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Allegiant Air: The budget airline flying under the radar

Steve Kroft investigates Allegiant Air, a discount carrier known more for its ultra-low fares than its high record of in-flight breakdowns ( More...

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After the crash of 592, ValuJet merged with AirTran and operated under that name until acquired by Southwest, in 2011 and integrated into that carrier. One of the co-founders of ValuJet and the principal architect of the "Low Cost" airline concept, Maury Gallagher is the CEO of Allegiant. He is reined in by the Pilot's union, but his penchant for poor maintenance and putting pressure on employees to ignore defects is one of the reasons behind the problems at Allegiant. Neither I, nor anyone I care about will ever step through the doors of an Allegiant plane. I don't think I would even let my ex-wife fly on Allegiant.
Roy Troughton 2
The Valujet crash was due to a contractor loading cargo incorrectly. I had nothing to do with the aircraft maintenance.
btweston 1
That's what I do when I allow something to slip through the cracks. I just say, "Someone else loaded my plane. Not my fault."
rapidwolve 1
It had everything to do with ValuJet not supervising the loading of those oxygen generators and ValuJet had a record of bad safety practices before that crash. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's still a duck be it the CEO of ValuJet or CEO of Allegiant.
The best part IMO is their marketing..."Fly from Chicago to Orlando for $20.00" or what ever dollar figure. In reality you fly from Rockford to Sanford...both at a minimum FAR over an hour to get to either city...They also market Sanford as being "Daytona Beach"...
Charles Peele 2
I'll never forget the horror of VALUE JET (ALLEGIANT's predecessor) in the Florida Everglades. Changing the name on the fuselage without honest, tight maintenance was never the way to run a railroad nor air line! Looks like it's caught up to you!........CTP
Taylor Beck 5
It should be illegal to have an uneducated public flying on these planes.Airlines should have to disclose all their safety records. If Ford Fusions were having these issues it would be all over the news.
matt jensen 0
Don't see Pintos do you?
Todd Baldwin 0
I drove one, till it went up in flames.
RECOR10 -3
Next they will claim the Fusion is an American built car......(its Mexican)
Allegiant doesn’t have a tech shop like Delta or American to keep those Mad dogs in tip top shape.
Thomas Cain 1
Allegiant handles it's maintenance through a 3rd party service provider named AAR.
rapidwolve 2
As stated before, it does not have its own tech shop for maintenance checks..sure AAR does MRO, but most other big airlines have tech shops for minor repair and routine spot checks. Allegiant does not.
The MD's are being replaced. In time the mechanical issue will improve.
The Airbus fleet is also old. Regardless of the MD's, old planes break down more. Ive flown them once, I will never fly them again. And I was on an Airbus.
Paul Claxon 0
My point, any crashes ?
Roy Troughton 2
Nothing new here than hasn’t been reported before. CBS is about two years to late to the party. The majority of the problems Allegiant had were with their MD80’s. These are being retired and replaced by a fleet of both new and used A320 & A319’s. So what if Allegiant outsource their maintenance and buy used aircraft. Airlines such as Delta and Southwest also outsource maintenance to AAR and buy and operate used aircraft. You have a choice and if don’t want to fly on them you don’t have to. Allegiant have brought affordable direct flights to many communities under served by the the big three and the other LCC’s. They’ve been under the scrutiny of the FAA for sometime due to these previous problems and no major violations have been found. Any issues that were found have been addressed quickly by Allegiant to the FAA’s satisfaction.
Brian James 1
Reported two years late or not, an airline with three times as many incidents as others seems like a crap shoot when it comes to arriving in one piece.
rapidwolve 1
Delta (Delta TechOps) and Southwest also have their own tech shops as do most other airlines..not all is outsourced, nor should it be. ie find it, fix it before it breaks.
BTW, this is not about tooting Allegiant as a good or bad carrier.. If you enjoy flying with them, have at it, and if CBS was years late to the party, why did all those interviewed not say "no comment"?
Brian James 1
Reminds me of the FAA attitude when the DC-10 was having problems with the cargo doors and floors collapsing...United and American almost lost planes, Turkish Airlines had one of the worst disasters in history, killing 346. The FAA did pretty much nothing until those 346 people died. Hopefully it's not the fate of Allegiant or it's passengers.
vector4traffic 1
So why did the FAA switch their priorities from enforcement to compliance 3 years ago?
sparkie624 1
Beats me! Probably the same reason that SWA got in trouble with the Feds... Lining Pockets!
Paul Claxon -1
Have any crashed ?
sparkie624 1
luck favors the foolish
pjshield 1
Not yet, just very close but no cigar.
sparkie624 -1
In my opinion, Allegiant is not much higher in my opinion that SWA... I have seen maintenance issues on their planes, and used to work with a Maintenance Controller who could tell good horror stories.
pjshield 0
As the major airlines are beginning to scramble for experienced pilots and flight attendants, many of the current pilots and F/As will dump Allegiant for better wages, working conditions and benefits. Then Allegiant will have low time, inexperienced pilots flying minimally maintained airplanes. Sounds like it will be a tragic incident just looking for a place to happen. I won't be flying Allegiant anywhere, anytime!


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