Feb232016

Trip Report: Allegiant Airlines Monterey-Las Vegas

Monterey, California MRY airport can be an expensive airport to fly to or from. There are only a few airlines flying out of Monterey to a few limited destinations. American flies MRY-Phoenix, Alaska flies MRY-LAX and MRY-SAN San Diego, United flies MRY-LAX and MRY-SFO, and Allegiant flies MRY-LAS Las Vegas.

For most flights I end up driving to one of the San Francisco Bay Area airports of San Francisco SFO (110 miles), San Jose SJC (75 miles) or Oakland OAK (115 miles). 

Allegiant Airlines

I have flown Allegiant a couple of times before this year, only to or from Monterey and Las Vegas. I flew Allegiant to Las Vegas and back in the past two weeks. The flight experience was fine.

Allegiant Airlines is a low cost carrier with a business model of charging for everything like seat assignment, boarding pass printing at airport (if you do not arrive with a printed boarding pass), carry-on and checked bags (under seat bag flies free), food and drink onboard, and credit card payments.

Hey Honey, we are flying to Las Vegas

My flight deal was purchasing three round trip tickets on American Airlines for Amsterdam to Las Vegas at $422 each with two trips for me and one for my wife. This meant we had to get to Amsterdam for positioning to start the trips and we had to get home to Monterey after landing in Las Vegas.

Last month I flew Norwegian Airlines from Oakland to Amsterdam one-way for $210.10. This put me in position for flying my first Amsterdam-Las Vegas ticket.

Loyalty Traveler – Flight Review: Norwegian Air OAK-ARN (Jan 26, 2016).

The first American Airlines AMS-LAS ticket outbound flight segments flew me from Amsterdam to London Heathrow on British Airways, then LHR to LAX on an American Airlines B777-300 wide body aircraft with the top of the line Business Class seating.

Loyalty Traveler – Review: AA LHR-LAX 777-300ER Business Class using my first SWU upgrade (Feb 8, 2016).

For my return flight from Las Vegas to Amsterdam, I needed to fly Monterey to Las Vegas. Allegiant Airlines makes the flight in 75 minutes time. I have driven many times from Monterey across California, through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas, a nine hour drive of 500 miles. Allegiant Airlines is a nice alternative.

Kelley’s positioning flight to Amsterdam was an AAdvantage economy award for 20,000 miles + $5.60 flying MRY-LAX-PHL-AMS. On this last trip we met up in Philadelphia for the transatlantic flight Philadelphia to Amsterdam. I gave Kelley my SWU upgraded Business Class seat and I flew in her economy seat to Amsterdam. She appreciated the seat exchange.

Las Vegas Check-In for Allegiant Airlines

The flight home from Las Vegas to Monterey on Allegiant, Sunday January 31, was the first time in a couple of years I have flown this airline. Check-in in Las Vegas revealed a long line with few counter agents for dropping off a paid checked bag.

On a previous trip home from Las Vegas to Monterey, I recall several people in line at the gate getting riled up over the gate agent demanding a $50 carry-on fee from passengers boarding the aircraft with more than one bag. That experience taught me to be sure and pay Allegiant bag fees online prior to the airport.

Allegiant bag fees:

Lowest bag fees are at time of booking.

$20 checked bag up to 40# (Monterey is not even listed on Allegiant’s bag fee table). The weight factor is a major deal. I weighed in at 40.5# and avoided the $50 overweight fee.

$15 carry-on bag fee 9 in. x 14 in. x 22 in. Carry-on is cheaper as long as your bag is a standard carry-on size.

Free Personal Bag with dimensions no larger than 7 in. x 15 in. x 16 in.

My backpack with camera and computer fit easily under the seat. There seems to be plenty of under seat space for a bag on the MD-80 aircraft for this route. There were no obstructions like under seat life vests in the seats I had.

Allegiant seat space

Backpack fit easily under seat on Allegiant flight from MRY-LAS. I did not pay the assigned seat fee ($13) and received a free middle seat assignment at check-in.

My first flight from LAS-MRY on Jan 31 required one checked bag and I had my backpack as my free carry-on. I got by with the same large checked bag on the flight two weeks ago for MRY-LAS.

This past Sunday I flew with one small checked bag ($20) and one carry-on roller bag ($15) for $35 in bag fees.

