Allegiant Air review: is a Legroom + seat worth the extra cost?

Allegiant Air A319 taxiing at SFB

Why is it that, after having flown nearly a million and a half miles in my life so far, it’s still an Allegiant Air review that excites me the most?

It’s almost embarrassing to admit out loud how much I have been looking forward to this flight. The last time I flew Allegiant Air was over six years ago, and I was just dying to know if anything had changed.

Wait. Did I just write the word “dying” in reference to an Allegiant Air flight? I swear it was an accident. Oops, there I go again…

G42369
Orlando / Sanford, FL (SFB) – Oklahoma City, OK (OKC)
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Aircraft: A319-111
Registration: N316NV
Duration: 2 hours 59 minutes
Seat: 7A (Legroom +)

Allegiant Air A319 side view
Allegiant Air A319 side view illustration by Norebbo.com
G42369 flight track
Our route from Orlando / Sanford to Oklahoma City today as G42369

The video

Since I knew I was going to be writing a full review of this Allegiant Air flight here on sanspotter.com, I chose to take a slightly different direction with the video.

It’s still mostly a review video, but the premise of it was to ask (and try to understand) some things about Allegiant Air that just don’t make any sense to me.

By the way, I absolutely love the soundtrack for this one. The song is called “Hiccups” by Ooyy. and it’s a perfect song for an airline review in my opinion. You can get this song over on Epidemic Sound – along with hundreds of thousands of others from all genres.

Be sure to read my full Epidemic Sound review if you want to know all the pros and cons of this music service.

My full Allegiant Air review (what I experienced from Orlando to Oklahoma City)

I mentioned at the top of this post that I was curious to see if anything has changed with Allegiant Air since the last time that I flew them. Well, long story short, not much has changed. The seats are still rock hard, and it still feels like a bare-bones travel experience.

Arrival at the airport

This is the first time that I have ever flown into and out of Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). I didn’t even know that it was referred to as an “international” airport. But it is. Imagine that.

Anyway, all you need to know is that the Sanford International Airport is located approximately 30 minutes northeast of the Orlando International Airport (MCO). You’re going to need a rental car if you fly into this place.

Sanford airport terminal curbside
Wait, what? Where is the dilapidated airport terminal I was expecting to see?
Sanford International Airport check in
Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but the Sanford International Airport is actually really nice.
Sanford airport interior
I wasn’t expecting this to be like the Dangriga Airport in Belize or anything, but…this is far nicer (and bigger) than what I would have considered a secondary Orlando airport to be.

Is SFB a big airport?

SFB isn’t a very big airport, but it is much nicer than what I was expecting. As a matter fact, it was so big and modern that it made me feel all the more excited about doing and all-new review of Allegiant Air.

Allegiant Air check in Sanford Airport
The Allegiant Air check in area here at SFB. It’s like a real airport!
Allegiant Air priority check in
Yes, Allegiant Air has priority lanes. They ain’t fancy, but they do exist.

For those that are curious, approximately 6 airlines serve SFB at the time of this writing (1 domestic, and 5 international). There is one main terminal, and all gates are connected one set of security checkpoints.

Sanford Airport terminal gates
Inside the terminal (past security). I can’t help but to wonder if she’s telling him about that weird guy she saw taking pics of the Allegiant Air check in area a few minutes ago…

Food options are limited, and to be honest, there’s not really a whole lot of room to find peace and quiet. Especially around the Allegiant Air gates.

Sanford Airport terminal gates
There’s not a lot of open seating areas inside the terminal. With so many flights coming and going, empty seats such as these don’t stay empty for long. Don’t get comfortable.
Sanford Airport food
A party for my mouth. It cost $17 (with a drink), and it was pretty much the only somewhat healthy(ish) option.
SANspotter selfie Sanford Airport
Me (partying hard).

Boarding flight 2369 to Oklahoma City

As I explained in my video about this flight, the boarding process for this flight to Oklahoma City was impressive. Boarding commenced just five minutes after the last passenger had deplaned from the incoming flight, and the entire process took no longer than 30 minutes. Whoa.

