Allegiant Air has been closely monitored by the FAA due to many emergency landings and aborted takeoffs. ABC interviewed a former Allegiant mechanic, who said "Dedicated steps were not being performed with maintenance manuals or even with general practices, before an aircraft is released." Many of these incidents had involved Allegiant's aging MD-80 aircraft, which as of November 2018 have been replaced by newer Airbus A320 family aircraft. 46 of the 86 aircraft have made emergency landings, all of which were on MD-80s. The average age of Allegiant's MD-80 fleet was 29 years compared to less than 13 years for its Airbus fleet.
Scheduled service began on October 15, 1998, between Las Vegas and the airline's original hub in Fresno, California, at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, with Douglas DC-9-21 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 jetliners. During the second half of 1999, the airline was operating nonstop flights between Fresno and Las Vegas, Burbank and Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe as well as flying one-stop direct service between Fresno and Lake Tahoe via Las Vegas. Shortly after WinAir Airlines closed in 1999, Allegiant Air opened a small hub in Long Beach, CA (LGB) and in 2000 was operating nonstop flights to Fresno and Las Vegas in addition to Fresno-Las Vegas nonstop service. Later in 2000, Allegiant continued to expand and was operating the only nonstop jet service between Lake Tahoe Airport from Long Beach in addition to operating new flights into Portland, Oregon and Reno with Portland-Reno and Reno-Fresno nonstops and direct one-stop service between Portland and Fresno via Reno. Citing higher fuel costs as a major factor, Allegiant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000.
Frontier was ranked in an airline quality rating report by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University in 2015 as one of the five worst airlines in the United States, especially due to its rate of customer complaints and bumped passengers. The airline also had relatively poor on-time performance, and the waiting time for help when calling the airline on the phone was reported to have risen to two hours or more.
^ Jump up to: a b c "JetBlue 2017 Annual Report" (PDF). p. 8. Retrieved 2018-09-19. We are a predominately point-to-point system carrier, with the majority of our routes touching at least one of our six Focus Cities: New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando, Long Beach and San Juan, Puerto Rico. During 2017, over 92% of our Customers flew on nonstop itineraries.
During the last few days of June and the first few days of July 2015, jetBlue began charging for bags in certain booking classes, leaving Southwest Airlines the only major U.S. carrier to not charge for bags. For the classes in which bag check fees are charged (generally the lowest class of fares offered; jetBlue offers 3 classes of fares), the cost is $20 for the first bag and $35 for the second, which is the lowest in the United States besides Frontier Airlines with similar prices.
In July 2012, Allegiant announced the future addition of the Airbus A319-100 aircraft to its fleet. The aircraft are used and formerly belonged to easyJet and Cebu Pacific. All of them are high-density A319s, fitted with four overwing exits, allowing 156 seats. Two former easyJet aircraft entered service in 2013, with another in 2014 and an additional six in 2015. In December 2012, Allegiant cancelled the agreement with Cebu Pacific citing an inability to agree on economic provisions. On May 1, 2013, Allegiant purchased another A319 aircraft previously operated by easyJet that would enter service in the third quarter of 2013. On February 23, 2015, Allegiant purchased six more A319s from Cebu Pacific.
In April 2010, Allegiant purchased six Boeing 757-200 aircraft from Thomson Airways for flights to Hawaii with the delivery of the first two in the following months. In September 2011, Allegiant Air introduced the 757 into service from their main hub in Las Vegas. Allegiant later began using the ETOPS configured 757s for service to Hawaii. Fresno and Las Vegas were the inaugural destinations with nonstop service to Honolulu, Hawaii. Nonstop service to Honolulu was then added from Bellingham, Boise, Eugene, Phoenix (via Mesa Gateway Airport), Santa Maria, Spokane and Stockton. Nonstop service to Hawaii was also planned from Monterey, CA but was not actually operated. Allegiant then began to reduce its Hawaii service after determining that the extensive and costly maintenance check - which happens about every six years and costs upwards of $1 million - would not be efficient on the aircraft they flew to Hawaii.
In December 2016, a winter weather event disrupted fleet operations, causing Frontier to delay or cancel up to 70% of their flights during the peak of the crisis, many without any advance notice. On the weekend of December 17, the storm caused major delays at Frontier's Denver hub, and the effects of the storm were felt throughout the fleet. Flights were delayed or canceled at airports across the country, as in some cases, planes were ready to depart, but there were no rested flight crews available to service the flight. The head of Frontier's pilot's union issued a statement criticizing the companies' handling of the event, comparing the airline to a "house of cards". Frontier received over 30,000 refund requests for canceled flights resulting from the event.
Although it does not fly to Canada, Allegiant advertises extensively there and flies from about a dozen small airports near the Canada–US border. Many of its customers at airports such as Bellingham, Washington (BLI), Niagara Falls, New York (IAG), Ogdensburg, New York (OGS), Grand Forks, North Dakota (GFK) and Plattsburgh, New York (PBG) are Canadians, who can save money by flying from U.S. airports.
In 2013, Allegiant acquired nine Airbus A320-200 aircraft from Spanish flag carrier Iberia. Seven of the A320s were delivered in 2013 and were used for growth into new markets, including destinations in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, as well as airfields such as Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and Trenton, New Jersey. On February 24, 2015, Allegiant announced the purchase of 2 additional A320s from Philippine Airlines which entered into service in 2015. Later in 2015, the airline announced a firm order for an Airbus A320 direct from Airbus, the first time it has purchased new aircraft from the supplier.