Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air is beginning round trip service to Hawaii in 2012 using six 220-passenger Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
The airline will offer non-stop round-trip flights from various locations in the western part of the United States directly to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu beginning in late June 2012 with additional flights scheduled to begin to both Honolulu and Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui in November 2012.
To Honolulu International Airport:
- From Las Vegas, Nevada beginning June 29, 2012
- From Fresno, California beginning June 30, 2012
- From Bellingham, Washington beginning November 15, 2012
- From Monterey, California beginning November 16, 2012
- From Eugene, Oregon beginning November 17, 2012
- From Santa Maria, California beginning November 17, 2012
- From Stockton, California beginning November 18, 2012
To Kahuli Airport
- From Bellingham, Washington beginning November 14, 2012
Airfare and Added Costs on Allegiant
From my initial searches on Allegiant's website, round-trip airfare costs including taxes and fees range very widely, between $300-600 depending on dates and place of departure and return. At present it appears that Allegiant will offer flights to and from Hawaii two or three times weekly from each location although the days of the week vary.
Allegiant also allows travelers to book other travel related products along with their airfare purchase at what they call "preferred" rates. These include hotel rooms; rental cars; and activities such as dinners, shows and tours.
Allegiant operates from almost 90 airports, mostly smaller ones, throughout the United States, however, while their airfare costs may be lower in many cases, you are unable to book multi-leg flights together on their website.
It also appears that baggage fees are charged "per bag, per segment," i.e. one takeoff and one landing. In other words, if you were to fly from Rockford, Illinois to Honolulu, you would have to twice the amount of baggage fees.
In addition, as of April 2012, Allegiant has become the second U.S. carrier, (Spirit being the first), to charge a fee for use of the overhead bin space. The costs range from $10-$30 each way if you pay in advance and $35 if paid at the airport.
For a couple visiting Hawaii for 2 weeks who fly on Allegiant's new Las Vegas to Honolulu route and who have 3 checked bags and 2 carry on pieces of luggage (that must be places in the overhead bins) , the additional costs will be, each way if paid in advance - $35 per checked bag and $25 for each carry on. That's a total of $155 each way! Unlike most airlines, Allegiant's baggage fees vary depending on arrival and departure airport. You can view their very complex Baggage Fee Table.
You can read a Review of Allegiant Air by About.com's Budget Travel Guide, Mark Kahler. Mark also has a very helpful feature on How to Find Cheap Airfares within the United States.
I have also put together a guide to the Airlines That Fly to Hawaii which may help you decide which airline best serves your needs when planning your trip.
Always be sure to compare prices before you book any airfare. We recommend kayak.com as a great way to do this.
It's no secret that I am not a fan of many airlines and especially their baggage and food policies. I long for the day when I could purchase a ticket to Hawaii from the east coast, get two free checked bags, free use of the overhead and get a hot meal or two along the way.
Those days are long past, but I would gladly pay more for a ticket that would provide me with those amenities in coach for a clearly defined amount rather than forcing me to compare base prices, taxes and fees, baggage costs and add in how much I'll have to pay for food at the airports along the way.
The airlines' excuse that Hawaii is part of the United States and thus subject to US travel restrictions in terms of baggage and food is nothing more than easy way for them to provide poor service and make a lot of extra money. U.S. citizens can fly to Mexico and the Caribbean and even Europe, all of which are shorter hauls for those of us who live on the east coast and, on most airlines, get one free checked bag and a hot meal.
The announcement by the US Department of Transportation that the 17 largest U.S. airlines earned $3.36 billion in baggage fees in 2011 is an unfortunate indication that things will not be getting any better for domestic travelers.
On a recent trip to London from Philadelphia in coach on British Airways, I had a free baggage allowance, a hot meal and unlimited wine during the flight. The cost was about the same as flying from Philadelphia to Hawaii. I should also add that the flight attendants were all pleasant and constantly checking to make sure all was well. That's not something I can say that I've found on many of the US based airlines that I've flown to Hawaii.