After many years of offering unique routings from several Upper Midwest cities but avoiding flights from the very competitive environment at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Airlines has announced it’s coming to town this fall. The closest Allegiant has come to MSP has been seasonal service from St. Cloud Regional Airport to Las Vegas and Phoenix in years past, but the domestic airline environment now encourages low-fare carriers to offer proprietary routes from major airports to destinations that have no current service.
Joining other low-fare carriers including Sun Country (whose CEO is former Allegiant COO and EVP Jude Bricker), Frontier, Southwest and Spirit, Allegiant will offer non-stop flights to Asheville (AVL), North Carolina; Punta Gorda (PGD), Florida and Palm Beach (PBI), Florida, beginning in early October. Fares start as low as $49, but be aware that Allegiant, like many “low-fare” carriers, charges for checked and carry-on bags, assigned seats, in-flight beverages, and even to print your boarding pass at the airport. Travelers are advised to check the small print with all airlines, as charges vary by carrier, and sometimes even by the length of your flight or weight of your bag.
As an airline that caters primarily to leisure travelers, Allegiant’s seating configuration will probably be somewhat tighter than you may be familiar with if you are used to Delta, American, Alaska, United and Southwest for previous travels. And since the carrier randomly assigns your seat, you may, as its website says, “….make a new friend”. If you want to sit somewhere or with someone in particular, it’ll cost you extra.
In business since 1999, Allegiant operates a fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. While it not yet been announced, it is anticipated that it flights will utilize Terminal 2 (Humphrey) at MSP.