Allegiant Air inspections cause flight delays for Wichita passengers

Allegiant Air (KSN File Photo)

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WICHITA, Kansas — An incident earlier this week is prompting Allegiant Air to take a closer look at 30 of its aircraft.

They’re having to re-inspect some of the planes’ emergency escape slides for safety, but the inconvenience is costing passengers at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport more than just their time.

David Butler was looking to fly out of Wichita Friday afternoon, but that didn’t happen.

“We were on an Allegiant flight to Las Vegas and then we showed up and it was cancelled,” said David Butler, frustrated Allegiant customer.

Butler is just one of dozens of Allegiant customers having to deal with cancellations and delays at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

The discount airline company grounded 30 of its MD-80s aircrafts because of a maintenance issue.

“I’m sure they’re just taking the safest course of actions as a company. I mean all these companies safety is the biggest priority,” said Butler. “I’m sure they’re just doing the safest thing for their passengers and the general flying public.”

This all started when a flight bound for Peoria, Illinois was evacuated in Las Vegas after a smoke detector in the cockpit went off.

Allegiant looked into the incident only to discover there was an inspection problem with the aircraft’s emergency escape slides.

They released a statement today saying in part, “Allegiant is committed, above all else, to the safety of our passengers and crew and we are dedicated to working around-the-clock to ensure that all of our fleet meets the highest standards.”

“I just think they should do more at least to try to keep their customer base,” said Kara Duryea, frustrated Allegiant customer. “At least help us out with re-booking.”

Kara Duryea understands that safety is the top priority, but says she’s disappointed at how the Nevada based company is choosing to handle the situation.

“Basically it was, you’re out of luck,” said Duryea. “There really wasn’t much that they could do.”

Duryea was hoping for a full refund for the inconvenience, but that didn’t happen.

“We were on the phone for over an hour,” said Duryea. “They said, they’ll give us a voucher for next time, but most of the people here won’t fly with Allegiant again so that voucher does nothing for us.”

The Allegiant flight to Phoenix did make it out, but the Las Vegas one did not because it was the last flight.

Some passengers ended up buying tickets from another company saying they couldn’t wait.

Allegiant says in order for them to do a full refund, the flight would have to be rescheduled.

If you’re going to be flying with Allegiant in the next couple of days, the company says to expect cancellations, delays, and rescheduled flights.

Maintenance crews won’t be done inspecting the slides until the end of this month.

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