When I heard Allegiant was going to be starting service out of Gateway, I wanted to give them a try, So here is the trip report on my day trip to Billings with Allegiant and return to PHX
via Denver on Frontier Airlines. I hope you enjoy reading my report!
Airline- Allegiant Air
Flight Number 644
Date, November 30th 2007
Seat 24F, Load Factor 80%
Route-Phoenix-Mesa (IWA) to Billings (BIL
Departure Time, 7:00AM MST
, Actual Departure Time, 7:10AM MST
Arrival Time, 8:44AM MST
, Actual Arrival Time, 8:55AM MST
Aircraft. N948MA, MD
Flying time 1:45, at FL340.
My alarm woke me up at 5:00AM, and after a quick breakfast and a last minute camera check, My dad and I loaded up the truck and were off to Gateway airport, Being it was only 5:30AM there was very little traffic on the roads and it only took us 15-20 minutes to reach the airport. Getting to Gateway is really pretty easy, the terminal building is easy to find with signs directing the way, The terminal building is just off of Sossaman road and only a minute or two drive from the 202 freeway. All parking at AZA is free which is a nice touch, With the truck parked, we made our way into the terminal for check-in, I snapped this photo on the way into the terminal, It's off Allegiant Air N945MA bound for Stockton.
As we entered the terminal, It was quite crowded in the terminal Allegiant seems to be handling a good number of passengers. The check-in desks are located immediately to the right of the main entrance, Allegiant has all the check-in desks to them selves, Accept for a small desk used by Vision Air for their 3x weekly flights to VGT
. Allegiant had the desks dedicated by the flights departing, The flights up for check-in this morning were flight 644 to BIL
and flight 646 to SCK
. The Stockton flight had the shortest line with only a hand full of passengers in contrast to the Billings flight who's line was almost out the door. It only took 15 minutes or so to get thru the line, We were then issued boarding passes and were given seats 28C and 28D, With the passes in hand we made our way over to the security check-point. There wasn't anybody in front of us, and believe it or not, There was actually a friendly TSA
agent! she used our first names and wished us a good trip, Security at IWA is a much more relaxed experience than at larger airports like Sky Harbor, and it only took 5 minutes to get past it. The gate area is pretty small but is more then adequate for Allegiant and Vision Air's needs, There are 2 gates with more then enough seating, There is also a small travel store selling usefull last minute travel items. Boarding began around 6:30AM with elite customers boarding first, shortly fallowed by the rest of the passengers. Here are two shots I took while boarding.
A blurry shot of the PW JT
We got on and made our way to 28C and 28D, Allegiant has some nice seats on their planes, Comfy blue leather seats with an adequate amount of room, we settled into our seats while the rest of the PAX got on, It was a pretty full flight around 80-90% LF
. Just a few minutes before the boarding was completed my dad noticed that row 24 was open, So we asked the flight attendant if we could move a few seats up to the emergency exit row to which she kindly let us do. Row 24 has a lot of room, and it was only my dad and I in that row so the middle seat was empty giving us even more room. Shortly after moving to our new seats they began the safety briefing. After the safety briefing the pilots brought the Pratt&Whitney engines to life, What a cool sound those JT
-8s make! After both engines were running smoothly the pilots executed a 180 degree turn and we began to taxi to the runway, We passed 4 DOJ charter aircraft parked on the ramp, there were 3 B737-400s and one MD
-80. During the taxi I noticed that Gateway has a lot of taxi way improvements being worked on at the moment. At first I thought we were going to be using runway 12R but it turned out we were going to use 12C, We were number one for departure and the pilot flying applied power while lining up for take-off and we were rolling seconds later, It was a long smooth take-off roll with a graceful rotation and a powerful climb out for an MD80, Just seconds after take-off the pilots made a sharp 180 degree left turn and continued to climb up to our cruising altitude of FL340. About 10 minutes or so after take-off we passed 10 thousand feet and shortly after that one of the flight attendants announced that they would be coming thru the cabin with the drinks snacks and souvenirs that they had for sale.
A rough list of souvenir items that are available include, A 1:400th Allegiant Air MD
-82 by Gemini Jets, Airizona themed pens and key chains, and other mementos like that, Snack item's for sale included, the usual soft drinks from the Coca Cola company as well as a large alcohol selection, There was also a large selection of common packaged snack's like Oreo's, Beef Jerky, Planters and Emeralds mixed nuts, M&Ms and Cheez-Its. My dad and I purchased two bottles of water and a bag of beef jerky and I also bought a 1:400th Gemini jets model of an Allegiant MD
After the in-flight service was finished the crew announced that they were going to be doing a little game, It consisted of them walking down the aisle with a bag that the passengers could put a dollar into with there seat number on it, and once they collected the money they would randomly draw a winner from the bag and who ever the winner was got the entire bag of money. We put a dollar in, but we didn't win, The winner turned out to be a passenger up in row 14. After this little game was finished I settled in and listened to some music on my iPod, the rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. About an hour and a half after take-off we began to descend into the Billings area, shortly there after the crew came thru the cabin to take away the service items and prepare the cabin for landing. Decent went by pretty fast, we came in from the south and went up along the east side the city and made a sharp left turn to line up with runway 28R. Unfortunately I couldn't see much of the town due to the side of the plane I was sitting on, The pilot floated the plane quite a bit on landing before finally touching down a fair distance down the runway and only seconds after the main gear touched down the reverse thrust came on along with some aggressive braking action. The pilot exited on the last taxi way before the runway ended, and we taxied to the terminal, Our arrival gate was B-3 which handles Allegiant, Frontier and Horizon Air. All of Allegiant Air's flights from Billings are handled by Horizon Air. We docked at gate B-3 at about 8:50AM and the deplaning process began. After getting off the plane we went and had a good breakfast at the gateway restaurant before heading to check in for our Frontier leg of the trip.
All in all I highly enjoyed flying with Allegiant Air, The crew was friendly and service was good, Overall I give Allegiant an 8/10 and highly recommend flying with them! I also recommend flying from Gateway airport, It's very convenient to use and much more relaxed then some larger airports.
Here are some more photos from the flight and Billings airport photos.
Allegiant Air In flight menu
Contents of the menu
Airizona souvenirs on the in flight menu (sorry for how blurry the photo is)
N948MA after flying IWA-BIL
I hope you enjoyed my trip report! Thanks for reading!