Allegiant pulls 30 planes

Allegiant Air customers across the country are seeing delays and flight cancellations this weekend.

The company was forced to ground 30 M-D 80 aircraft on Friday because  maintenance to the planes’ emergency slides did not meet the manufacturer’s guidelines. Allegiant discovered the problem after an emergency landing earlier this week after passengers and crew members slid to the tarmac to escape one of its planes in Las Vegas.

Company spokesman Brian Davis said Friday that Monday’s evacuation following reports of smoke in the cabin triggered a maintenance review that found problems with slides on the aircraft. According to an updated maintenance manual,  inspection of the slides should be done every year, however, previous manuals said maintenance should be conducted on a three-year basis, Davis said.

Company officials said the move was all about safety.

“The safety of our passengers and crew members is the number one priority, which is the reason for the swift action and why we took this very seriously pulling the aircraft out of service until one by one we could go through each of them and verify it was in compliance,” Davis said.

On Friday afternoon, half of those planes had been cleared to fly.  At this point, it’s too early to tell if flights this Sunday into and out of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport will see a delay.

Locally, no flights have been affected as of yet. A flight is scheduled to leave the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport on Sunday with a destination of St. Petersburg, Fla.  Davis said customers can sign up for alerts on flight delays and schedule adjustments by clicking here.

Allegiant is offering vouchers to those that are delayed. They are asking passengers to check the Allegiant website before heading to the airport.

A reimbursement schedule has been set up for passengers with delayed and canceled flights:

  • 2-hour delay: $100 credit on an Allegiant flight
  • 4-hour delay: $150 credit
  • 6-hour delay: $200 credit
  • A canceled or rescheduled flight will result in a full refund and $200 credit.

No injuries were reported on Monday in the evacuation at McCarran International Airport. The 144 passengers and six crew members were bound for Peoria, Ill.

Allegiant Airlines is owned by Allegiant Travel Co. The parent company’s shares slipped 81 cents, to $102.18, in midday trading.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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