Why It’s Cheaper To Buy Allegiant Tickets At Airport

Why It’s Cheaper To Buy Allegiant Tickets At Airport

12

Nowadays a vast majority of airline passengers buy their tickets online, given the practice of electronic ticketing. However, some ultra low cost carriers give you an incentive to book tickets at the airport. I’ve written about this practice at Breeze Airways, Frontier Airlines, and Spirit Airlines, and in this post wanted to look at how you can save money by buying your Allegiant Air tickets at the airport.

Save money buying Allegiant tickets at the airport

Allegiant Air is one of the largest ultra low cost carriers in the United States, as the airline flies a variety of point-to-point routes that are otherwise underserved. Even if you don’t go out of your way to fly Allegiant, odds are that you’ll find yourself in a situation at some point where Allegiant has the most convenient flight.

Allegiant Air typically has incredibly low base fares, though you’ll see that each ticket includes an “Electronic Carrier Usage Charge” of $22 per passenger per segment. This applies to all reservations booked through Allegiant’s website or call center.

You won’t really notice this fee unless you really look closely. For example, take the below flight from St. Petersburg (PIE) to Flint (FNT). The fare is $84, and on the very last page prior to booking you can see a breakdown of that, and you’ll notice that there’s a $22 “Carrier Usage Charge.”

Allegiant’s “Carrier Usage Charge” in action

If you book your ticket through Allegiant’s website or call center, you’re on the hook for paying that fee. However, there’s a way to avoid it — if you instead book at any Allegiant airport ticket counter, you won’t have to pay the “Carrier Usage Charge.”

Now, Allegiant doesn’t want to make it easy for you to actually book at the airport, though. Allegiant’s website lists at what times you can purchase tickets at the airport. Airport ticketing is available for one hour following a flight’s scheduled departure, so often there’s just a one hour period on certain days of the week where you can ticket travel.

While it might not be worth making a special trip to the airport for a one-way ticket for one person to save $22, if you’re traveling as a larger group, booking multiple tickets, etc., the savings may add up.

It’s funny the extent to which Allegiant tries to hide that you can ticket your reservations at the airport. For example, if you go to Allegiant’s FAQs, you’ll see the following listed:

Can we purchase our tickets at the airport?

Travelers are advised to book in advance through the Allegiant Air Web site or customer call center. Airline tickets for same day travel may be purchased at the airport ticket counter based on availability. Airport ticket counter hours are limited and vary by location.

You don’t have to be traveling the same day to ticket a reservation to the airport. Quite to the contrary, Allegiant’s logic doesn’t add up. The airline claims it’ll only sell you tickets at the airport for an hour following a flight’s departure, yet also says that you can book at the airport for same day travel.

Why Allegiant tickets are cheaper at the airport

Okay, you can save money by booking your Allegiant tickets at the airport, but what’s the logic for this policy? It comes down to taxes.

Airlines have to pay a 7.5% federal excise tax on airfare, but not on optional fees. In order for something to be considered an optional fee, there has to be a way to avoid paying it. So Allegiant doesn’t have to pay taxes on the “Carrier Usage Charge” portion of the ticket cost because it’s technically a fee, rather than airfare, since you can avoid it.

Of course Allegiant doesn’t want to make it easy or lucrative to avoid paying this fee, which is why the airline only lets you avoid this by booking at the airport, and greatly limits the hours where you can do so.

Virtually all ultra low cost carriers have similar made up charges that make up a big portion of the airfare, in order to reduce the taxes they have to pay on ticket costs. In this particular case, Allegiant is saving 7.5% of $22, which is ~$1.65. Those tax savings add up when you consider how many tickets Allegiant sells (Allegiant generally carries over 15 million passengers per year).

Bottom line

Much like with other ultra low cost carriers, you can save money by purchasing your Allegiant tickets at the airport. This will save you $22 per person per segment, as you won’t have to pay the “Carrier Usage Charge.”

Allegiant sure doesn’t make it easy, though, as you can only ticket reservations for one hour following a flight’s departure, so you really have to time your trip to the airport. While it’s probably not worth making a trek to the airport to save $22, if you’re booking multiple tickets, some might find this to be worthwhile.

