Safety of Allegiant Air flights in question after '60 Minutes' investigation

17 April, 2018, 18:38 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • 60 Minutes Preview: Is Allegiant Airlines Safe to Fly?

The Tampa Bay Times took a look at the airline in detail in 2016, and based on 60 Minutes' reporting it looks like Allegiant is still having some of the same problems. Over 100 serious incidents occurred on their planes between January 2016 and October 2017.

Allegiant Air has flown to the Santa Maria Public Airport for more than 10 years, operating a popular flight to Las Vegas three times a week. "The bottom line is that, true or false, that was 30 minutes of terrible publicity for Allegiant with sound bites that will extend the story". The five, who were interviewed on camera, detailed experiences ranging from disappointment to anger to trauma.

"Allegiant released a statement saying in part ".We are disappointed yet again by another feeble attempt to damage the reputation of our hard-working team members and that of our company.

If 60 Minutes had been interested in current information, they would have reported that today, according to just-released Department of Transportation data, Allegiant is a leader in reliability, with the second-lowest cancelation rate among all USA airlines.

He says he emailed Allegiant after Sunday night's report, asking the company to either guarantee the safety of his flight or refund his ticket.

In a prepared statement Monday, Captain Eric Gust, Allegiant's vice president of operations, said that "60 Minutes" aired a "false narrative" about Allegiant and the FAA, which he said exercises "rigorous oversight" of the airline. Most flights out of Mesa are operated with Airbus aircraft. He notified the airline and the FAA in 2013 after a pilot waited until the cabin doors were locked to have the plane fueled for takeoff. In 2015, in the middle of a contract dispute, Allegiant pilots cited worries about safety, much of them centering on the aging fleet of MD-80 jets the airline operates.

It says Allegiant had more than 40 in-flight emergencies or unscheduled landings in 2016, and is nearly four times more likely to experience a mid-flight breakdown than Delta, United or American airlines.

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However, Allegiant has the right to leave with a 90-day notice, as is standard in the airline industry.

Martin and her friend Vicki Rizzo of Port Vue waited to board an Allegiant flight to New Orleans to try the casinos.

For years, USA -based Allegiant Air has been luring British Columbians south of the border with rock-bottom fares on flights between Bellingham, Wash. and destinations such as Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Allegiant Air attacked the report, calling it grossly misleading. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., called for an investigation into the FAA's handling of safety-related incidents involving Allegiant Air.

It's not the first time Allegiant has come under fire.

"One of the best ways to get attention for your cause as an airline pilot, is to talk about issues that might threaten safety and how the pilots are the only ones that are there protect you and how they need to be compensated as professionals", said Weinkrantz.


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