To the Editor:
Allegiant Air: Well it was a fun idea for the short time that it lasted. In December, I flew to Phoenix for one of the three-per-year North American Bridge Championships (NABC). The plane down was packed; the plane home was packed.
The NABC tournaments attract hundreds of people from around the world. Before the bridge games start, there is the usual boring small talk. The usual question is, “Where are you from?” I always automatically add Kansas to the Manhattan portion so that there will be no confusion. That response is often followed by, “Are your shoes red and how is KU’s basketball team?” The next question is, Where is Manhattan, Kansas, and how did you get here?”
So imagine my fun — for one brief moment — to be able to say that I had flown NONSTOP from Manhattan to Phoenix. Everyone else was hopping from plane to plane to get from wherever to Phoenix.
Before my trip, I spent hours on Allegiant’s extremely un-friendly website. Everything cost extra, including paying with a credit card vs. a debit card. One really had to study the size and weight limits for baggage or end up paying a lot more. Allegiant Air’s “how to contact us” covered everything except a phone number.
The recent Mercury editorial and previous articles on Alle-giant indicated that a major part of Allegiant’s success would be dependent on its sale of associated purchases of motel rooms, rental cars, shuttles and side trips. I checked those out. All were NONREFUNDABLE and more expensive than the ones I could find on my own.
Manhattan may be a great place to live, but it remains a tough place to get to by any means of travel. Twenty years ago, I flew out of MHK on a regular basis. For a few years, I could fly to MCI round-trip for $30 extra if I continued on elsewhere on USAir. It was great flying out of MHK, but I have no interest in flying through Dallas, or — perish the thought — Chicago.
Goodbye Allegiant Air. It’s too bad you didn’t do your market research before you came. Whoever heard of any business, especially an established one, folding up after only four months?