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Comparing inflight service on Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit in the age of coronavirus

June 19, 2020
4 min read
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Flying during the age of the global pandemic isn't going to resemble what it looked like before March of this year.

Almost every airline around the world now requires face coverings to be worn inflight. Many U.S. airlines are proactively blocking middle seats, and some are even capping the capacity of their planes to promote safety and social distancing.

Additionally, inflight service protocols have been modified across the board, so your inflight experience is going to vary widely based on what carrier you choose. I've already compared premium transcon flights in the age of coronavirus, so now let’s take a look at how the experience differs across America's ultra-low-cost carriers.

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Allegiant Air inflight service

The Las Vegas-based carrier isn't changing much of its inflight service procedure. All customers will receive a complimentary health and safety kit upon boarding, which includes a single-use face mask, disposable gloves and two sanitizing wipes.

During the flight, there's now just one service through the aisle to minimize crew and passenger interactions. Flight attendants wear gloves during inflight service and all food and beverage items are pre-packaged and factory sealed when served.

(Photo courtesy of Allegiant)

Unlike some of the larger, full-service U.S. airlines, Allegiant isn't changing the food and beverage selection available for purchase on most routes. Instead, it's debuting a fully digital menu through the Allegiant mobile app (and it can be viewed here).

Four destinations — Las Vegas, NV (LAS), Orlando, FL (SFB), Tampa/St. Pete, FL (PIE) and Punta Gorda, FL (PGD) — will see a new test menu, including some lower-priced individual snacks, and refreshing alcoholic drinks like a White Claw Hard Seltzer or Cutwater Tiki Rum Mai Tai.

Related: Allegiant Air sees travel returning to some Florida beaches

Frontier Airlines inflight service

This ultra-low-cost carrier was one of the first to debut new safety measures across the board, beginning with temperature checks prior to boarding.

Frontier is actively reducing crew and passenger interactions, and that's going to come at the expense of keeping you well fed or hydrated. According to a spokesperson for the airline, "to limit touchpoints between passengers and crew, at this time we are only offering bottled water for sale. No food items or beverages other than bottled water are currently available."

Frontier's seats (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Water will set you back $2.99 for a 16.9-ounce bottle. And if you're flying with Frontier, be sure to stock up on some nosh before boarding your flight.

Related: What you should know before flying Frontier Airlines

Spirit Airlines inflight service

Spirit's dedicated COVID-19 webpage contains just the bare essentials.

You will be required to wear a mask when flying on the biggest low-fare airline in the U.S., but there's nothing listed about the inflight service. We repeatedly reached out to the airline to ask for more details about any modifications, but haven't heard back.

Fortunately, TPG reader Marty was kind enough to share his recent experience flying between Las Vegas and Dallas (DFW). There were no printed inflight menus, and passengers were asked to let the flight attendants know what they wanted to purchase.

Spirit Airlines' cheese plate and snacks (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

The crew was happy to show their iPad that contained a digital version of the menu. Most food and drinks were stocked, though some had run out by the time the crew got to Marty's row.

Related: Everything you should know before flying Spirit Airlines

Bottom line

If you're trying to narrow down your choice of preferred low-cost carrier, you may want to consider how each is handling food and beverage service during the pandemic.

Allegiant and Spirit have kept their menus intact, and Frontier has dropped everything but water. All items are individually wrapped and sealed, so you need not worry about cross-contamination.

Nonetheless, as TPG's Brian Kelly recently remarked about his United flight from Newark to Los Angeles, you should definitely stock up on snacks and drinks before boarding a flight during the coronavirus pandemic.

Featured image by (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases