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Old 03-01-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
MNtraveler
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Nixa, Missouri
Posts: 12,751
I've flown Allegiant out of Springfield to LA once and to Vegas twice. I've flown Air Tran out of Branson to Orlando four times. I far prefer the Air Tran/Branson combination for the following reasons:

1) The fees on Allegiant are absolutely ridiculous. Assigned seat fees (not for premium seats... to have ANY assigned seat), a $40 "convenience fee" for booking a ticket over the internet (and you thought Ticketmaster was bad!), some of the highest checked baggage fees I've ever experienced, charge for soft drinks served during the flight, and on and on.

2) Parking in Branson is far closer to the airport than in Springfield. I think the Springfield airport designers were concerned that terrorists might pack nuclear weapons in the trunk of their cars and wanted to make sure they were far enough from the building that the blast would not impact the terminal.

3) Air Tran has daily flights to Orlando. Allegiant only flies there a few times a week. The Allegiant schedule may work when planning Orlando vacations. When you are flying to Orlando to take a cruise out of Port Canaveral it doesn't work so well... Allegiant seems to never fly on the day the cruise sets sail or returns.

4) Air Tran flies to MCO where Disney offers free transportation via the "Magical Express" to Disney resorts. Allegiant flies to Sanford where no such service is available.

5) Although Nixa where I live is much closer to Springfield than to Branson, it takes about the same time to get to either airport. Since the Springfield airport is at the far north end of Springfield you drive the entire distance through the city on streets with stoplights every few blocks. The only north-south freeway through Springfield is 65, located on the eastern edge of the city. The airport is on the western edge.

6) If you are willing to fly through Air Tran's hub in Atlanta you can get to virtually any destination in America. Allegiant flies out of Springfield to just a handful of destinations... many times to secondary airports with limited connections to elsewhere.

7) Air Trans weekly non-stop flights to Orlando are always packed. Their daily flights to Atlanta not so much, but then they have two flights a day vs. Allegiant's four times a week.

8) Branson airport has Famous Dave's. 'Nuff said.

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Last edited by MNtraveler; 03-01-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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