When low-cost carrier Allegiant Air announced new routes to Hawaii yesterday, the Northwest got lucky—especially outside the big cities. The Vegas-based airline added flights to Maui and Honolulu from the Bellingham airport and a Honolulu route from Eugene.
Allegiant made Bellingham one of its "focus cities" in 2008, and already flies from there to California, Nevada, and Arizona (the budget carrier also services exotic locales like Owensboro, Kentucky, and Peoria, Illinois). Introductory fares of $159 (from Bellingham to Honolulu) and $199 (from Bellingham to Kahului in Maui) each way are being offered though Monday, and the flights themselves start November 14 and 15.
Of course, as The Seattle Times notes, those fares come with booking fees, checked baggage fees, and even carry-on fees. In April, Allegiant became the second American airline to charge for carry-on luggage. Passengers pay $10 to $35 for the pleasure of throwing out their shoulders as they wedge bags into overhead bins; for the Hawaii route it’s $25 if paid in advance.
So will this mean more Hawaiian travel for Northwesterners? Alaska, Hawaiian, and Delta Airlines already provide service to the islands out of Sea-Tac, and Alaska does nonstop flights from Bellingham as well. Still, since Allegiant kicks off its new flights in November, there will be plenty of sun-deprived Washingtonians to fill their seats.