Aviation

Low-fare airline taking a long vacation from Wichita flights to Florida, California

Allegiant Air is taking a break from most of its Wichita routes, temporarily dropping air service to four destinations: Los Angeles, Orlando, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and Phoenix.

Las Vegas, Allegiant’s home base, is the only one of the airline’s scheduled Wichita routes showing continuing and uninterrupted service year-round.

The company’s online flight schedule shows Aug. 10 as the last flights of the year to and from Los Angeles International Airport, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and Orlando Sanford Airport.

The schedule shows flights to Phoenix -Mesa Gateway Airport will stop Aug. 12, but restart on Oct. 4 and continue into next year.

Valerie Wise, business development manager for Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, said Allegiant flies seasonal routes from here to California and Florida and she expects them to resume.

Allegiant spokeswoman Sonya Padgett said in an email it’s likely the routes will return “next summer when kids are out of school and families are taking their vacations.”

“Allegiant’s business model is based on providing low-cost, affordable service to leisure travelers when they need it, which means our network planning team is constantly measuring demand and adjusting schedules when necessary,” she said.

Allegiant’s newest Wichita route, Fort Walton Beach, started on June 5.

Tim Erickson of Wichita, who owns a second home in the Orlando area, said he called the company’s customer service line to schedule flights on Thursday.

After 45 minutes on hold, he reached a representative who told him there would be no Wichita-to-Orlando service after Aug. 10, he said.

“It’s still a little perplexing to me,” Erickson said. “Florida’s kind of a winter destination. If it comes back, I like the idea of super cheap flights right out of Wichita. I just wish it was a year-around deal.”

Wise said the airline usually resumes its California and Florida flights around early June and that’s probably too far out to show up yet in their online schedule.

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