So you want to fly with a low-cost carrier...

Hi everyone,
I thought I’d share with you about my flight last week for Spring Break, and the frustrations of flying with a low-cost carrier such as Allegiant Air. We departed on March 31, out of the lovely Fort Wayne International Airport bound for Punta Gorda. (This is where @JoshFly8 frequently flies out of. Hoosiers!) Right off the bat, I got a message that said our flight was delayed from 10:30 to 2:50! Why? I heard the lady at the ticket counter say it was because they didn’t have an aircraft lined up for the route. Not to mention the fact that now we were on an MD-80 instead of the usual A320 used to operate that route. (This was actually a plus for me, the MD-80 is my favorite plane!) Nevertheless, we finally got down to Florida around 6:30, nearly 6 hours after we were scheduled to arrive. Even the return flight home was delayed by 3 hours.

Nevertheless, I got some photos for you guys.

The Allegiant MD-80 finally pulling into Gate 7 hours after we were scheduled to depart.


The main panel of the N408NV, a 26 year old MD-82, with the engine instruments and the fire handles.
(Fun fact about this aircraft is that it used to wear the “Blue Man Group” livery a few years back.)


Climbing through the clouds in our ascent to cruise at FL300


Slowly starting our descent into Punta Gorda (KPGD)


This was April 8. I believe this A320 headed up to our Indiana neighbors, South Bend!


The one nice thing about flying in and out of these small airports is no jetways! GPU visible along with the No. 2 engine.

Overall, the experience with Allegiant was not great. We will likely not fly with them again. If only they focused more on operations, they would have a good thing going. They haven’t had very many precautionary diversions as of late, but I was still wary flying with them. In the end, it worked out, but it cost us nearly a day of our vacation.

But, should you choose to fly with a low-cost carrier, I have a few tips for you.

  • If you can, pack a small personal item as opposed to a carry-on. This will save you fortunes, as it can cost upwards of 40 dollars each way just to store something in the overhead bin.

  • Get snacks and drinks in the airport as opposed to on the aircraft. Many low-cost carriers don’t include free drinks or snacks on board, so I would recommend getting refreshments before you depart.

  • Be sure to keep the “You get what you pay for” quote in your head. Flying on a low-cost carrier can be brutal, but it’ll usually get you where you need to go. I always had to remind myself that this isn’t a mainline carrier like Delta, American, etc.

The highlights of this trip for me was the MD-80, and the Fort Wayne International Airport. This was by far one of the best airports I’ve flown out of. It featured an extensive aviation museum filled with aviation memorabilia from World War II to past airline travels at FWA. And despite the delays, the flight crews both flight were very friendly and some of the best around!

Thanks for visiting this thread!

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Allegiant has always been known for their extreme delays. It’s not unusual to see an at least 5 hours delay with them.

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I feel like if they could just get a handle of that, they would have more happy customers. They’re in the right market, for sure. Non-stop flights to smaller airports in sunny places is a great way to go, but not if you’re having to delay flights for hours.

I think you can’t expect on time flights when flying with a Low Cost Carrier (This happens on anywhere) as most of them always delay their flights


For me if you want on time flights, then you should fly Full Service Carriers as they have less chances to get delayed ;)

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Exactly. My parents booked with Allegiant despite me telling them of this. They denounced my concerns. I was right in the end! :)

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Southwest Airlines has a great on-time record and is a (somewhat) low cost carrier

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I love Southwest. They’re one of my favorite airlines. I don’t really view them as a low-cost carrier as I would Spirit. They’re always a step ahead of the game.

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Totally agree with you

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”this happens anywhere” is a very strong statement. 😀

In Europe I fly a lot with Ryanair and EasyJet and despite they are not the best for comfort I don’t experience delays all the time especially​ that big. In fact they work just fine.

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Not all of them actually. Like I said before ;)


As example, AirAsia rarely delays their flights even though they are a Low Cost Carrier (cough Unlike Lion Air cough). Although many LCC carriers love to delay their flights and use numerous reasons to cover up their mistakes

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I can understand some delays, but delays that are nearly as long as an average school day for me are excessive

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The delays I’ve seen have always been weather. Maybe, once they update their fleet they can endure more weather and possibly be more on time. But, the MD-80 is my favorite aircraft.

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any airline but united

Yep, that’s relatable, The one and only time I flew with Jetstar this happened. Now I just go straight to Air NZ. Saves any hassle :p

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I fly Frontier with a passaion and have never had more than a twenty minute delay (And that caused only because they had to switch aircraft on us and fix the nose cone of the original aircraft because it had been hit by a bird on landing).
Or maybe I’ve just been lucky and never hit the bad apple flights lol.

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Doesn’t appear your Allegiant flight was overbooked, so I’ll fly with them anyday.

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I’m surprised there wasn’t difficulty in seating capacity when they switched from the A320 to the MD-80. The MD-80 doesn’t have B row like the A320 for some reason. We paid to reserve seats on the A320, but we’re shuffled around quite a bit.

The Allegiant A320 and MD-80 don’t have a big difference in seats
https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Allegiant_Air/information.php

Yes, but I think the flight was nearly fully booked.

You’ve been very very lucky on that front. F9 has many routes that run chronically late almost every day but this seems to be improving with the internal changes that came after the DEN crisis of 2016 that had almost all of the airline grounded.

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