SANspotter selfie Sanford Airport
Gate 15 is where we are departing from today. Why does nobody look excited about going to Oklahoma City?
Allegiant Air A319
This is our airplane, casually rolling up to the gate 10 minutes after boarding was scheduled to begin. It’s the Allegiant Air way.
Allegiant Air mobile boarding pass
Checking my boarding pass in clear view of the gate agents (as a subtle hint that I was displeased with the delay).
Allegiant Air gates SFB
Maybe staring directly at the boarding door will help?
SANspotter Sanford International Airport
It’s not working.
Sanford Airport jet bridge
I’d like to think that my stern glances got the ball rolling, but the truth is that I’m about as visually intimidating as a three-legged Labrador retriever. This happened naturally.
Allegiant Air A319 new livery
I didn’t even realize it at the time, but this Allegiant Air A319 featured the newest livery. I like it!
Allegiant air A319 boarding door
That moment where you take a deep breath, suck it up, and succumb to the fact that you’re about to fly Allegiant Air halfway across the country.

How does seating work on Allegiant Air?

Seating arrangements on Allegiant Air work very much like they do on most other US airlines. The difference is that you have to pay extra if you want an advance seat assignment. If you’re unwilling to pay this fee, you’ll receive a seat assignment at the gate. And I can promise you it will be less than ideal.

Allegiant Air A319 interior
Looking straight down the barrel of an Allegiant Air A319. This looks awfully similar to my last experience on this airline (6 years ago).

As you might expect, the cost to reserve a seat gets more expensive closer you get to towards the front of the plane. For what it’s worth, I paid $6 for a window seat in a row with a bit of extra legroom (which Allegiant refers to as “Legroom +).

Allegiant Air Legroom + seats
The Allegiant Air Legroom + seats. That window seat (7A) is mine.

Are allegiant air seats smaller?

The size of the typical Allegiant Air seat is about what you would expect on Spirit Airlines. They are approximately 17 inches wide, with 31 inches of legroom (seat pitch). That legroom is increased to 34 inches in a “Legroom +” row towards the front of the aircraft. The bottom line is, if you want a more comfortable seat, fly Delta, American, or United instead.

Small allegiant air seats
Allegiant Air seats are smaller than what you would get on Delta, United, or American. However, the bonus is that you’ll get to tell all your friends horror stories about you barely survived Allegiant Air.
Allegiant Air seats
Not only are Allegiant Air seats smaller, I’d go as far as to say they are firmer as well. RIP to anyone with a bony butt.
SANspotter selfie Allegiant Air A319
Bony butt crew checking in.
Allegiant Air Legroom + leg room
Mental note: eat more fruit and cheese platters in the weeks leading up to my next Allegiant Air flight.
Allegiant Air A319 safety card
Required reading when flying Allegiant Air? C’mon – they’re not that bad (not anymore at least).
Allegiant Air A319 safety card front cover
Fun fact: it says “Germany” because the FAA requires that airlines must disclose the final place of assembly of the aircraft they operate. #themoreyouknow

The departure out of Sanford Airport

By the time we pushed out the gate, we were about 45 minutes behind schedule. And you know what? I didn’t even care. As a matter fact, I considered it par for the course when flying Allegiant Air.

Besides – all of the other Allegiant Air reviews that I’ve ever read mentioned some sort of delay. I can confirm that delays are inevitable and to be expected.

Taxiing at Sanford Airport
Quite possibly one of the only times I’ve departed an airport in Florida (in July) without the threat of a massive thunderstorm ruining everything.
Allegiant Air A319 taxiing at SFB
Looks like a pretty good day to fly actually!
Departing SFB airport
Be sure to check out the full (unedited) video of the takeoff if you’re curious about what it’s like to fly out of SFB.

Does Allegiant Air give free snacks?

Allegiant Air does not provide free snacks on any flight. If you want to eat, you have two choices:

  1. Purchase something off of their in-flight menu. It’s not an extensive menu by any means, but it’s stuffed full of the usual kinds of things you would expect (chips, crackers, cookies, soft drinks, and alcohol). Note that the menu is always changing, but you can always see the latest options on the Allegiant Air website.
  2. Bring your own. As a matter of fact, Allegiant Air encourages this. As long as you don’t bring your own alcohol on board, feel free to bring whatever you like. However, don’t be like me on my Allegiant Air flight from San Diego to Bellingham (the one where I brought an incredibly-stinky Caesar salad onboard which stunk up the entire plane).
SANspotter flying Allegiant Air
My seatmate has a look on his face like someone just told him that there’s no food on Allegiant Air. I swear it wasn’t me.
Allegiant Air drinks
I spent all my money on that $17 fruit and cheese plate back at SFB, so this bottle of water is all I’ve got to keep me alive until we reach Oklahoma City.
SANspotter allegiant air review
Bottoms up!

