An Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 – Photo: Tomas Del Coro | FlickrCC
I have always loved Allegiant. How can you dislike an airline that has no qualms with being an ultra-low-cost carrier? They can get you from point A to point B for cheap. Often point B is a pretty sunny place that you want to go to and relax, so it makes it all that much better. They also serve many small airports that have no other service. Not to mention they are still rocking the maddog MD-80 (although fly on them soon — they are expecting to be rid of them by the end of this year).
I’m chatting about them today, as we have two tickets on hand that we want to give away to our readers (that’s you). There aren’t too many restrictions for the tickets and it isn’t hard to get signed up. Keep reading to find out how to get a good summer trip planned.
UPDATED: The contest has closed. The question was: How many departures did Allegiant have out of Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in 2017? The Answer: 9298 departures from SFB in 2017. The winner is Ryan L, who guessed 9,424. Very amazed with how many people were close. Thanks for participating and look forward to next time!
One of Allegiant Air's Boeing 757s (N902NV) at Everett, WA.
Allegiant Air, based in Las Vegas, is one of those wildcard airlines. One can never really know what they might do next and that keeps things very exciting. At a recent Low-Cost Airlines World Conference, Allegiant President Andrew Levy talked about the future of the airline, which might include international destinations and a loyalty program.
According to Aviation Week, Levy is “very excited” about the posibility of international growth. Allegiant is looking at the possibility of adding flights to Mexico and Canada via Las Vegas and Orlando.
Allegiant hopes to have a fleet of six Boeing 757s to supplement their fleet of MD-80 aircraft by the end of 2012. The airline has already announced the desire to start flights to Hawaii and Levy has noted that the aircraft would have the range to fly from Las Vegas to the northern area of South America. The Boeing 757s could also be used to fly to Mexico and add capacity on domestic routes.
It appears that Allegiant could see a use for more than just six Boeing 757s. “If it’s as good an asset as we think it’s going to be for our network, we’ll certainly be buying a lot more,” Levy stated at the conference. Levy will not yet estimate a number, noting that Allegiant doesn’t know how successful the six they already have will be.
When asked about the timeline of getting more aircraft and the additional routes, an Allegiant spokesperson stated they are “targeting” Hawaii for 2012, but there are no specific timelines for the international routes.
Levy also announced the airline is looking into a loyalty program, but it will be one not like other airlines. Instead of rewarding customers for the number of flights or miles flown, it would create loyalty for the entire Allegiant brand; online packages, hotels, rental cars, etc. “We don’t need a loyalty program to get people to buy our air,” Levy stated. “If you’re in Des Moines, Iowa, and you want to go to Vegas, you’re going to buy our air. What we want you to do is buy the hotel, the car and maybe one day buy hotels in places that we don’t even fly.”
Allegiant is breaking the Ultra-Low Cost carrier mold of only having one aircraft type and looking to fly some longer international routes. I can’t wait to see what this little airline from Nevada might be able to
Spirit Airline Airbus A320
Spirit Airlines has been in the news a lot recently for their new carry-on fees. Where has it gotten them? Well a ton of free publicity, people complaining …oh and 50% rise in bookings.
It seems that even though there was a lot of “negative” publicity on the new fees, passengers are buying more tickets. Is this because they are feeling Spirit must have really low fares or is it just coincidence?
Now that the carry-on fees buzz is dying down, it is time to move on to the next “crazy” thing: “pre-reclined” seats. Now this gimmick sounds like you would get on the plane and the seats are already partially reclined. However, it really means your seat will be upright and will not be able to recline at all.
Spirit have put the new seats in two new Airbus A320’s servicing the Fort Lauderdale-Washington, DC, route and on flights between Fort Lauderdale and New York’s LaGuardia airport. Two more A320’s will join the fleet this summer, and both will feature the “pre-reclined” seat design, Misty Pinson, with Spirit Airlines told the Orlando Sentinel.
So why is Spirit doing this? To fit in more seats, increasing passenger load and lowering prices. Let me guess how this will work out though:
Step #1: The media and passengers will complain how horrid this is and how they will never fly.
Step #2: Spirit will get free publicity (I know, I am guilty of this right now) about the story, making it stick in people’s minds that the airline provides low-frills, but also low prices (doesn’t always mean it is true).
Step #3: When booking flights, passengers see maybe Spirit’s airfares are very low and decide to fly on them, not caring about the low-frills.
Step #4: Passengers will fly on the airline, then complain that flying is not the way it used to be, they wish they had more room, food and no fees. However, they will continue to purchase the cheapest tickets possible.
Step #5: If Spirit makes more profit off this model, other airlines will follow. Passengers will blame the airlines, but really it is from passenger demand.
Spirit is not the first airline to provide no-recline seats. Allegiant Airlines has seats that don’t recline in 34 of 47 of their aircraft with little complaint. However, they also give 30″ pitch (room between seats), where Spirit will only be giving 28″ pitch. Personally I never recline my seats when I fly anyhow. I think it is quite rude to the people behind me and I hate it when people recline in front of me. I think I might be in the minority on that one though.
Is Spirit Airlines become the US version of Ryanair? That is a good question and I think you might see a blog in the near future on that concept…stay tuned.
UPDATE: I got wondering what other airline’s seat pitches look like and wrote up what I found. Also most people think of low budget airlines are the ones installing non-recling seats, but Dan Webb, with the blog Things in the Sky, reminded me that AirFrance is also using seats that won’t recline (but they still have a 32″ pitch). Image: andre5003
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