With Allegiant Air now entering the market very shortly, it seems like prices for airfare to Hawaii just might be headed downwards. Allegiant will be directly competing against Hawaiian Airlines in the Honolulu to Las Vegas market as well as against Alaska Airlines in the Honolulu to Bellingham, Washington market. Because Allegiant positions itself as the low price provider in the areas it serves, it tends to compel the incumbent carrier to either match or to position itself at a level that would not be too high against Allegiant’s price.
While the market has proven that price drives business in the airline industry, it’ll be interesting to see how passengers will feel about Allegiant’s low ball prices on Hawaii airfare will be worth being cramped in its aircraft’s new searing configuration with reduced legroom. The carrier has recently decided to reduce legroom between seats in order to push more people, and profits, onto their flights.
Up until now, most of Allegiant’s flights are short haul flights, in the range of being 2 to 3 hours long. So maybe being cramped for that amount of time is not so bad. But when a flight is nearly 6 hours long, as it will be in the case of a trip to Hawaii, it could be that saving a few bucks may not be worth the prolonged levels of discomfort.
One wonders if the lesson learned by charter carrier Omni may applicable to Allegiant’s venture into the Hawaii market. Onmi used to charter flights between Honolulu and Las Vegas on a narrow body Boeing 757. But Omni recently changed its aircraft to a wide body Boeing 767. Many are saying that Omni changed their planes, as well as their cramped seating configuration on their aircraft, because it was the number one reason that people did not like flying on Omni.