Allegiant Air Adds More Absurd Fees

Las Vegas based Allegiant Air has announced yet another fee that is not industry standard.  Allegiant Air will now charge $15-$35 when you carry a bag on the airplane that must be stowed in the overhead compartment.  This forces virtually every passenger to pay some sort of extra fee to board the plane.  Flyers must either pay the $15-$30 while buying their ticket or they will face a $35 fee at the gate.

At the very least this violates the spirit of the Department of Transportation rule that fees that are to be paid by all travelers must be disclosed in the set price.  Considering virtually all of Allegiant Air’s flights are not daily service, passengers will have to either pay the $15-$35 carry on fee, or the $20-$35 checked luggage fee, since all trips will be multiple days.  Note that this fee is per segment.  If you plan to connect and take two Allegiant Air flights to reach your destination, you will get hit with the fee twice.

Allegiant Air already has some outrageous fees.  Below is a list of some of them:

  • Seat assignments – $10-$25 each segment
  • Using the website to purchase ticket – $10 each segment
  • Using call center to purchase ticket – $15 each segment
  • Priority Boarding – $9.99 each segment
  • Soft drinks and water – $2
  • Food – $3-$5
  • Alcohol – $6-$7
  • Checked bags $20-$35 each segment

To avoid the website or call center booking fee, a passenger must go to the airport.  My family took a trip to Rapid City, SD over the weekend.  Many weeks ago we went to McCarran to buy the tickets.  We found out after we got to the desk that tickets can only be purchased before 11am.  Luckily we just made it, but that was just another example of poor business ethics.  The person that entered our tickets took about 20 minutes and made a major error that we had to call back to Allegiant Air to fix.  It is hard to imagine Allegiant Air really wants people to go to the airport and slow down their lines to buy tickets, but it saved us $80 to do it as we bought four round trip tickets.

I think this will keep us from flying Allegiant Air in the future.  If their fares are still extremely low, and the fees plus fares are still less than competitors, we may consider it.  This loses a lot of goodwill on behalf of Allegiant Air though.  They are taking advantage of their monopolies.  I think at some point passengers will get fed up with this.  If they do, it may hurt overall Las Vegas tourism since Allegiant Air connects about 20 cities with Las Vegas that may otherwise have no reasonable way to visit.

This fee will go into effect either later tonight or tomorrow.  If you plan on flying on Allegiant Air you should consider buying your ticket now to avoid this fee.  When Allegiant Air lowered the size of their allowed carry on bag years ago they tried to nail me with the checked bag fee even though I bought the ticket before the change.  They forced me to pay the checked bag fee even though they changed the terms after I bought my ticket.  I charged it back at the end of my vacation and I won because Allegiant Air did not even bother to fight it.  I wonder how many passengers just paid it without a fight.  It would not surprise me if Allegiant Air tries the same thing here.

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