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Helping to make traveling easier for our guests, Allegiant Air, the Las Vegas based budget airline, has added 24 new nonstop routes from smaller US cities to Bradenton/Sarasota (SRQ).
Air Allegiant’s latest expansion includes flights to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, which by the way, is our favourite airport to fly into. It is a relatively small airport, easy to navigate, with car rentals available and the best — it is only a 15 minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.
The new flights, which can be booked on the airline’s website, Allegiant.com will generally be offered twice a week. Some flights are seasonal, others will operate year round. As you might expect the introductory fares will probably not be available for travel around Thanksgiving, Christmas or other peak travel periods.
Here’s where Allegiant is adding flights to and from: Sarasota, Florida (Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport) —
St. Louis, Missouri (MidAmerica St. Louis Airport): Seasonal service begins Nov. 15 with one-way fares starting at $69.
Des Moines, Iowa: Seasonal service begins Nov. 23 with fares starting at $79
Rockford, Illinois (Chicago Rockford International Airport): Seasonal service begins Nov. 23 with fares starting at $69.
Flint, Michigan: Seasonal service begins Nov. 24 with fares starting at $69.
Fort Wayne, Indiana: Seasonal service begins Nov. 24 with fares starting at $69.
Knoxville, Tennessee: Year-round service begins Nov. 21 with fares starting at $59.
Louisville, Kentucky: Seasonal service begins Nov. 25 with fares starting at $59.
South Bend, Indiana: Seasonal service begins Nov. 25 with fares starting at $69.
These eight additional destinations bring Allegiant’s total out of the SRQ airport to 20 cities. Allegiant has by far the most routes of any airline operating at Sarasota-Bradenton. The airline started service at SRQ in April 2018 with three destinations and announced an additional nine in November 2018.
The new flights in November 2019 are expected to bring nearly 54,000 new passengers a year through the airport. According to airport sources, Allegiant has flown 228,000 passengers in its 15 months at SRQ and had an economic impact of $138 million on the community over that time.
Other destinations from Sarasota/Bradenton airport serviced by Allegiant are:
Asheville, N.C., through Asheville Regional Airport.
Baltimore, through Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Cleveland, Ohio, through Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Columbus, Ohio, through Rickenbacker International Airport.
Grand Rapids, Mich., through Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Harrisburg, Pa., through Harrisburg International Airport.
Nashville, Tenn., through Nashville International Airport
Richmond, Va., through Richmond International Airport.
Syracuse, N.Y., through Syracuse Hancock International Airport.
Washington D.C./Baltimore MD
Flight dates, times and fares can be found at Allegiant.com.
Discount airline fares are almost always enticing. Allegiant, like fellow discount airlines Spirit and Frontier, charges low base fares plus fees for “extras,” including seat assignment, carry-on or checked bag, in-flight drinks and food and more.
Here are 10 things to know about Allegiant before you book —
The ticket price only gets you a seat on the plane. Yes, your seat and a personal item only! The airlines charge extra for seat assignments, checked and carry-on bags, snacks and drinks, including water. To avoid add-on fees check the carrier’s website.
Print your own boarding pass. Allegiant charges to print boarding passes at the airport. Allegiant charges $5 per boarding pass printed by an airport agent at select airports. (The airline doesn’t have kiosks.)
Allegiant does not accept reservations for carriage of fare-paying unaccompanied minors or unescorted children under the age of fifteen (15) years. Children fourteen (14) years and younger must be accompanied by an adult fifteen (15) years or older. Special supervision for any travelers is not offered.
Bags don’t fly free, even carry-on bags. Passengers are allowed one free personal item that stores completely under the seat in front of you such as a backpack, purse or laptop bag. There is no charge for one personal item, provided it does not exceed size requirements.
Want to bring a standard carry-on bag to put in the overhead bin? You’ll pay. Carry-on bag fees vary by carrier and when you pay for the carry on. (See #6 below.) The airline closely monitors the size of those carry-ons.
Each bag must weigh 40 lbs or less and the outside measurements of each bag must not exceed eighty (80) inches. Applicable fees will be applied for those bags exceeding the weight and size limits. The total number of bags allowed may not exceed 4 per passenger. On Allegiant, travelers will pay $25-$30 for the first checked bag during online booking, $45 after booking but before they get to the airport and $50 at the airport. Bottom line: Save by paying for your bags when you book your ticket.
For those us of that like to over-stuff our bags — Don’t. Well, not unless you want to pay. The weight limit for checked bags on Allegiant (see #6) is 40 pounds, not the standard 50 pounds allowed at major airlines. Overweight bag charges apply in all cases.Overweight bags fee — add $50 – $75
Whatever you do, don’t bring a bag to the gate in an attempt to avoid bag fees. Some major airlines often ask for volunteers to check their bags for free on full flights where overhead bin space is bound to fill up. Allegiant charges $50 to check bags at the gate. If you plan to bring a carry-on, pay for it when you book your ticket.
You have limited rebooking options if your flight is canceled or delayed. Because Allegiant doesn’t offer daily flights, if your flight is canceled for weather or mechanical reasons you might not get out for a couple of days.
To prepare for or avoid add-on fees always check the carrier’s website.
Discount airlines certainly grab our attention with low fares, but remember the purchase price is only one factor. Cheap flights are cheap… but don’t forget the ancillary fees. Everything from checked luggage to printed boarding passes to a soft drink while aboard can quickly make a cheap fare pretty pricey.
When you’re looking to maximize every dollar, every trip, it’s worth comparing prices between budget and major airlines.
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