New questions for Allegiant Air, FAA after "60 Minutes" investigation

Allegiant Airlines is the largest carrier at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, which is why long before Sunday's "60 Minutes" story, 10News did a series of investigations citing safety concerns with the low-priced airline.

"We found more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted take-offs", Kroft said. 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 2017, almost 1.4 million passengers came through the East Valley airport. "They must adhere to FAA rules and regulations and it appears they continue to do that".

"Despite Allegiant's high number of significant and repeated mechanical incidents, the investigation alleged the Federal Aviation Administration has not brought a single enforcement action against the company in three years", Markey and Blumenthal wrote. Allegiant reported 0.0015 events per 1,000 departures system-wide between October 2017 and March 2018, Cantwell said, citing FAA figures. "My family flies on Allegiant often, frequently with me as their Captain. We're happy they fly out of Owensboro". He said he was supposed to fly to Santa Rosa, California on Saturday when his flight was canceled. To suggest that Allegiant would engage in the practice of asking team members to violate company and regulatory obligations is offensive and defamatory.

CBS said that FAA records it received by filing a Freedom of Information Act request indicate that Allegiant flights were 3-1/2 times more likely to suffer an inflight breakdown than flights operated by US airlines American, United, Delta, JetBlue or Spirit.

But FAA officials have said they are vigilant monitoring safety efforts at all airlines, and found no systemic problems at Allegiant.

Within hours of Sunday's piece, the Allegiant Airlines ticket counter at St. Pete-Clearwater was packed. "We were flying 280,000 out of that airport in the late 70's", said Wilhoit.

Allegiant's Vice President of Operations Capt. Eric Gust defended the company and issued a statement saying the report by "60 Minutes" is unoriginal and outdated.

Lowe said she has no concerns about booking Allegiant for her customers.

Matt Jones fumbled with his cellphone, trying to call his wife to say goodbye, as crew members on Allegiant Flight 822 ordered him to tuck into crash position over Baltimore.

Currently, Allegiant is the only commercial airline providing service from the airport.

Allegiant, which is based in Las Vegas, did not participate in the program, but it issued a statement afterward. "All the bad things I've done in my life", she said to her sister, "and now I'm going to die".

"I am not anxious about them".

Jim Bohnsack, the chairman of Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority, said he worries what a report like that will do to the airline. However, we ask that you refer to Allegiant or the FAA for any specifics.

  • Zachary Reyes