Budget carrier Allegiant Air has gained access to capacity-choked Newark Liberty International Airport, where Allegiant believes it can stimulate new passenger traffic with its low fares.
Newark is one of three new additions to Allegiant’s route map as part of a 12-route expansion announced Tuesday. The airline also is expanding to Denver and the U.S. border town of Ogdensburg, N.Y. When service to the new cities begins, Allegiant will fly to a total of 117 destinations, all of them in the United States.
Allegiant’s initial one-way fares will start at $39 to Cincinnati and Savannah and at $41 to Asheville and Knoxville, though those prices don’t include Allegiant’s $8 per passenger fee for credit card purchases. Fliers can avoid that fee by using a debit card. The airline will operate out of Newark’s Terminal B with two flights a day during the morning hours.
Allegiant’s base fare is often lower than its competitors but it adds on extra fees that many travelers aren’t used to. The Las Vegas-based airline charges extra to book flights online, or to use a credit card. Selecting a seat in advance costs $5 to $75 each way, depending on the length of a flight. Even a bottle of water costs $2. Placing a suitcase in an overhead bin is $10 to $25 extra, each way.
Allegiant was one of several smaller, low-cost carriers which wrote last fall to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to complain that United, Delta and American were driving up fares at New York-area airports by controlling the vast majority of slots, which are takeoff and landing authorizations. It remains to be seen if fares will decrease at Newark with the arrival of low-cost carriers like Allegiant. Currently, a one-way fare for a weekday flight on United from Newark to Cincinnati begins at $161. Read more at WSJ.