Pittsburgh-Bound Allegiant Flight Breaks Down Twice in as Many Days
Passengers aboard a Allegiant Air flight from Jacksonville to Pittsburgh experienced an unpleasant case of deja vu this week when they were left sweating inside the grounded plane's cabin for the second time in as many days.
Jacksonville's News 4 reported the plane, which was originally scheduled to depart Jacksonville International Airport at 5:15 p.m. Monday, experienced a mechanical problem that prevented it from taking off. However passengers weren't informed until they'd been sweating inside the cabin for more than an hour.
Allegiant rescheduled the flight for 2 p.m. Tuesday, only to have the same mechanical error ground the flight again.
"People were already skeptical if this is actually going to happen," passenger Adrienne Fazio told News 4. "Of course getting on the plane it was the same repeat scenario, no air, taking a long time to get proper headcount for the flight, and this time we actually started taking off, and you feel the plane accelerating and then all of a sudden things slow down and everyone started to get freaked out at that point. And the pilot said this is the same warning light came on yesterday."
Passenger Brenda Cunningham tolds News 4 that everyone onboard looked like they had "just went swimming."
Out of fear that cooler heads might not prevail given the circumstances, security was sent to the airport terminal as a precaution.
Fazio told News 4 that Allegiant offered passengers a $100 voucher to stick it out, but acknowledged that it was probably too little, too late.
The low-cost airline also offered to reimburse passengers for their hotel stays and provide $8 for food on Tuesday.
While the prolonged mishap is undeniably concerning, it's just the latest in a slew of incidents involving Allegiant flights that have made headlines of late. Just last month, Allegiant pilots expressed their concern in a letter to the carrier, in which pilots union president Daniel Wells accused Allegiant's "nickel-and-dime approach" of putting "passengers and flight crews at an unnecessary increased risk."
In a statement responding to the letter, Allegiant affirmed its commitment to safety, pointing out that "neither Allegiant nor the FAA have identified abnormal trends."
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