News report raises safety questions about Allegiant Air

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Ratliff says the report by 60 Minutes referenced some of those issues from the airliners past that Allegiant has since fixed.

A Washington Post analysis at the time found that Allegiant had about nine times as many "serious incidents" from January 2015 through March 2016 as Delta Air Lines, the second-largest USA carrier, despite Delta having flown about three times as many comparable planes in the period.

The 60 Minutes segment, which aired Sunday, found more than 100 "serious mechanical incidents" on the ultra-low-cost carrier between January 2016 and October 2017.

The Charleston International Airport directed requests for comments directly to the airline.

"I've had absolutely no issues with them", said Lowe, who learned about the "60 Minutes" reports in online stories Monday.

"True or false, that was 30 minutes of frightful publicity for Allegiant", Joseph DeNardi, an airline analyst for Stifel, said of the "60 Minutes" broadcast. Several anonymous, non-disciplinary reporting systems are available through Allegiant as well as through the FAA for team members to report safety concerns.

If 60 Minutes had been interested in current information, they would have reported that today, according to just-released Department of Transportation data, Allegiant is a leader in reliability, with the second-lowest cancelation rate among all U.S. airlines. "We'll continue to fly Allegiant as far as I'm concerned", said Forrest Arbaugh.

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CBS isn't the first to raise questions about Allegiant's safety record. It operates 15 flights out of Stockton each week. The FAA said it found dozens of issues and violations in its last review of Allegiant, but never anything serious enough to warrant enforcement against the company.

After consulting with Goglia and other safety experts, 60 minutes concluded that the airline's aggressive business model, which has produced 60 straight quarters of profits, led to a lagging safety culture made worse by the oldest fleet of planes operating in the USA ("almost all of them purchased second-hand from foreign airlines") and a lack of parts and mechanics.

Allegiant is the primary carrier out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

We caught up with customers at the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport catching a flight to Florida Monday evening. The flight was eventually cancelled, she said, and the airline offered no other compensation than a hotel night for a return flight the next day. Most of the McDonnell Douglas birds were built some 30 years ago.

Gust went on to say, "Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate at the highest possible standard".

Riggs believes the mounting evidence is pointing to what could be a deadly mistake if Allegiant does not change its policies. She said she had a positive experience, despite her worries about Allegiant's safety.

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