The Allegiant Air Booking Experience
With the ultra low cost carrier model (ULCC) Allegiant provides a very cheap bare-bones fare and then tries to throw as many extras at you as possible. This can be overwhelming to a lot of people and just because they ask you to buy something extra doesn’t mean you have to…. I personally didn’t mind skipping through the bombardment of up-sells to get to my very cheap one-way at the end but I will walk through their booking process.
1. Dates and Destinations
Just like all other airlines input your departure and destination city and then select a date. Keep in mind with Allegiant they have limited schedules and typically only have 1 flight every couple of days instead of everyday between destinations. With the limited schedules just remember you can always book a one-way back home from another airline like I did!
2. Select the Flight
Select the flights, once again usually just one flight option to select from.
3. Hotel Packages
Now the up-selling begins! First up is hotels! I don’t go for hotel packages typically but they can be good deals at times. Simply just scroll all the down to the bottom of the page and hit continue. Keep mind if you do want any of the options you can add them after your flight has been booked.
4. Rental Cars
Next are rental cars! I suggest looking at my rental car post on how to save some money if you need a rental car. Skip to the bottom and hit continue.
5. Special Offers
On to special offers! These could be tickets to amusement parks, events, or even phones. Skip to the bottom again and continue.
6. Traveler Information
Traveler information! Just like normal, names, date of birth, gender, and phone number for flight alerts.
7. Seat Selection
Next up is seat selection! This is where it starts to get trickier. First, you are not required to select a seat, they will auto assign seats once you check-in. I chose to be adventurous and not select a seat to save some money as their was a significant amount of open seats. Now if you do want to select a seat Allegiant varies the price of each seat based on many factors such as the location, time of booking, the seat type, and even the route. On the flight I booked I found the prices for seat assignments as low as $10 for an economy middle seats in the back to $16 for an aisle seat towards the front. Their special Legroom+ seats ranged from $18 – $22. I have no idea how much the Giant seats were as they were sold out with only 4 on the whole plane. In general the further back you go the cheaper and the closer you select seats to your departure date the more expensive.
The three seat types and details are:
- Economy – 30 inches of legroom, seat width 17 – 17.5 inches
- Legroom+ – 34 inches of legroom, seat width 17 – 17.5 inches
- Giant Seats – 34 inches of legroom, a wider seat at 25 inches, and only available on their Boeing 757-200 airliner. Suppose to be similar to other airline domestic first class seats just without the amenities.
8. Baggage and Priority Boarding
Now for baggage and priority boarding. I will start with priority boarding which only costs $5 per person which gives you a higher priority when boarding and that is it. From the boarding rules it goes people with seat selection, priority boarding, and then people who did not buy a seat selection. So it is completely worthless for anyone who selected a seat, so my suggestion is to save the $5. On to baggage, just like seat selection, prices vary depending on the flight for bags. Prices for baggage become extremely high if you need to buy it at the airport, so if you need to bring a bag make sure to buy online! One other thing to note is that a personal item is actually free! The only free thing I can find! This includes laptop bags, large purses, and backpacks. For my weekend trip I opted for one carry-on item and it cost me $18.
Baggage fees are as follows:
- Carry-on Bag – $10 – $30 online, $50 -$75 at airport per bag
- Checked Bags – $15 – $35 online, $50 -$75 at airport per bag
Finally time to pay! Even when paying you cannot escape the fees! Using a credit card they have a credit card surcharge. It ended up being $4.58 for my $143 one-way flight. Honestly, this is one fee you should pay in case their are irregular operations and your flight gets canceled or other misfortune like lost bags. Most credit cards offer some travel protections whereas debit cards do not.
Congratulations the flight has been booked! But not so fast… They might present an opportunity to call a number to get a $50 rebate! I am sure this is to hear a sales pitch and then sign up for some random service… Just pass on this unless you like these sort of things…
So while Allegiant throws a lot more sales pitches at you than most airlines they do provide transportation between two points which is the main reason I book flights and for the price I got the ticket for I was more than willing to go through a couple hoops and pay a couple of fees. Next is to actually fly them! I am pretty excited as it is the only second week that they are offer the Indianapolis to Las Vegas flight and it is on the Boeing 757-200 which they only have 6 of. If anyone has tips on seating, fees, or the flying Allegiant please share!