Low-cost carrier Allegiant Air has launched a special program of FREE perks for active and retired military and their families, including free checked baggage and priority boarding. National Guard and military reserve members and their dependents also get the perks.
Under the new Allegiant Honors program, active and retired U.S. military passengers get the following services FREE – allof which the rest of us have to pay for under Allegiant’s extensive add-on charges:
- one carry-on bag (normally between $15 and $50, depending on distance flown and whether the fee is paid at booking, after booking but before departure, or at the airport)
- up to three pieces of checked baggage (normally $20 to $50 per bag, depending on distance flown and whether the fee is paid at time of booking, after booking but before departure, or at the airport).
- one pet in cabin (normally $100)
- seat assignments, pending availability (normally up to $80, depending on when reservation is made)
- printing boarding passes at the airport (normally $5)
- priority boarding (normally $4 to $12)
In addition, active duty military will not be charged a change or cancellation fee due to a change in orders.
All optional items and services will be added to itinerary at the airport. Eligible individuals should reserve in person with valid military I.D.
Military who paid for items before the Honors program was launched should visit the airport ticket counter for a refund of eligible fees.
For us non-military passengers, check the the complete list of Allegiant add-on prices for services here. Allegiant calls it an “a la carte menu”. We call it hiding the real cost of a ticket.
Allegiant permits one personal bag, free. An additional regular carry-on, which all regular fare airlines including JetBlue let you carry on for free, costs $15 to $50 on Allegiant.
Southwest still offers passengers free checked baggage. Other carries, such as Delta and American, charge $25 or $35. Allegiant charges $20 to $50.
Most airlines, like United, let you print your boarding pass for free at the airport. Allegiant charges $5.
Most airlines have loyalty programs that offer free miles for future travel, or other benefits. Allegiant does not, or – at least – I could find no mention of a loyalty program on their website.
So let’s see – my cheap fare from Newark (EWR) to Cincinnati is just $51. But that more than double with a carry-on or checked bag, seat assignment and printing my boarding pass.
Allegiant Honors is a great deal for active and retired military and their families. The rest of us need to check all the costs of a low-cost airline before booking a flight. You might find that one of the full-service airlines, like the others named here, actually could cost less because of the a la carte additional costs you won’t be paying.
Allegiant is a Las Vegas-based airline which began in 1999 with one route and one airplane. Today, the company has grown to more than over 80 aircraft and more than 300 routes across the country with base airfares it claims are less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket.