When I fly, I fly Allegiant Air if possible, for several reasons.
One of those reasons is obvious: The low prices. Allegiant doesn't fly out of my local airport, but it does fly out of three airports within a drive of two hours or so, and the fare savings over my local airport, or a major airline at another airport, is generally well into three figures round-trip.
Another reason is the airports themselves. They're usually smaller airports rather than hubs. That usually means smaller crowds, shorter walks, shorter TSA lines, and less likelihood of takeoff and landing delays.
This latest reason is a combination of price discount and great service.
As I've written before, I'm not big on collecting the various discounts that various businesses offer to veterans. There's no need to "thank me for my service." Even setting aside the question of whether that "service" merits thanks, I got thanked, at the time, with a taxpayer-funded paycheck and benefits.
But the trip I took this week was a sudden and unexpected expense, a checked bag costs $30 per trip leg above airfare on Allegiant, and I had noticed that they offer free checked baggage for veterans.
I was a little leery. The way it works is that you book your tickets WITHOUT the checked bag, then prove your "veteran status" at the airport and they add it to your ticket/itinerary then.
Was I going to get to the airport and be denied the "free" bag for some reason, then have to either pay a higher bag fee or stuff what I could into my "personal item" bag and abandon the rest? Was there going to be a bunch of rigmarole?
I got there early, just in case.
It didn't take any longer to check my "free veterans' bag" than it would have to check a paid bag. The only difference, at both ends of the trip, was that I had to mention it and show them my DD-214.
I paid about $420 instead of about $480 to travel, and more importantly Allegiant made the whole booking and flying process easy for me during a pretty stressful time.
Damn right I'm sticking with Allegiant. If they fly where I'm going at the time I need to go there, they can consider the ticket sold.
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