Allegiant Air (or as my Dad calls it, Alleged Airlines) is an ultra low-cost airline based out of Las Vegas. In recent years they’ve made a big splash in the Vancouver and Seattle airline market by offering remarkable low cost flights to locations such as Las Vegas and San Francisco leaving from Bellingham International Airport.
According to the Honolulu Advertiser, Allegiant is in the process of adding 757-200’s to their fleet in order to offer flights from the US Mainland to Hawaii starting later this year. This is great news for people around here who love Hawaii because it should drive prices down for all carriers.
Update 3/22/10: Allegiant’s press release on the purchase of the 757-200’s. http://www.allegiantair.com/aaNews/aaNews20100305a.php
Many people from Vancouver have been making the short trip from Vancouver to Bellingham to fly Allegiant because they’ve been offering flights at substantially lower prices than the local carriers. In December 2008 we booked four tickets to San Francisco for around $700 US through them when the next lowest fare that we could find out of Vancouver would have cost over $1200.
If you aren’t too picky about your travel dates you can still get some amazing deals. A quick check of their website shows a Monday to Thursday return flight from Bellingham to Vegas for March 22 to March 25 for under $100 before taxes.
The downside of Allegiant for Canadian travellers is that you have to cross the border first. I once had an Allegiant flight booked on a long-weekend and allowed for a 3 hour border wait in my planning. By 9 am the posted wait time at Peach Arch crossing was 4 hours. On another occasion we were hit with a major snowstorm the morning of our flight the drive took 2 hours longer than expected. We arrived at the airport about 10 minutes before our departure time. I dropped my family off at the door, dropped off the car at the long-term parking lot, and took the shuttle back to the terminal. As I ran in the door the ticket agent had my boarding pass ready as I bolted over to security. I was the last one on the plane and the lady who boarded before I did actually ran across the snow covered tarmac to the plane in bare feet as she didn’t think she had time to put them back on after clearing security.
Avoiding that kind of stress is worth a few hundred dollars to me, and luckily some of our own Canadian discount carriers such as