Sunday Savings Series: Allegiant Air

Logo courtesy Allegiant Air 

One of the nice things about living in the Orlando area is that there is no shortage of flights. I travel a fair amount, and it is not hard to find a direct flight that is affordable. I’ve talked a bit in the past about discount airlines such as Frontier and Spirit. My daughter recently flew Allegiant Air for the first time, and I thought I’d share a little bit about what we learned.

I’ll start with booking the flight. I’ve noticed with other discount airlines (especially Frontier) that they offer deals all the time, so the price often will go down. That does not seem to be the case with Allegiant. When you search, they will give you a price and tell you how many seats are available for that price. There is a good chance that it will be the lowest price, and when those seats are gone it will go up. When we booked my daughter’s flight it said that there was one seat left for that price. Out of curiosity, we searched for the same flight on a private browser on a different computer right after we booked. The price was ten dollars higher.

There is another thing that I noticed about Allegiant that the other airlines don’t seem to offer. You can save if you book a roundtrip flight. The flights that I’ve looked at cost $20 less when booking both ways. If you’re traveling with several people, the savings will add up.

Allegiant is a discount airline, which means that you will pay for all of the extras. You will pay if you want to pick your seat. You will pay for a carry on (you can have a bag that fits under the seat). You will pay to check a bag. If you need to print your boarding pass at the gate, you will pay for that. You can print your pass for free at home, or use the Allegiant App. Snacks and drinks also cost extra. We will usually skip all that and just stuff a backpack as full as possible and put it under the seat, but that didn’t work this time. My daughter’s band had been on tour, and she needed a carry on. On the discount airlines it’s always cheapest to pay for your bags when you buy your ticket. Allegiant’s carry on was quite a bit cheaper than buying one on Frontier.

The flight itself was fine. My daughter’s flight was slightly delayed to avoid a storm, but the delay was only about ten minutes. She said that it was comparable to the other discount airlines as far as seats and leg room were concerned. She said that she would not mind flying with Allegiant again. Since they have recently expanded where they fly to, there is a good chance that she will.

There is one thing that you need to keep in mind with Allegiant Air. They do not fly in and out of Orlando International Airport (OIA or MCO). Instead, you will find Allegiant locally at Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). It’s maybe 25 minutes further. Flying in and out of Sanford is either a blessing or a curse. The curse comes if you are staying on Walt Disney World property. Disney’s Magical Express does not service Orlando Sanford International Airport, so you will need transportation to get to your resort. The blessing is the airport itself. It is a lot smaller than OIA, which means that it is easier to navigate. The TSA lines aren’t nearly as long, which makes leaving Florida easier; at least a little bit.

Allegiant Air has received some bad press over the past year or so, but my daughter had nothing but good things to say about her experience. If you’re looking to save money on your flight and you don’t need Disney’s Magical Express, Allegiant Air could be worth looking into. They now fly into one of the airports that I fly to fairly often, so I might soon have my own experience to share with you.