I’ve become a bit fascinated with Allegiant Air lately. Like Spirit, they have this crazy policy where they actually charge you a Ticketmaster-style convenience fee for purchasing tickets on their website. To be sure, they prefer to think of it as a discount for buying at the airport, but it’s all the same really. They also do some interesting SEO to obfuscate this discount.
I spent part of the summer brushing up on my Wyoming geography. Wyoming was rated as one of the best places to watch the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 given their favorable weather, and the town of Casper was sort of the epicenter for eclipse watchers given its location right on the centerline of the path of totality.
Casper was almost on the centerline of the path of totality
Casper just isn’t all that big of a place, however, so with thousands and thousands of people showing up, it allowed hotels, ranchers, and even residents to
gouge charge sky high prices. A simple room at the Baymont Inn and Suites was going for $2,000 per night. My family was actually planning to join some friends in Glendo to watch the eclipse, though we ended up switching to Nebraska, which I think was a great choice.
So it was of interest to me when I heard that Allegiant is cancelling their non-stop service from Casper to Las Vegas. They announced the route cut on August 29, just a week after the eclipse passed through.
I doubt the timing is coincidental. I didn’t check prices for that route for the days around the eclipse, but I can pretty well bet they weren’t selling tickets for $50, with or without their silly electronic access charge. Adding a zero to that number is probably a lot closer.
I’m certainly not an expert of air service to small, underserved airports. But this cut seems pretty significant for the Casper airport which is left only with service to Denver on United and to Salt Lake City on Delta. It will also apparently cost them $26,000 in landing fee revenue, a big chunk considering that they were projected to be in the black by just $33,000 this year.
Allegiant Air is cutting their Las Vegas to Casper, Wyoming route. They cite lack of demand for the route, which may well be true.
But the timing is certainly interesting given that they announced the end of service just one week after the eclipse, arguably the most significant event to take place in central Wyoming in generations. Is that just a coincidence?
Did you ever fly Allegiant to Casper? Oh who am I kidding — have you ever been to Casper at all?