Is the Allegiant Air Legroom + seat really worth it?

If you’ve made it this far into the review, congratulations. For that, I’m going to award you with a useful bit of info: paying a bit extra for an Allegiant Air Legroom + seat is definitely worth it – just as long as you can get it for a fair price. I paid $6 extra for this particular seat, and it was a fairly comfortable 3 hour flight to Oklahoma City.

Note that I would not pay, say, $15 for this seat on a 1 hour flight. Anything over an hour and a half would be tempting. Anything over 2 hours would be a mandatory expenditure for me. I love me some extra leg room.

Allegiant Air extra leg room seats
Although these may not look like seats with extra leg room, I can assure you they are more roomy than the standard seat I had the last time I flew Allegiant.
Allegiant Air A319 forward cabin
Everyone else seems to be reasonably satisfied with their Legroom + seat as well, so don’t take my word for it. I never even once heard someone blurt out a hearty “f**k this seat!” (or anything equivalent).
SANspotter allegiant air seat
That’s not to say that these seats are super comfortable or anything. I can’t remember, but I was probably dreaming of American Airlines 787-9 business class at this point.
Flying over Oklahoma City
Making the descent into OKC. The cool thing about flying over Oklahoma is that it’s nothing but farmland for as far as the eye can see – but then, out of nowhere…
Overflying Oklahoma City
…city life! I do recommend watching the video to see the full descent and landing into OKC.
Oklahoma City Will Rogers Airport
Welcome to the Oklahoma City Will Rogers Airport!
Allegiant Air A319 seat back
I’m actually not as anxious for the seat belt sign to be turned off as you might think. This wasn’t a half bad experience.
Oklahoma City Airport interior
Speaking of “not half bad experiences”, the Oklahoma City Airport is…not half bad. It’s really nice actually!
Allegiant Air A319 N316NV OKC
So long old friend. May you continue to decently satisfy budget-minded travelers for many years to come.

In conclusion, Allegiant Air is a good little airline (and it behooves you to seek them out whenever you can). I wouldn’t want to make them my primary carrier or anything, but they definitely serve a niche.

For what it’s worth, I find them to be highly convenient when they just so happen to be flying to the places I need to go to.

Allegiant Air pros and cons

The problem with Allegiant Air is that they attract the kinds of people who are unwilling to pay anything more then the cheapest price for anything. I’m not saying that in a bad way, as there’s nothing wrong with being thrifty and unwilling to throw money away.

However, Allegiant Air charges extra for everything (including the privilege of bringing on a carry-on bag), and those same people tend to start complaining once they realize that they have to shell out even more money for that basic things they would expect on a flight. That being said, here are some pros to end out this Allegiant Air review:

Pros

  • It really is a cheap way to travel! If you’re willing to accept the most basic flight experience possible (no food, no carry-on bag, no checked bag, etc.) Allegiant Air will likely be your cheapest option.
  • To save on costs, they fly to secondary airports. For example, they use Sanford Airport just north of Orlando (SFB) instead of using Orlando international airport (MCO). This is mostly a pro, since smaller airports are easier to navigate.
  • Compared to Frontier Airlines, the seats are just as comfortable and the service is just as good. That’s a compliment!

Cons

  • Be prepared to pay extra for every little thing. The base fare for my flight from Orlando to Oklahoma City was just $69. However, by the time I paid extra for a carry-on bag, a seat towards the front of the plane, as well as a few unavoidable taxes, my ticket came to $148.50.
  • Flying to smaller secondary airports may be inconvenient depending on your travel needs. For example, as I learned in this review, I can assure you that Orlando Sanford Airport is pretty freaking far from Orlando. Plan accordingly.
  • The Allegiant Air flight network is fairly limited. This is likely to cause problems in times of delays and cancellations. It’s not like that they can just put you on the next flight to your destination . The more likely scenario is that you’re going to have to wait until the next day (because that’s when the next flight is).

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