Allegiant offers low-fare Bellingham-Hawaii flights, but extra fees will cost you
Allegiant Air will begin flying in mid November to Maui and Honolulu from Bellingham, putting it in competition with Alaska Airlines.
Seattle Times NWTraveler editor
Allegiant Air will begin flying this fall from Bellingham to Honolulu and Maui, putting the low-cost carrier in competition with Alaska Airlines which already flies from Bellingham to Honolulu. Nonstop flights from Bellingham to Maui's Kahului airport begin Nov 14 on Allegiant; nonstop flights to Honolulu International Airport begin Nov. 15. There will be two round trips a week to each Hawaiian island. (Alaska Airlines began daily round trips to Honolulu last year.)
Allegiant's introductory fares to Maui begin at $199 each way and $159 to Honolulu, including taxes and some fees. Tickets much be purchased by May 21 for travel by Jan. 15, 2013. However seats at the low prices are limited and there are blackout dates.
In addition, extra fees can boost the price of Allegiant flights since the carrier has extensive "a la carte" pricing.
While passengers can bring one personal item (such as a purse or laptop carrier) into the cabin for free, Allegiant will charge $35 each way for a carry-on such as roll-aboard bag, garment bag or tote bag on the Bellingham-Hawaii flights (or $25 if prepaid). A checked bag is $35 each way. (Allegiant's baggage fees vary by destination; read the fine print at www.allegiantair.com/aaFeesForOurServices.php#baggage.)
Travelers also must pay a $10 convenience fee for each flight segment when booking online at www.allegiant.com (included in the above introductory Hawaii fares) or by phone. Purchasing by phone also will cost an additional $14.99 "call center booking fee" for each flight segment, on top of the convenience fee.
Allegiant is a Las Vegas-based airline that specializes in flights between smaller U.S. cities and vacation destinations, such as Hawaii, Palm Springs and Vegas.
Flying out of Bellingham also allows Allegiant to appeal to travelers from the Vancouver, B.C., area who are headed for Hawaii.
Comparing the fares
Allegiant will compete on the Hawaii flights with Alaska Airlines, which already flies nonstop from Bellingham to Honolulu, serving travelers from northwest Washington and southern B.C.
A quick search on Alaska Airlines' website on Wednesday showed a $388.40 round trip Bellingham-Honolulu flight departing on Nov. 14 and returning on Nov. 21. On Allegiant, a Nov. 15 departure and Nov. 20 return was $378 round trip from Bellingham to Honolulu.
Alaska charges $20 for the first checked bag, and has no fee for carry-on bags.
Fares for both carriers vary widely according to the day.
Kristin Jackson: firstname.lastname@example.org