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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
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Allegiant Air really worth the trouble?

Just came back from trip to Hawaii using Allegiant Air.. and it really made me think twice flying with Allegiant Air again.

Worst part of the Allegiant Air is the leg room. I'm 6' and there is no way on earth that I would be able to sit comfortably on Allegiant Air seats. In the past, I've flew with Allegiant, Westjet, Air Canada, Singapore airline, JAL, KAL, Asiana Airline, AA, Cathay, PAL, Go! Hawaii, Hawaiian Air, Air New Zealand, United Airline and many other airlines and even infamous United Airline's discomfort seating does not match Allegiant Air's tightest leg room. It was so tight to the point that for the return flight, I paid extra $40 on a flight just to sit on the exit row(Allegiant Air won't allow anyone to sit on exit row regardless if it's empty or not unless you pay anywhere from $40 to $80 per seat per flight)

I still remember one of the worst customer services through Air Canada back in early 2000's when they were on strike. I thought back then that I've seen the worst. I am not kidding when I say that Allegiant Air actually makes old AC's services look good. The flight attendant at Allegiant Air actually screamed at one of the passenger on board to "sit down! and keep your belt on until I say it's ok!" in a tone as if she is ready to kick the guy into ground if he doesn't comply immediately.

They charge you for every little thing, from seat assignment, carry on luggage and even bottle of water for a flight that lasts 6.5 hours. Speaking of seat assignment, when I checked in 24 hour prior to boarding, Allegiant Air splitted me and my friend in different row. 24 hour prior to boarding, and you can't even seat next to your travelling buddy unless you pay extra $20 per seat to reassign your seating. When I bought a bottle of water, flight attendant said $2 and I handed her $2 cash. She looked at me and said credit card. When I said "excuse me?" she replied "credit card only!" in such aggressive voice. Never had I ever received such rude attitude from any airline in the past.

There are literally 0, yes 0 flight entertainment. Not even one single TV in the middle or radio. You either bring your own small entertainment small enough that they don't charge you for extra luggage(make sure it's fully charged as there is no plugs to charge any of your device during flight) or you'll have a lot of staring at the window to do for a long flight. One might argue, hey you can just snooze during the flight. The seat is so cramped, and the cabin temperature is so cold, that unless you are wearing a winter jacket or carry your own blanket and pay extra $40 to $80 per seat to sit on exit row, you will have very hard time falling asleep.

So with all the discomforts, is it really saving you money?
Apart from $600 that I paid for round trip for two to Hawaii, I had to pay $120 for one checked bag and two carry-on, $80 for seat assignment($160 if I sat on exit row both ways, but I didn't realize how uncomfortable seat was on the flight to Hawaii, so I only got exit row on the return flight), $6 for in-flight drinks, and $90 for parking at airport(you can save up to $45 by parking at third party parking lot, 'park and fly' but I personally don't trust them after seeing so many horror hidden TV)

To sum it all, $600 + $120(luggage fee which would be free with Westjet) + $160(to have reasonable leg room, again free with other airlines) + $50(estimated in-flight food service to match other airlines, $12.50 per flight per person which again is already included in your ticket price with other airlines) + $90 parking fee($10 per day, so if your trip is shorter, it would be cheaper and if I fly from YVR, I usually get a friend to drop me off and pick me up so I would not have to pay parking fee).
Total cost is $1,020. Yes, if you are 5' you'll save additional $160 for leg room, and $45 if you decided to park at 'park and ride', and $120 if you have absolutely no bag at all, and $50 if you don't even drink never mind food for 6.5 hour flight, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you are really starving student who needs to save every single penny.

A quick search through kayak shows that I can fly with WestJet for $522 per person which turns out to be $1,044. WOW I saved $22 flying through Allegiant Air!(driving to Bellingham is considered free since I can get cheap gas there). To save $22, I flew with Allegiant air that is absolutely worst in terms of customer services, infamous for flight delays(sometimes even 14 hour, and yes I've had my flight delayed 14 hours in the past through allegiant air), absolutely 0 in-flight entertainment, and freeze your butt for 6.5 hours.

In the past(few years back before flying from Bellingham was really popular), Allegiant had better services, and really did offer a lot better flight deal(as low as $19 one way to Las Vegas). As it gained popularity, the leg-room is cramped than ever, customer services completely disappeared, and they started charging for carry-on baggage.

Would I ever fly with Allegiant Air ever again? Most likely not. Is it worth the pennies you would save from flying with them? It's up to you to decide, but I personally wouldn't recommend it if you care even slightly about customer services, in-flight entertainment or comfort.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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Flying with Allegiant and its worthiness really depends on a case by case basis. Its great that you were able to actually keep track of all the costs and do a side by side comparison with the alternative.

