Entries in Allegiant Airlines (2)


Las Vegas Airline Would Let Flyers Gamble on Prices

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- With all the angst that goes into buying an airline ticket -- Am I too early or too late? Do I wait until the last minute or purchase far in advance? What about the fees? -- purchasing airfare can feel like a bit of a gamble.

But one Las Vegas carrier wants to raise the stakes, so to speak.  In a plan outlined in Bloomberg Business Week, Allegiant Air is considering a pricing structure where customers can either lock in a price or choose an adjustable ticket price based on fuel price fluctuations before travel.

In other words, fliers would have to pay more if fuel goes up or would get a partial refund if fuel goes down.

Allegiant Air relies more on leisure travelers than other carriers, with a presence in several Florida markets, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Hawaii and Las Vegas. The dependence on leisure fliers means it’s more exposed to fuel prices than airlines who have higher-paying business travelers to shoulder fuel cost increases.

The new pricing structure is at least six months away, according to Bloomberg Business Week. The airline’s CEO said that even if the plan passed muster with regulators, the technology isn’t in place. “We as a company are not ready for it mostly because our automation is not ready,” said airline CEO Maurice Gallagher Jr.

Getting the plan past regulators may be no small task.  Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation issued several new rules to provide clarity in airfare pricing for consumers, including disclosing all taxes and fees up front. While a plan such as Allegiant Air’s wasn’t specifically addressed, it doesn’t conform to the overarching goal of making airfare easier for the average consumer to understand.

But, the DOT told Bloomberg, “Our rules do not prohibit airlines and ticket agents from selling tickets in which passengers pay part of the fare immediately and the rest later, with the final payment dependent on changes in fuel or other costs.” As Bloomberg points out, some tour operators operate similarly, with a sale structured in partial payments.

It’s clear Allegiant Air, like the rest of the airline industry, is looking for creative ways to increase the bottom line. Allegiant became the second domestic carrier to charge for carry-on bags. (Spirit Airlines, another airline largely dependent on leisure travelers, was the first.)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Allegiant Airlines to Charge for Carry-Ons

Comstock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- Move over Spirit Airlines -- there’s another low-cost carrier about to make serious money off passengers’ carry-on baggage.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air confirmed to ABC News it will begin charging as much as $35 for carry-on bags for reservations made starting April 4. Reservations made prior to this date will not be affected.

Allegiant Air will be the second domestic airline to charge for carry-on baggage. The move mimics that of Spirit Airlines' 2010 fee charging passengers up to $45 for carry-on bags.

Passengers who pay online and in advance for carry-on bags on Allegiant will pay $10 to $30 for their carry-ons. The prices are route-specific. This, too, is similar to the Spirit Airlines carry-on bag fee; for example, a person could pay as little as $20 for the carry-on bag if they’re a member of the airline’s $9 fare club and payment is made at time of booking.

Passengers on Allegiant will be allowed one personal item such as a purse or laptop bag free of charge. Anything larger, however, will incur the fee.

When Spirit Airlines made its carry-on fee announcement, it was met with outrage from the traveling public. But today, it seems the airline’s low fares have trumped the anger first felt. Spirit tells ABC News, “Our carry-on bag program has been a huge success and well received by customers and our crew members.  It has reduced the number of carry-on bags, which in turn has led to speedier, smoother and safer boarding and deplaning.”

Allegiant Airlines, which was already charging for checked bags, has profited in a time when many companies have struggled. The 2011 fourth-quarter earnings report noted it was the airline’s 36th consecutive quarter of profitability. The airline reported a 10-percent increase in total fares compared with Q4 2010 and a 20-percent increase in total operating revenue.

See where Allegiant flies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio