While its financial performance started showing signs of improvement, in February 2007, jetBlue faced a crisis, when a snowstorm hit the Northeast and Midwest, throwing the airline's operations into chaos. Because jetBlue followed the practice of never cancelling flights, it desisted from calling flights off, even when the ice storm hit and the airline was forced to keep several planes on the ground. Because of this, passengers were kept waiting at the airports for their flights to take off. In some cases, passengers who had already boarded their planes were kept waiting on the apron for several hours and were not allowed to disembark. However, after all this, the airline was eventually forced to cancel most of its flights because of prevailing weather conditions. The fiasco reportedly cost JetBlue $30 million.
Allegiant Air was founded in January 1997 by Mitch Allee (owner, CEO), Jim Patterson (president) and Dave Beadle (chief pilot), under the name WestJet Express. After losing a trademark dispute with West Jet Air Center of Rapid City, South Dakota and recognizing the name's similarity to WestJet Airlines of Canada, the airline adopted the name Allegiant Air and received FAA and DOT certification for scheduled and charter domestic operations on June 19, 1998. The airline also has authority for charter service to Canada and Mexico.
As Republic Airways Holdings was in the process of bidding to acquire Frontier in 2009, it was also in the process of acquiring Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines. Through the fall and winter of 2009, Republic operated its two new acquisitions as separate brands. However, to improve efficiency by better matching aircraft capacity to route demand, Republic began to intermix the fleets of the two airlines, swapping a portion of its higher-capacity planes from Frontier with its smaller-capacity planes from Midwest and vice versa. However, the move caused some confusion amongst the public, as the two brands did not offer the same amenities and did not match the amenities mentioned on the airfare. As a result, in the Spring of 2010, Frontier and Midwest Airlines announced that their brands would merge, with Frontier being the surviving brand. This was a merger of brands only—no Midwest Airlines aircraft was ever operated by Frontier, as by this time, all Midwest Airlines flights were operated on its behalf by other Republic Airways Holdings subsidiaries.
The airport director in Worcester, Massachusetts, felt that Allegiant reneged on a commitment to serve the airport for five years given the use of federal grants to assist its startup. However, the airline responded that the market was immediately unprofitable and starting service there was a poor decision; flights were reported to be 80% full. Allegiant's flights average 90% full.
In the March edition of Airways Magazine, it was announced that once jetBlue partnered with Yahoo! and with BlackBerry producer Research in Motion, that the airline would offer free, limited Wi-Fi capabilities on a single aircraft, N651JB, an Airbus A320-232 dubbed "BetaBlue". People access e-mail with a Wi-Fi capable Blackberry, or use Yahoo!'s e-mail and instant messaging with a Wi-Fi capable laptop, while in flight over the US. LiveTV in Melbourne Florida, created and operated the "BetaBlue" prototype. The "BetaBlue" system utilized the bandwidth and infrastructure of defunct Airfone.
jetBlue's founders had set out to call the airline "Taxi" and therefore have a yellow livery to associate the airline with New York. The idea was dropped, however, for several reasons: the negative connotation behind New York City taxis; the ambiguity of the word taxi with regard to air traffic control; and threats from investor JP Morgan to pull its share ($20 million of the total $128 million) of the airline's initial funding unless the name was changed.
Allegiant aims primarily to serve leisure travelers, particularly those in colder northern climates, going to warm-weather tourist destinations such as Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix. It also serves smaller destinations that see few direct flights by major carriers. Many of the airline's markets, such as Peoria, Illinois, are served only by commuter service requiring a connection at an airline hub. In October 2009, Allegiant had competition on just five of its 136 routes.
Frontier Airlines was incorporated on February 8, 1994, by a group that included executives of the original incarnation of Frontier Airlines in response to the void left by Continental Airlines' 1993 shutdown of its Denver (Stapleton) hub. Scheduled flights began five months later in July 1994 using Boeing 737-200 jetliners on routes between Denver and four destinations in North Dakota: Bismarck, Minot, Fargo and Grand Forks. By January 1995, Frontier had expanded its route network from Denver and was serving Albuquerque, New Mexico; Billings, Montana; Bismarck, N.D.; Bozeman, Montana; El Paso, Texas; Fargo, N.D.; Great Falls, Montana; Las Vegas, Nevada; Missoula, Montana; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tucson, Arizona with 737's. Like the original airline of the same name, the new Frontier operated a hub at Denver (DEN) and for the first nine years used the slogan "The Spirit of the West" which was displayed above the windows and just behind the cursive letters "Frontier" on the fuselage of their aircraft. In 1999, Frontier signed agreements to begin purchasing and leasing Airbus A318 and A319 jet aircraft and had also added Boeing 737-300 jetliners to its fleet as well. Also by September 1999, the airline was serving destinations from coast to coast in the U.S., having expanded its route network to include Atlanta (ATL); Baltimore (BWI); Bloomington/Normal, Illinois (BMI); Boston (BOS); Chicago (MDW, Midway Airport); Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW); Phoenix (PHX); Los Angeles (LAX); Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP); New York City (LGA, LaGuardia Airport); Orlando (MCO); Portland, Oregon (PDX); Salt Lake City (SLC); San Diego (SAN); San Francisco (SFO); and Seattle (SEA), all served from its Denver hub.
In July 2007, the airline partnered with 20th Century Fox's film The Simpsons Movie to become the "Official Airline of Springfield". In addition a contest was held in which the grand prize would be a trip on JetBlue to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of the film. The airline's website was also redecorated with characters and their favorite jetBlue destinations and the company was taken over by the show/film's businessman villain Montgomery Burns.
In November 2012, Frontier started low-frequency service between Orlando International Airport and Trenton–Mercer Airport near Trenton, New Jersey, which, at the time, had no commercial service. Frontier later expanded service several times from Trenton, and as of June 2016 services 11 destinations. Frontier currently bases three aircraft in Trenton. Trenton Mercer Airport lies roughly equidistant between Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
Buyer beware! Do not use this service! I booked a trip for my son and then needed to change the reservation the next day. The customer service person said to cancel the first trip and "re book the whole reservation again (my son needed to stay 2 extra days). A partial refund came in 2 days later for the cost of the hotel. The refund was short $500.00 for the airfare. I called after about 6 days and was told it was being processed and would take up to 7 days. I called 5 days later (day 11) and was told it was processed and the hold up was on the part of my bank. I called the bank who had no record of this at all. They are now disputing the charges with Travelocity. It's been a time consuming and aggravating nightmare. Be aware and careful before you use Travelocity. In looking at their reviews this is not an isolated instance. They seem to have very poor business practices throughout!
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.
Made a reservation for a one night hotel stay at Days Inn & Suites Wyndham Bentonville, Arkansas. Ten minutes later attempted to cancel reservation due to error in date. Travelocity responded with they would need to contact Days Inn to inquire about a refund on my behalf. Subsequently, shortly thereafter, received an email from Travelocity stating they were unable to give me a refund due to Days Inn's inability and refusal to refund. I contacted Days Inn personally and they denied this claim, stating it was Travelocity that I had paid and they are the ones who would need to refund me. You do not get good business by deception. I DO NOT recommend them and WILL NEVER use again. Be cautious.
In the fall of 2001, Allegiant exited bankruptcy and the case was officially closed in early 2002. In March 2002, Allegiant entered into a long-term contract with Harrah's to provide charter services to its casinos in Laughlin and Reno, Nevada. At the same time, the airline acquired its first McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliner. From 2002 through 2004, the airline developed its scheduled-service business model. By 2004, Allegiant was flying from 13 small cities to Las Vegas offering bundled air and hotel packages.