Allegiant Is Canceling Casper Service After The Eclipse: Coincidence Or Conspiracy?

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.

Bottom line

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?

Comments

  1. Believe it or not, so of us live in the part of the world, so yes, I’ve been to Casper. The tone of that end of the article is a bit insulting to those of use who live in “fly over country” and are loyal readers.

  2. What kind of conspiracy would this be? I really dont understand the allegation. Allegiant Air started flying to Casper in 2008, so it’ll have been nearly 10 years since they started. They clearly didnt start it for the eclipse. So i dont understand the point of this post, or the stretch you’re trying to make. Allegiant’s model up until now has been to go to tiny places where there was latent demand for leisure travel and fly like 2x/week. That model served them well for a long time, stimulating demand to leisure places such as Vegas and Florida. Now the industry has changed and they’re focusing on bigger spokes such as Louisville, Cincinnati, etc. Really dont understand at all the connection you’re trying to make to something that happened 3 weeks ago, which happened way after they started service. Beyond that, Casper has enjoyed varying levels of service from Delta/ United and their predecessors for years. It actually is a viable business market for these carriers. It’s just small.

  3. Before you become too fascinated by Allegiant Air, you might want to become equally interested in their safety record. The Tampa Bay newspaper did an eye-opening piece on them last year.

    I agree with the first comment…as someone else who lives in fly over country, it’s annoying to see that type of attitude on this blog. Sorry that we don’t all live out of hotels or have endless access to JFK. Some of us have to deal with tiny hometown airports that are barely big enough to land a 737.

  4. So what’s the point that the author is trying to make? Of course Allegiant chose to hang on to the route to capitalize on the highest level of demand that the route has ever seen before dropping it due to poor demand over the long term. If they left the Casper market prior to the eclipse then you would have a good subject for an article on the incompetence of the airline’s directors.

  5. I’ve spent most of my life in fly over country including where I live now. I’ve been to all 50 states, most of them multiple times. But even so, I’ve never been to Casper. Don’t take it personally, I’m one of you.

  6. Yes, coincidence. They also announced the end of Youngstown and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the same week.

    It’s not like the service just started for the eclipse though even if it had, so what?

    Also I’m guessing this service was started as much to bring leisure pax to Vegas as the other way around. That’s not a dig on rural areas (where I also live) but a reflection of Allegiant’s business model at least in the past. “Connecting” on Allegiant isn’t really the easiest so I doubt many people going from elsewhere in the US to Casper area were using Allegiant unless they really needed to save a buck.

    No idea what the point of this ill informed post is

  7. Did you just learn about Allegiant Air?

    This is there model. They start and end routes every other day. Fronteir is the same. They chase airports that waive landing fees.

  8. Bottom line:

    It makes sense, given they waited for the spike in demand before ceasing services.

    If you operated a business that was marginal in a certain market, but had a peak event coming, you too would wait until after that event before exiting.

  9. @Thesocalledfan dont be a snowflake. Its a fact that people in more popular/densely populated areas havent heard of or been to a small town in Wyoming. So dont take offense to it, yet laugh it off and move on 😉 Life is hard enough with REAL issues.

  10. Wow, hard to believe that Casper has so little air service. It was my understanding that Casper is a bit of a regional financial center.

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