Have you ever purchased Allegiant Air tickets at the airport?

Conversations (12)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. henare Diamond

    the real question is "why would anyone want to travel on allegiant at all?" they can cancel a. flight and their next flight can be days later!

    1. jdp Guest

      where can you find the statistics on Allegiant cancelled flights?

  2. Darren C Diamond

    The charge is per segment, so, it's double for roundtrip.

    Frontier calls it "Carrier Interface Charge" and it's $23.00 outbound and $23.00 return.

  3. Robierto Guest

    It wasn't that long ago airlines charged extra to ticket at the airport, sometimes even at the kiosk, and directed us to e-tickets and other online options. Just keep moving the goal posts to make sure to maximize revenue.

  4. Anonymous Guest

    Actually the convenience fee is to offset credit card charges a la Ticketmaster not the 7.5% FET

    1. Darren C Diamond

      Sorry, wrong.
      It's a flat fee, not a percentage like a credit card offset.

      The airfare on my PHX-IAH roundtrip is $36.06 but the "Carrier Interface Charge" is $46.00

      VISA/MC/AMEX do not charge 127% for using their service.

  5. RJP Guest

    Bottom line Is you pay for convenience!!

  6. Chicago Chris Guest

    This is not true. There are about a dozen stations where Allegiant does not sell tickets. The law, roughly, says there must be a way to opt out of the fee but doesn't require it to be convenient or even at every airport.

    I've tried to buy Allegiant tickets at some airports and have been turned away. The decision was reaffirmed by Allegiant corporate when I complained. They explained tickets are only sold at...

    This is not true. There are about a dozen stations where Allegiant does not sell tickets. The law, roughly, says there must be a way to opt out of the fee but doesn't require it to be convenient or even at every airport.

    I've tried to buy Allegiant tickets at some airports and have been turned away. The decision was reaffirmed by Allegiant corporate when I complained. They explained tickets are only sold at the airports listed on its website with ticket hours. You'll notice several cities served by G4 are missing...meaning they don't sell tickets.

  7. Brant Guest

    UberX Mercedes Benz rolls up to the Allegiant terminal. Ben & Ford exit the vehicle, enter the building, saunter up to the reservation desk and 20 minutes later depart with 2 round trip tickets to Myrtle Beach. Having saved $44 dollars, they splurge on lunch at TGI Friday!

  8. S Dailey Guest

    Going to have to try this as I live very close to the airport! Thanks for the tip

  9. Klaus Guest

    Just out of curiosity: did anyone actually ever try to buy these tickets at the airport? Is Allegiant actually ensuring that there is a staffed ticket counter one hour after departure of a flight?

    The link of opening times is not working. Says I have no permission.

    1. Dave Guest

      If the counter isn’t really open when Allegiant says it is, you should report it to both the FAA/DOT and the IRS. The airline can’t claim that a fee is avoidable to save on taxes and then also not actually do the thing that allegedly makes the fee avoidable.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Chicago Chris Guest

This is not true. There are about a dozen stations where Allegiant does not sell tickets. The law, roughly, says there must be a way to opt out of the fee but doesn't require it to be convenient or even at every airport. I've tried to buy Allegiant tickets at some airports and have been turned away. The decision was reaffirmed by Allegiant corporate when I complained. They explained tickets are only sold at the airports listed on its website with ticket hours. You'll notice several cities served by G4 are missing...meaning they don't sell tickets.

1
Dave Guest

If the counter isn’t really open when Allegiant says it is, you should report it to both the FAA/DOT and the IRS. The airline can’t claim that a fee is avoidable to save on taxes and then also not actually do the thing that allegedly makes the fee avoidable.

1
Brant Guest

UberX Mercedes Benz rolls up to the Allegiant terminal. Ben & Ford exit the vehicle, enter the building, saunter up to the reservation desk and 20 minutes later depart with 2 round trip tickets to Myrtle Beach. Having saved $44 dollars, they splurge on lunch at TGI Friday!

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT