Allegiant Travel Co. has quietly slipped in a new fee or discount into its airfares, depending on the point of view, tied to the type of plastic customers use.
The dollar amounts now displayed on the fare calendar reflect payment by debit card. If a customer of the company’s Allegiant Air unit wants to use a credit card instead, it costs an extra $4 one way.
Company spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler said no announcement has been made because about 10 percent of customers are being diverted to a new website where the fares do not vary.
Allegiant did not give public notice this year when it instituted a charge for putting bags in the overhead bins.
Allegiant executives foreshadowed the move at an analysts conference in November, when new federal regulations dramatically dropped the company’s cost of debit transactions. At the time, executives said about 30 percent of their sales went through debit cards and that they were studying ways to change pricing to stimulate more debit use.
Wheeler said she was not aware of any large companies that had gone this route, although some have posted different prices for cash and plastic. Prior to last year, federal regulations prohibited and debit or credit distinctions.
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