What Happened to Allegiant's Aloha?

Allegiant flying to hawaii[trip style = sun + beach]

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As some of you may remember from this time last year, Allegiant Air, the US-based discount airline serving sunny destinations from Bellingham and elsewhere in the US, announced it had purchased 6 planes with the {fuel} capacity to fly over water. The discount airliner wanted to offer more than just trips to Vegas and give its loyal clientele and other price-sensitive fliers the chance to cross the Pacific and experience the aloha spirit in Hawaii.

Alaska First One of Allegiant's main departure points is Bellingham, Washington---an hour from Vancouver or Seattle and a 6-hour flight to Hawaii. Couple this with Bellingham's airport increasing their runway length to accomodate larger planes and terminal capacity to handle additional fliers, and I was sure Allegiant would announce their Hawaii-bound service from this airport last fall. Turns out, Alaska Airlines beat them to it. Since January 6th, Alaska's been doing daily flights from Bellingham to Honolulu.

Maui? Frustrated that I hadn't heard anything further about Allegiant's impending service to Hawaii, this winter when I flew to California with Allegiant, I asked a check-in agent about Hawaii. The individual confirmed the Hawaii service was coming, but couldn't confirm when. However, they heard that rather than flying to Honolulu like Alaska, planes would potentially fly from Bellingham to Maui.

My Prediction The last update I saw was Allegiant would begin its Hawaii service in mid-2011. Last summer they apparently ordered winglets for their 757s to reduce drag, add range and save money on the 5 - 6-hour, cross-ocean journey. This fall I read that the 757s' photos had been released indicating service was coming soon. It's now the end of March and still no word, other than rumblings of regulatory challenges being the culprit for delays. All we can hope now is that Allegiant will announce and begin service to Hawaii this year, and offer some ridiculous, PR-y launch sale like they did for their Bellingham to Long Beach service, where I paid $9.99 each way {total plus taxes $56 return!}.  Note Allegiant also just extended the advance booking window through November 15th.

What's your prediction: when do you think Allegiant's service will start and what island will they fly to?

Hawaii for Less, Now If you want to get to Hawaii for a great price now, here are your best bets: - Fly Hawaiian Airlines out of Seattle {return fares are usually $400/person} - Monitor WestJet and AirCanada for seat sales {2 years ago in April I paid $400 return for a direct flight from Vancouver to Maui...and heard of some similar fares since, but been unable to take advantage of them personally.}

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[photo by @tripstyler, taken in Wailea, Maui]