Bags Warning: Be sure you have your bag fees paid prior to online check-in for your flight. You can’t change your checked and carry-on bags after you have completed online check-in. You will have to pay higher airport bag fees if you need to increase your paid bag allowance after online check in for your flight.

Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Airlines at Las Vegas A gates.

One thing to mention about Las Vegas LAS airport TSA Precheck. Allegiant flights leave from A gates and there is no TSA Precheck line at the A gates. You can use the TSA PreCheck line for other gates and then wind your way back around to the A gates through airport corridors in about ten minutes walk-time.

I prefer to use the TSA Precheck line and make the long walk back to the A gates to avoid taking my computer and liquids out of my bags.

How much did Allegiant Airlines Cost?

My great airline ticket deal was Amsterdam to Las Vegas for $422 round trip on American Airlines. My wife loves to point out aspects of my travel bargain finds, like “We don’t live in Las Vegas, dear.”

The deal for this trip was I redeemed 100,000 Club Carlson points last May for four nights at the Radisson Blu Amsterdam for February Presidents’ Week holidays. When I saw the low Amsterdam to Las Vegas ticket prices early January, I planned trips so we would be in Amsterdam for last week’s trip and fly back to Amsterdam from Las Vegas in April, when we plan to travel by train to Belgium.

Getting to and from Las Vegas and Monterey was the primary added expense to these airline tickets deal.

Allegiant Flight #1:

Allegiant Airlines Las Vegas LAS – MRY Monterey

$133.13 one-way including one $20 checked bag Sunday Jan 31.

Sunday flights out of Las Vegas are the highest priced flights of the week. Allegiant only flies this route two days a week with Thursday and Sunday flights each way.

Allegiant Flight #2:

Allegiant Airlines MRY Monterey – Las Vegas LAS

$74.30 one-way including one $20 checked bag Thursday Feb 11.

Allegiant Flight #3:

Allegiant Airlines Las Vegas LAS – MRY Monterey

$130.82 one-way including one $20 checked bag, one $15 carry-on bag and one $10 seat assignment on Sunday, February 21.

The expense of added positioning flights to get to Amsterdam on Norwegian Air in January, and travel to and from Las Vegas, made the real cost of my $422 AMS-LAS tickets around $625 to $800 each for two trips to Amsterdam in the past month. That is still a few hundred dollars saved on the price of flying SFO to Amsterdam this winter on American Airlines and I earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles for the two tickets.

Stella Artois for $7 a can

I have not purchased a beer inflight on my Allegiant Airlines flights, but I did like seeing the Stella Artois beer option.

Allegiant food

Allegiant Air inflight food is credit card only. No cash accepted.

Allegiant aircraft

The majority of Allegiant routes are flown by MD-80 aircraft.

Allegiant MRY   MRY

One of the cool features of this aircraft is boarding and deboarding through the rear of the plane.

Allegiant Air MD-80 rear deboarding

Allegiant Airlines MD-80 deboarding from rear of aircraft in Monterey. Just be sure to wear earplugs since the jet engine noise is loud.

Here is an outline of the Amsterdam – Las Vegas trip report segments I will write over the next week.

1. Allegiant Airlines low cost nonstop flights between Monterey and Las Vegas.

2. SLS Las Vegas, Starwood Hotels Tribute Portfolio

3. American Airlines LAS-PHL in First Class

4. PHL lounge reviews British Airways First and American Admirals Club

5. American Airlines Philadelphia – Amsterdam Business Class and Economy Class Seats Comparison

6. Amsterdam Radisson Blu Hotel – Room 1 – The Cave

7. Amsterdam Radisson Blu Hotel – Room 2 – The City

8. Amsterdam Radisson Blu Hotel – Room 3 – The Birds

9. InterContinental Amstel Hotel, Amsterdam – The Views

10. Hulp! Albert Heijn only accepts Maestro cards. How do I get one?

11. 75th Anniversary of the Amsterdam Strike against Nazi persecution of Jews.

12. Dutch Resistance Museum, Amsterdam

13. Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam

14. Oude Kerk Amsterdam

15. American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow

16. American Airlines London LHR – Chicago ORD business class

17. The Venetian, InterContinental Alliance Resort

I only posted two small pieces from Amsterdam last week during my trip.

Second most famous dead woman of Amsterdam – Saskia Rembrandt’s gravestone in Oude Kerk Amsterdam.

W Amsterdam – After drinking up at W Amsterdam rooftop bar, go downstairs for toilets.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Pingbacks

Comments are closed.