that I have an extra 45 minutes of driving to DEN, but the upgrade on US should more than make up for that

I didn't realize there would be that much of a change in fares going from a 22 day advance purchase to a 21 day advance purchase.
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Old Jun 17, 11, 12:29 pm   #2
 
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Allegiant Air sues DOT over passenger rules
DALLAS — Allegiant Air went to federal court Thursday to block regulations that would expand consumer protections for airline passengers.

The airline asked a U.S. appeals court in Washington to review the Obama administration's plan to change the way airline fares and baggage fees are disclosed and to let consumers get a refund within 24 hours of buying an airline ticket.

Allegiant also asked the court to review a ban on raising airline prices after consumers buy their ticket.

<snip>

The airline said the Transportation Department doesn't have authority to give consumers broad rights to get a refund for their ticket if the airline hasn't delayed or canceled their flight. It also argued that a provision to require that advertised fares include government-imposed fees and taxes violates the airlines' free-speech rights.

Allegiant has talked about selling discounted tickets that could fluctuate in price depending on the cost of jet fuel, but that would be prohibited under the new rule. Allegiant said a ban violates the 1978 law that deregulated the airline industry.
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Old Jun 17, 11, 3:21 pm   #3
 
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Yep, Allegiant's "convenience fees" allow them to illegally (IMO) advertise fares that for all intents and purposes do not exist. By limiting the availability to airport ticket counters only, you make those low fares available for a matter of a few hours per week in some communities (not to mention the cost of getting to the airport, parking etc).

Yet the "fool the masses" business model seems to be working for them. People in places like Bismarck and Owensboro are probably glad to pay extra for the privilege of not having to run the ORD/ATL/DFW gauntlet to get to their vacation destination. The "convenience fee" is simply an "Oh well" for them.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 12:01 am   #4
 
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Last edited by Tanic; Jun 18, 11 at 12:03 am.. Reason: deleted
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Old Jun 18, 11, 12:13 am   #5
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Sounds like Allegiant Air charges airline tickets like Ticketmaster charges event tickets..

When I asked Ticketmaster how convenience charges can be avoided.. the answer is.. you can't avoid it..

Funny, how the Allegiant Air counter happens to be only open 1 hour per day.. and happens to be on their employee's lunch break..

Allegiant Air sounds like bad news so far..
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Old Jun 18, 11, 1:29 am   #6
 
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The fact is that Allegiant is for all intents and purposes not an airline. They are a travel company who simply use their own aircraft. People in cities like Minot and Huntington are simply glad to get reasonably priced service, and that's what Allegiant provides. Just because it differs from the conventional airline model doesn't necessarily make it worse.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 1:31 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
The fact is that Allegiant is for all intents and purposes not an airline. They are a travel company who simply use their own aircraft. People in cities like Minot and Huntington are simply glad to get reasonably priced service, and that's what Allegiant provides. Just because it differs from the conventional airline model doesn't necessarily make it worse.
So Chartered aircraft..

sort of like some of the vacation carriers that no longer exists.. gotcha
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Old Jun 18, 11, 3:34 am   #8
 
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They are a cross between a ULCC (Spirit/Skybus) and a charter (North America/USA3000). They still have a very heavy focus on vacation and hotel/rental/airfare packages, more so that any other airline or even Expedia/Orbitz
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Old Jun 18, 11, 9:30 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belfordrocks View Post
Just because it differs from the conventional airline model doesn't necessarily make it worse.
Fine, let them be as different as they want, but why are they suing for a license to misrepresent and lie?

From the article that I quote above:
Quote:
It also argued that a provision to require that advertised fares include government-imposed fees and taxes violates the airlines' free-speech rights.
And:
Quote:
Allegiant also asked the court to review a ban on raising airline prices after consumers buy their ticket.
Here is an excerpt from an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Quote:
In a three-page brief filed on Thursday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the parent of Las Vegas-based low-cost airline Allegiant Air took issue with the following areas: ...prominently displaying how baggage and other ancillary fees are shown to passengers; and not allowing government fees and taxes to be advertised separately from the fare.

Allegiant has aggressively split off parts of flights for separate charges beyond a seat itself, so bundling everything into one lump sum would make prices look higher. Consumer advocates have argued that this is a more honest pricing method because it would show the total cost of the flight up front, but Allegiant argues it limits passenger choice.
Here is a report from Aviation Week:
Quote:
The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) is violating First Amendment rights to free speech with rules that regulate how airlines advertise their fares and fees, Las Vegas-based low-cost carrier Allegiant Air argues in a court filing June 16.

“DOT’s detailed regulation of the advertising of fares and services prohibits truthful speech, in violation of the First Amendment and in excess of DOT’s lawful authority,” the Las Vegas-based, low-cost carrier states in a petition for review it filed to challenge several of the department’s new rules on “passenger protections.”

“It has to do with commercial free speech,” says Aaron Goerlich of Garofalo Goerlich Hainbach, a Washington-based co-counsel for Allegiant. “Corporations, like everyone else, have free speech rights under the First Amendment. The rights are not absolute. But the limitations on their rights have to stay within appropriate confines, and we feel the DOT has gone too far.”

<snip>

Allegiant also argues that some of the new rules are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 because they amount to “an indirect regulation of the pricing of air travel and related services.” That applies not only to the full-fare advertising rule, it says, but also two other new requirements the carrier is challenging: restrictions on post-purchase price increases and mandates on ticket refunds.
And one from VegasInc:
Quote:
Allegiant Chairman and CEO Maurice Gallagher said the airline fully discloses ticket prices and fees on its website, but the Transportation Department wants airlines to list prices with fees and taxes compiled. That’s a challenge for Allegiant because its a la carte pricing model allows customers to opt in or out for services such as baggage fees, seat selection and meals.

Gallagher contends that if airlines had to compile total ticket costs, fewer people would travel to Las Vegas because leisure travel is price sensitive.

<snip>

Spirit Airlines’ statement in opposition to the requirement to hold fares for 24 hours after booking without payment said the plan would generate massive abuse and force airlines to raise ticket prices as they compensate for “spoilage” of unpaid but blocked seats.

Spirit said a rule to invoke a price freeze for nonticket services from the time of the initial ticket purchase, even though the customers has not purchased or paid for those services would force airlines to increase fees to cover business risks.

“We’re kind of putting a bull’s-eye on our back by doing this,” Gallagher said.
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