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Anatomy of Allegiant’s Ancillary Revenue

We’ve talked a lot about how much money Allegiant is able to make on ancillary revenue, but for those who haven’t flown the airline, I thought I’d give you some insight into how they pull this off.

My cousin and aunt flew from Oakland to Eugene last week, and my cousin sent me a copy of his itinerary with the fare breakdown. The basic airfare was $156 for two, but by the time they were finished, it came out to $387.40. Here’s the breakdown.

Allegiant Ancillary Revenue

The government taxes and fees are standard, of course, so they should have expected to pay $196.40 on most airlines. But here’s where things start piling up.

  • Prepaid Bags – Each of them brought one bag and they paid for it in advance. That’s $15 per bag each way for a total of $60.
  • Seat Selection Fee – You can just get assigned a seat at the airport, but if you want to reserve one in advance, you’ll pay $13 each way per person.
  • Priority Boarding – You will have your seat assigned by the time you board, so for $5 each way, you simply get to hop on early and claim your bin space.
  • Convenience Fee – You’ll pay $14 per person to book online or via the phone. The only way to avoid this fee is if you buy your ticket at the airport. I’m not sure why it came out to $27 instead of $28 here.
  • Trip Flex – For $15 per person, you can have unlimited name changes until the day before departure. If you don’t purchase this option, it will cost $50 per name change at a later date. This is unique to Allegiant since nobody else will let you change names at all.

As you can see, this adds up quickly. My cousin noted:

I think that a few of the fees we didn’t necessarily have to pay (eg – priority boarding, and checking bags if we had carried on).

I wondered about that and looked at the booking process myself. They do not make it easy to opt out of some of these fees, in particular the priority boarding and seat selection fees. The checkboxes come pre-checked, and if you click the small link to uncheck them, it pops something up suggesting that you really shouldn’t do that. So you really do have to pay close attention when booking on this airline to make sure you’re not paying more than you bargained for.

And this isn’t even all the money they can extract from you. This doesn’t include the cost of food and drink on the plane. They also ran a raffle onboard that I’m sure nets them some cash as well. It also doesn’t include the money they can make from hotel and car rental bookings. Even with all these fees, I think my cousin sums it up quite well.

I think that the price may have still added up to less than a regular United flight out of SFO.

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