Cheap fares, including cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages may become tougher to find on three Los Angeles routes that Allegiant Air is suspending because it has run out of gate space at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Historically airline ticket prices have tended to rise when airline competition decreases on specific routes.
As of the end of August, Allegiant will no longer fly between LAX and Billings, MT, Pasco, WA, and Sioux Falls, SD. Allegiant attributes its decision to cease operations between these cities to a gate shuffle imposed on it at LAX. The airline said it had to drop the three routes when it could not secure access to needed gate space.
According to the airline, this decision had nothing to do with the number of people flying on these routes, or these routes profitability. Instead it is “strictly a gate space issue.”
The airline says that it requires adequate gate and ticket counters to serve its customers. With the new gate assignments there was nowhere to put its planes on these three routes.
Allegiant remains hopeful that it will eventually be able to find a solution, but expects any resolution to be at least several months down the road.
The gate shuffle is a result of the $238 million overhaul of Terminal 6, the terminal Allegiant operates out of at LAX. Gate availability was reduced in part because Alaska Airlines, which helped pay for the terminal renovation, moved its terminal 3 flights into Terminal 6 after the overhaul was completed.
LAX offered Allegiant the opportunity to move to another terminal or use buses to take its passengers from remote gates to planes. Three other airlines decided to bus their passengers from remote gates. Only Allegiant responded by reducing its flights.