Do you travel with Allegiant? Avelo? Understanding tiny airlines: Cruising Altitude
Are tiny airlines your #1 pick for travel even if you may have heard of them or maybe taken one or two of their flights? Airlines like Allegiant, Avelo, Breeze, and Sun Country might not exactly be household names, despite the fact that most travelers are likely familiar with the major four U.S. airlines: American, Delta, United, and Southwest.
Although they are smaller companies, Alaska, Hawaiian, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit also compete with the major carriers much more directly.
According to aviation industry pundit Mike Arnott, smaller airlines fulfill a need for many customers.
These airlines have found—I believe Allegiant was the first to zero in on this—that people in smaller centers want to travel just as much and don't want to have to connect through a hub. A major advantage is being able to take a direct flight from your hometown to any sunny location in particular.
Information on traveling with smaller airlines. There are undoubtedly costs associated with using smaller airlines. Many of the newcomers are ultra-low-cost carriers, so you can get cheap base flights there, but you'll have to pay extra for things like seat selection or any form of luggage, whether it goes in the overhead or not.
But devoted travelers claim that the ease of direct flights from their home markets outweighs all of that.
“I like the idea of a small airport. I enjoy leaving and entering Tweed a lot. The airport in New Haven, Connecticut, where Avelo maintains a base, is modest, Kathriona Rooney, a frequent Avelo traveler, told me.
Rooney presently resides in Chicago after growing up in Hamden, Connecticut. When she visits her parents, she said, flying into New Haven is simpler than taking the I-95 corridor to get to or from a larger airport.
Because of this ease, she was able to visit the doctor “about every two weeks,” she claimed. “I simply believe they're fantastic. I genuinely do.
However, not everything is positive.
Arnott said that fledgling airlines frequently have teething pains and that their smaller fleets and infrequent service may make it more difficult for them to bounce back from inclement weather or other disruptions.
“If the flight is canceled for whatever reason, your only real options are to drive to another city and take a flight there or accept the airline's offer to board the following flight. For consumers, that's not always a good thing, he added.
Facebook forums for these airlines are covered in complaints from unhappy passengers who experienced baggage problems, flight delays, or cancellations, but Arnott pointed out that this is a problem that doesn't only affect tiny carriers.
From his home in Roanoke, Virginia, John Lincoln claimed he frequently travels with Allegiant to locations in southwestern Florida.
“It's just incredibly convenient and reasonably priced. In terms of pricing, it is unbeatable, and it is also straightforward. He assured me, “I can get to southwest Florida today in an hour and a half. “With transfers, it will take four, six, or eight hours if I choose Delta or anything else.”
He did, however, add that the airline has problems. I will admit that sometimes it can be difficult to contact customer assistance,” he remarked. Is it incredibly flawless? No, but for the price, it's extremely good.
How Sun Country, Avelo, Breeze, and Allegiant compare
Operators Sun Country, Allegiant, and Avelo are fairly comparable. According to aviation expert Arnott, they all employ the ultra-low-cost model, which involves heaps of additional surcharges added on top of cheap base ticket rates.
He claimed that Breeze falls under a somewhat different group. He refers to them as a “premium low-fare carrier,” which indicates that its fares are more expensive than those of Allegiant, Sun Country, and Avelo.
Also, they are providing you with extra services. That's because Breeze was started by JetBlue's first CEO, and if that sounds like the original JetBlue business plan.
All four have comparable networks that prioritize connecting smaller airports to well-liked vacation spots.
While Sun Country and Allegiant have been around for longer, according to Arnott, their smaller footprint means they may still be unfamiliar to many travelers. Breeze and Avelo are also becoming more well-known.
“New airlines always have growing pains, but these airlines are at least two years old now, a lot of those growing pains have been left behind,” he added of the more recent additions. They are an excellent option for most people, even though their reliability isn't ideal but is growing.
Although Cirium, a provider of aviation analytics, does not presently have statistics for Avelo, it does reveal that Breeze, Sun Country, and Allegiant all have reliability performance that is only somewhat below average.
Which airline would be best for you?
It all depends on your priorities: if you reside in a smaller city, are cheap flights from a nearby airport better for you, or do you like a larger airline with more flexibility if something goes wrong?
John Paquette, a long-time Delta frequent flyer and Million Miler, sent me an email to explain why he is increasingly using Allegiant for his domestic personal travel. His major two arguments were that connecting flights weren't necessary and that cheap tickets were better than the larger airline's amenities and service.
Many travelers, according to Arnott, use the same calculations, but it's a good idea to take your travel objectives into account as well. Choose an airline with a higher number of flights if you really must get to your destination by a certain time or on a certain day, such as if you're taking a cruise, in case your original itinerary changes.
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