Friday, 12 September 2014

Quirky airline

Originally posted yesterday with a different title

Allegiant Air is a quirky American airline which has carved out a bit of the U.S. market by using (approximately)  100 otherwise under-utilized airports.

All Allegiant flights are nonstop - Allegiant does not offer one-stop or connecting flights. Nor are there daily Allegiant flights.

I used Allegiant a few years ago when I flew from and to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater FL airport to Chattanooga TN for my visit to the University of the South's School of Theology in Sewanee TN.

Some of you may remember that I used Allegiant again last year when I flew up to visit my winter neighbours Ed Green and Eddie Palmer at their summer home in Hendersonville NC.

I booked my flight from St. Petersburg/Clearwater to Greensboro', N.C. and back  -  but I should have flown into Greenville/Spartanburg  S.C. 

Ed and Eddie were delightfully understanding about this since they had also once made the same mistake.  They were good enough to drive from Hendersonville to  Greensboro to meet me. After my happy visit with them I rented a car for the return drive.

(Hendersonville NC to Greensboro  -  159 miles)  (Hendersonville to Greenville/Spartanburg -  60 miles) 

Since then Allegiant has scheduled flights from the Punta Gorda Airport (FL)  (about an hour's drive from SRQ) to Asheville NC airport  ( a hop, skip and a jump from Hendersonville).

So I will take a brief in early October trip to visit with Ed and Eddie in Hendersonville, (it's a gorgeous part of the U.S.A. if you ignore the regressive politics in North Carolina).

The way Allegiant operate means that I can fly from Punta Gorda to Asheville on a Monday and return the next Friday, or  I can fly from Punta Gorda to Asheville on a Friday, and return the next Monday.

I have opted for the latter.  I will have a Friday to Monday visit with my good friends Ed and Eddie.

 Penne will stay with her good friends Ron and Charlotte.

It's a no brainer.  I could fly to and from Sarasota to Asheville using Delta (with stopovers in Atlanta) for about $365

My direct flights to and from Asheville / Punta Gorda will cost me $200.

Of course Delta would offer me many more choices  in my vacation dates.  But since the exact dates for my travel were utterly flexible the Allegiant flights make more sense.

This is not an advertisement  for Allegiant.

But it is an example of a good capitalism -  i.e. when a quirky airline (Allegiant) fills a gap in the market and thereby offers air travel at a reasonable price.

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