LAN-LAS-LAN Feb 27-Mar 1, 2004
Flight 259 MD-83 N861GA LAN-LAS
I had heard only good things about Allegiant Airlines
new service from Lansing, Michigan to Las Vegas. Now
I know several things:
I would fly this route again, but...
Drove from Grand Rapids, Michigan (our usual point of
dep.) to Lansing. Arrive very early and my daughter
and I were the first in line for check in. At Lansing
Delta Comair handled the ticket counter. We received
a paper boarding pass à la what we've experienced with
charter flights. The check-in was efficient and
friendly and security check went without delay nor
problem. Lansing Airport, for those who have not used
it, is small and convenient. In-bound Allegiant Flt
258 was about 20 min late due to weight and balance
concerns at LAS. This is a "turn" flight for plane
and crew. This was only my second flight on the
MD-83. Previous flights were on Reno Air, also to LAS
some years ago. Push and taxi from gate 9 were at
08:33 instead of the scheduled 0800. Lifted off from
RW 10R at 0840. We were in 10A/C. Very small amount
of leg room. I previously had had such an experience
with Falcon Air (727-200). For a 6'3" passenger, this
flight was to be a challenge. We usually are at least
in UAL's Economy Plus or AA extra-leg space. This was
indeed a shock. A most excellent view of ORD as we
passed over at FL310. Not used to seeing Chicago and
ORD from such a height. Beverage service only, but they
did do two services. Carts indicated TWA. I have not
yet researched the history of N861GA but will do so.
A very nice crew: Capt. Frazier; F/O Peters. Charles
was Purser; F/As Michelle (exceptionally friendly and
professional. Melinda and Troy were also working the
flight. Absolutely splendid views of the snow-capped
Rockies. I never tire of seeing them. No movie or
other on-board entertainment can compare, in my
opinion. Sorry, Hooters Air. 3 hrs and 40 scheduled
to LAS. Flew over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. My 6th
ever trip to LAS. Touch-down at 09:30 PST.
We saw our first (UAL) TED A-320 at ramp. Except for
the extremely cramped seats, (I believe they are
configured for 164-166 seats. I've verified that this
plane can be configured for 139-168! So, Allegiant is
on the high end of cramming the pax. in.)... a very
pleasant flight to sunshine, 60 degrees and the slots.
Flight 258 MD-83 N861GA LAS-LAN (same aircraft)
After a very pleasant weekend in "Sin City" we headed
very early to the airport for the trip home. We again
were Nos. 1 and 2 for check-in. Exceptional service
from CSR Ms. Antonio at the counter.
Clear sailing for the security check. Tex-Mex for our
final LAS meal and a long wait for our "redeye" back
to Lansing. I must add here that the ramp personal
for Allegiant were NOT that evening acting in a
professional manner, as we witnessed four young ramp
personal "screwing around" the podium sitting ON the
counter, making crank PA announcements, doing
"wheelies" in the wheelchair. All in all, it did not
inspire confidence at all nor present a good image for
the company. I believe I will have to let the higher
ups know about this bad image. We learned that we
were flying with the Michigan State Univ. Baseball and
Golf Teams. Again, a completely full flight and there
seemed to be concerns as to which luggage could
fly....baseball and golf equipment or revenue luggage.
I'm still not sure how all that played out, but we
carried on our roll-aboards. We were on the very same
MD-83 coming home. I believe they have fewer than 10
aircraft. Capt. tonight was Capt. Schmidt. F/O Tim
Charles again purser; Michelle and Troy again were our
F/As with the addition of Beau.
I asked about F/As for Allegiant. They currently have
120, having just graduated a new class. Beau seemed
to be the very Jr. member of the cabin crew. Capt.
Schmidt was friendly and informative.
Push and taxi at 12:28 a.m. from D-4 over to RW 25R.
(29 min. late) The schedule called for 11:59. Upon
climb-out were could see the "strip" where all our
money was left. The predicted route was to be across
Utah, COS, DSM and then between Green Bay and Chicago
across Lake Michigan to LAN. This time we were in
3E/F, forward enough that we were across from the
forward lav and if possible, I was even more cramped.
I had to get up and stretch several times and
fortunately the SB sign was off for most of the trip.
I don't know how several long legged member of the MSU
teams did it. Walking back toward the rear of the
aircraft surely was a challenge for the crew as legs
were often thrust into the aisle, not out of rudeness
but necessity. Only one service returning home but
most "slept" I did also a few minutes. A smooth ride
for the most part. Just very slight chop about
mid-flight. Landed at 0700 EST in Lansing (only 16
min late) Allegiant crews and personnel were great.
Now, about those cramped seats and ramp "kids"
Regardless, I would give them another try.
Clear and almost spring-skies to all, JaO