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Alligiant Air flight convenient

June 10, 2010 - Frank Robinson

My wife and I recently took a trip on the new Allegiant Air service from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

When the airline announced earlier this year it was adding direct flights to Myrtle Beach, it piqued our interest so we booked our flight. It didn't hurt that we got the tickets for almost nothing as part of a promotion the airline was having while making the announcement.

We booked the Thursday-Sunday package, although we could have stayed a full week and returned the next Thursday. It was easy to do using the Internet. The same was true for booking the hotel.

Arriving at the airport was akin to pulling up in front of a Wal-Mart or Kmart. We walked in, handed over our paperwork and went through security. It was as simple as that, no long lines, and took only a few minutes. The people were courteous, there were no crowds and it was stress free.

After the usual security screenings and carry-on bag check -- we both used carry-ons and didn't pack a suitcase because there was a significant fee to check a bag -- we got to the "other side" of security to await our flight. That is where we noticed something odd. After passing through security, there are no restrooms. Just a portable toilet. You could use it or go back out, use the restroom and go back through security. That's a hassle. I didn't see one person use the portable toilet during our 30-minute or so wait. It wasn't an issue for us, but it could be a problem for a family with smaller children.

For the price we paid for the tickets, I joked before we got to the airport that the plane probably had one propeller on the front. I was pleasantly surprised. The jet was the usual size, an MD-80 series. It had three seats on one side and two on the other. It was full. The pilot and the staff were very friendly.

The short flight, I think about an hour and a half, was uneventful. There barlely was time for the flight attendants to get out the snack cart. It sure beat an all-day drive. The landing was smooth at the Myrtle Beach airport. We rented a car for less than 20 bucks a day and were about 15 minutes from our hotel in North Myrtle. It was that easy.

On Sunday, the day we were scheduled to leave for home, we sat by the pool until almost noon. Our flight left at about 2:45 p.m. and we touched down at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport around 4:20. Here's the great part: We were in the vehicle by 4:30 and home by about 4:45. No drive from Cleveland or Pittsburgh and no traffic issues between the airport and Howland.

There was one interesting thing about the return flight. When the pilot announced the plane was going into its final descent, I looked out the window and could make out the Ohio River and the Wellsville/East Liverpool area. Just a few minutes later, I could see Route 11. Later -- maybe five minutes before touchdown -- You could clearly see downtown Youngstown and YSU stadium.

Allegiant seems to have a good thing going on here. I urge people to give them a try. Tickets are reasonable, even at regular price, and the service is good. They need to figure out that portable toilet problem after getting through security. I'm sure someone is looking into that issue.

 

 
 

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This is a look at the terminal at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

 
 
 
 

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