Advertisement
  1. Business

Allegiant cancels at least 16 flights because new planes haven't arrived

An Allegiant Air commercial aircraft in 2017. | [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
An Allegiant Air commercial aircraft in 2017. | [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Jun. 14, 2018

CLEARWATER — Allegiant Air has cancelled at least 12 upcoming flights over the next two days to and from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport , according to an airline travel advisory.

That scrambled travel plans for hundreds of passengers from Florida to as far west as Tulsa, Okla.

The problem, the airline told the Tampa Bay Times, is a delay in receiving new aircraft to add to its fleet.

"We are in the process of transitioning to an all-Airbus fleet," Allegiant spokeswoman Krysta Levy said in an email sent Wednesday. "Unfortunately, some of the delivery dates for aircraft scheduled to join our fleet have fallen short of the projections, leaving us with limited resources available and the very difficult choice to cancel certain flights."

The cancellations even extend into next week, with four flights affected on June 21 as of early Thursday morning.

David Eckerson, 52, of Muskogee, Okla., arrived in the bay area on Sunday and found out Wednesday that his flight back home had been cancelled just hours before he was supposed to board. He and his wife had to grab last-minute seats on another airline's flight.

"It just stinks that they're going to give us $225 and we had to pay $435," he told the Times, referring to the price of a voucher Allegiant sent him compared to the price of his new ticket.

TAMPA BAY TIMES INVESTIGATION: Thousands of people flew Allegiant last year thinking their planes wouldn't fail in the air. They were wrong.

The budget carrier had long depended on an aging fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. In 2016, a Times investigation found that mechanical issues made Allegiant four times more likely to have unscheduled landings than other airlines in 2015.

In August, the airline announced that it had replaced all of its MD-80s at St. Pete-Clearwater International with newer Airbus 320s. In fact, Allegiant plans to replace its entire fleet of MD-80s by 2019 because the older planes are more prone to mechanical issues and also fuel inefficient.

"We have offered options to our passengers on canceled flights," Levy said, "including re-accommodation to other flights or refunds."

Jeff Jones, 39, and his wife travelled with the Eckersons. Each couple came to Pinellas County to celebrate their 20-year anniversaries. If they come back, they said, it won't be on an Allegiant plane.

"We're never going to trust them to get us anywhere and back," he said.

Other disgruntled passengers took to social media to express their frustration.

Hey @Allegiant my mom was going to visit us on Friday but her flight was cancelled. She's been on hold for 1.5 hours trying to resched. What can she do? Any chance ya'll will answer the phone?

Bad news: flight cancelled <24 hours before leaving, no reason given.
Good news: flight rebooked, $150 flight voucher, and a $225 "apology" check.
Thanks, @Allegiant

Had to hang up after 2.5 hours on the phone trying to reach @Allegiant. Hold time was supposed to be 45 minutes. Thanks for ruining my last day of vacation.

Never flying @Allegiant again, they canceled my flight within 48hrs, no reason why, then send me a voucher, im on hold for over an hour, the voucher doesn't even cover the cost of a one way flight! Amateur hour. Thanks for ruining a family trip.

Contact Justin Trombly at jtrombly@tampabay.com. Follow @JustinTrombly.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Hyde House in Hyde Park Village on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Tampa.  [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
  2. FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, Disney CEO Robert Iger arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", in Los Angeles  The Walt Disney Co. has named Bob Chapek CEO, replacing Bob Iger, effective immediately, the company announced Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.  (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, FIle) [JORDAN STRAUSS  |  Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]
  3. In this June 17, 2019, file photo, a cashier displays a packet of tobacco-flavored Juul pods at a store in San Francisco. Investigators from 39 states will look into the marketing and sales of vaping products by Juul Labs, including whether the company targeted youths and made misleading claims about nicotine content in its devices, officials announced Tuesday. Juul released a statement saying it has halted television, print and digital advertising and eliminated most flavors in response to concerns by government officials and others.  (AP Photo/Samantha Maldonado, File) [SAMANTHA MALDONADO  |  AP]
  4. St. Petersburg-based Jabil said Tuesday it's projecting that the spread of the coronavirus will hurt its second-quarter performance. [Handout photo]
  5. The future site of Green Light Cinema at 221 Second Ave on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The art house theater will be nestled between Pour Taproom and 2nd & Second. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
  6. Keesha Benson is director of Thrive By Five Pinellas for the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas. (Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas photo) [Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County]
  7. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute purchased 775 acres in central Pasco County for a planned expansion. TIMES [VYCELLIX, A SWEDISH CANCER THERAPY RESEARCH COMPANY, IS SETTING UP ITS U.S. HEADQUARTERS NEAR THE H. LEE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER & RESEARCH INSTITUTE IN TAMPA. (TIMES FILES]
  8. Trader Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday. Stocks are opening sharply lower on Wall Street, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 700 points, as virus cases spread beyond China, threatening to disrupt the global economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) [RICHARD DREW  |  AP]
  9. [Getty Images] [Getty Images]
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik  [Times staff]
  11. The empty property is home to cattle and egrets, but neighbors fear the new occupants — owners of 218 proposed town homes near Lake Thomas in Land O' Lakes. [C.T. BOWEN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  12. A "for sale" sign beckons Friday along Sixth Avenue N in the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement