Aha! aims to take flight on 24 October from Reno. It is the third airline to launch operations in the United States this year.
The carrier, a branded operation of ExpressJet, hopes to “provide travelers in smaller communities, many who have seen air service reduced over the past decade through airline mergers, with convenient, short, nonstop flights to high-quality destinations like the Reno-Lake Tahoe region.”
The carrier will launch with eight destinations, all served on less than daily frequencies:
- Pasco/Tri-Cities, WA – starts October 24, 2021
- Bakersfield, CA – starts October 25, 2021
- Medford/Ashland, OR – starts October 31, 2021
- Eugene/Springfield, CA – starts November 1, 2021
- Ontario/Los Angeles, CA – starts November 4, 2021
- Redmond/Bend, OR – starts November 5, 2021
- Eureka/Arcata, CA – starts November 9, 2021
- Fresno, CA – starts November 10, 2021
Beyond the flights, aha! aims to sell air and hotel bundles, with Reno’s casinos as the initial draw. In many ways this parallels Allegiant‘s approach to bringing passengers to Las Vegas (and other resort markets), but on a smaller scale.
Aha! also aims to reproduce the significant ancillary revenue stream that other upstart airlines developed. Nearly everything comes with a fee, from advance seat assignment and priority boarding ($10) each to checked bags ($30 for the first, $50 for the second) and on-board pets ($75).
Perhaps most significant in the fees is a $30 charge for gate-checked bags. Because of the smaller cabin and overhead bins on the ERJ145 most “normal” sized cabin bags do not fit. While other carriers generally accept these “gate checked” bags without charge, aha! sees them as a revenue opportunity.
Passengers are permitted a personal item not larger than 14″L x 9″W x 9.5″H at no charge.
The company offers three categories of fares, all in its 50-seat economy class cabin. The Budget fare is fully nonrefundable and non-changeable. Standard fares can be changed for a $25 fee, plus fare difference. Flex fares are refundable. For both Standard and Flex fares no changes can be made within 24 hours of travel.
More on the ExpressJet/aha! revival:
- ExpressJet aims to fly as aha!
- ExpressJet secures approval for independent re-launch
- ExpressJet to wind down operations on 30 September
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