There are way too many blind travellers out there that only look at the base fare out there. Many folks won't care to take into account the little surcharges that each airline adds on top that really add up in a trip. Things like a Credit Card surcharge, carry-on baggage fees, seat assignment fees really eat into the savings.

Also don't forget that you would've earned frequent flyer miles if you had flown with AC, and westjet dollars redeemable for a future flight on WS. If you account for that alone, I think flying allegiant actually cost you more .

Customer service is a huge thing too. Westjet consistently gets great marks with the customer service. That is a benefit to the whole vacation experience that people also don't put a "dollar" value on.

That aside, i'm also glad there are alternative options out there for us folk in Vancouver looking to save every dollar when we do want to take that vacation. More competition is always better for the consumer.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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I don't know if I would fly to Hawaii using Allegiant, but a short flight to Vegas with hotel is still a decent deal if you book at the right time. Then again, if you're going to Vegas, you probably won't be bringing much anyway so you won't need to pay extra in checked baggage fees, etc.

But, as Teriyaki stated, your post does highlight some things people need to keep in mind when choosing airlines. You always get what you pay for.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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i cant stand the allegiant air planes. They are too old and loud and for me it's not worth it.

It's a person by person basis, but many that fly dont also account for their time, sometimes you come home from a trip and you just want to drive straight home, and not go through borders etc.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:41 AM   #6
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i cant stand the allegiant air planes. They are too old and loud and for me it's not worth it.

It's a person by person basis, but many that fly dont also account for their time, sometimes you come home from a trip and you just want to drive straight home, and not go through borders etc.
The MD80s are old as shit.

but I don't see why you would have a problem with the 737s

but yes, flying to hawaii I wouldn't go with them.
they were bearable for the 2-3 hour flight from BLI to LAS though
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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Yes, if you want to buy a cheapo flight, but still need some of the nice things on a regular flight - then you'll be paying a lot for it.

A carry-on (bigger than a purse of a small side will cost you money. Either pay for that (if you are going for a short trip), or pay for a checked luggage. I don't know why you would pay for both (unless you have an insane amount of stuff to bring with you)

I'm ok just reading a book or bringing my tablet to watch a movie, I don't need seat assignments. I know it's annoying not being able to sit with my friends/gf, etc - but it's something I can put up with.

Yes they're loud, yes they're cramped, but if you want to save money, that's what you have to put up with. I'd honestly rather save $100 on the flight and fly a crappy flight - and use that money on a nicer hotel in Hawaii.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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just booked a flight for my in-laws via Allegiant out of Bellingham to Oakland, CA.

Alaska Airlines worked out to be about $1300 for 2/return.

Allegiant worked out to be $855 for 2/return. (included checked baggage for 2).

for a short flight, those are huge savings.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:59 PM   #9
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Chinook, we were there at the same time. lol

We flew with WestJet for the reasons you pointed out, plus I didn't feel comfortable flying over the Pacific in an MD80. There are also limited flights, so if there's a delay, you're kind of screwed.

Just a note to people who plan on flying with WestJet though: some flights don't have screens. Our flight to HNL had screens for every seat and the movies were free, however, flying home from OGG, there were no screens at all (same thing on one of our trips last year). The only option was to rent a tablet for $20. Also, all in-flight purchases can only be made using a CC - I'm assuming that's an industry-wide trend. Otherwise, a comfy and convenient experience.

I would only fly with Allegiant if a real skookum deal came up for Vegas or Phoenix. It would have to offset the drive to BLI, fuel, parking and then some.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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Allegiant is so ghetto. I went to LV on AC and stayed an extra day bc I met a girl and we wanted to chill. There was no flights back on AC so I booked Allegiant. Price was great $138 all in to BLI but as soon as I got on I really regretted it. OLD OLD plane. Intercom didn't work. Flight attendants disgusting. Plane was dirty and smelled like a trailer park. Everything about it just screamed "cost cutting". Never flying that airline again.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:29 PM   #11
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To add to the points above, I find that the people flying from BLI to LAS are rowdy as fuck. It was like riding a school bus full of adult kids.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:47 PM   #12
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just got back from hawaii, westjet both ways

if you're on a newer westjet plane they have tv, only downside was there was no meal, but you could still purchase sandwiches and snacks
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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Allegiant is so ghetto. I went to LV on AC and stayed an extra day bc I met a girl and we wanted to chill. There was no flights back on AC so I booked Allegiant. Price was great $138 all in to BLI but as soon as I got on I really regretted it. OLD OLD plane. Intercom didn't work. Flight attendants disgusting. Plane was dirty and smelled like a trailer park. Everything about it just screamed "cost cutting". Never flying that airline again.
I'm not sure what you expect for $138. It's a discount airline for a reason.

Some things I would dispute is the smell and disgusting flight attendants. The plane smelled fine last time I was on one. Not revolting but not fresh. The flight attendants I have are usually young people. The plane wasn't dirty either but I wouldn't eat on the floor of it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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The flight attendant at Allegiant Air actually screamed at one of the passenger on board to "sit down! and keep your belt on until I say it's ok!" in a tone as if she is ready to kick the guy into ground if he doesn't comply immediately.
Maybe she was just having a nic-fit.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:04 AM   #15
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So right after the trip, I sent emails to allegiant air customer care that doesn't care for customer.
A month and half, and guess what, not even a reply. I gave them my name, the flight number, and name of the flight attendant that was extremely rude and detailed information. Well, one thing I can say is that I'm not surprised at all.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #16
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personally i've never had any issues with allegiant and their customer service. they are a budget carrier so my expectations were tempered.

the hassle is only worth it if there are big savings. if marginal, i'd rather pay extra to fly from YVR.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #17
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^ i can't agree with you more. I know i'm cheap, so i don't expect much as long as it gets me there in one piece.
1) i don't care about seating
2) i don't buy crappy food on flight (i'll pick up food at fred meyers before i board if i had to)
3) i sleep the entire way through
4) yes i know luggage is 25 bucks but not a biggy
5) i have nexus so driving back ain't an issue
6) when i drive back, i go to costco to do my grocery shopping
7) going back via customers, being over 4-7 days in hawaii, they don't care shit of what i buy so i have a huge limit for electronics shopping too

all in all, if i save over 200 bucks per person.. i don't mind it. if it's within 100 bucks, then yes, maybe i'll take YVR, but i can't see it being anytime soon.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:16 PM   #18
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So right after the trip, I sent emails to allegiant air customer care that doesn't care for customer.
A month and half, and guess what, not even a reply. I gave them my name, the flight number, and name of the flight attendant that was extremely rude and detailed information. Well, one thing I can say is that I'm not surprised at all.
Same here, i was charged an extra $100 baggage fee at bellingham. However, i prepaid ahead of time, but the csr at the desk told me i didn't. After the trip i emailed them, and haven't received a single email back. Never flying through allegiant again.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:39 PM   #19
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I wont fly Allegiant from BLI-HNL. But I would glady fly Alaska since they offer pretty good service and a decent aircraft (737-800ER). We saved 200bucks a person after parking and check in baggage fees flying out from BLI instead of YVR last year going to HNL.

Doesnt make sense to fly Allegiant since there is only 2 flights per week on the BLI-HNL route and Alaska is not much more after the check in baggage fees that Allegiant charges.

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #20
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^ i can't agree with you more. I know i'm cheap, so i don't expect much as long as it gets me there in one piece.
1) i don't care about seating
2) i don't buy crappy food on flight (i'll pick up food at fred meyers before i board if i had to)
3) i sleep the entire way through
4) yes i know luggage is 25 bucks but not a biggy
5) i have nexus so driving back ain't an issue
6) when i drive back, i go to costco to do my grocery shopping
7) going back via customers, being over 4-7 days in hawaii, they don't care shit of what i buy so i have a huge limit for electronics shopping too

all in all, if i save over 200 bucks per person.. i don't mind it. if it's within 100 bucks, then yes, maybe i'll take YVR, but i can't see it being anytime soon.
Don't forget about paid parking.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:21 PM   #21
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I just spent the last couple hours going through various sites to find a decent price to Vegas. I was strongly considering Allegiant, but as I stepped through the order process, I realized it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. Here's what I was looking at:

BLI to LAS
4 days, 3 nights at NY NY
$800 USD (includes $80 baggage fee for one checked piece)


I decided to look into something flying out of YVR. My friend booked his flight+hotel on Travelocity for $950, and I was going to do that. However, the price went up $100 just before I was going to accept the offer :P. Then, RFD to the rescue! I saw a post regarding Orbitz promo for $100 off, if you get 4+ night package. Now, I was able to get this:

YVR to LAS (WestJet)
5 days, 4 nights at NY NY
$929 USD

Sure, it's a bit more, but I think it's worth it. The convenience and WestJet service is more than worth the extra cost.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #22
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Good find.

-drive to/from BLI (time/fuel)
-border lineups
-parking at BLI
-shitty service
-getting nickel and dimed
-ghetto plane
-ghetto airport


The savings must be well over $300 for me to even consider it.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:42 PM   #23
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Not to mention, getting screwed over like how OP did.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:55 PM   #24
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at that price difference, its a no brainer to fly YVR. parking alone gonna cost you approx 25-28 for the 4 days.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:01 PM   #25
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that's not a huge price difference, for $130 more, you get an extra night, plus flying out of yvr.

I usually fly out of BLI when I have a group - you'll save a lot more money that way... the parking isn't bad when it's split between 3 or 4 people.
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