Bad News for Las Vegas based Allegiant Air, after a newspaper investigation found that their planes are four times more likely to break down than any other airline. The Tampa Bay Times report published Wednesday said Allegiant jets were forced to make unexpected landings at least 77 times in 2015 for serious mechanical failures.
Making this even scarier is that none of the incidents prompted enforcement action from the Federal Aviation Administration. Turns out that they don’t actually track breakdowns, which could easily show how safe a carrier or a particular plane is.
To do the story, the Times reporters built a database of more than 65,000 records from the FAA themselves and compared Allegiant Air to other airlines.
Yes, it gets worse. The newspaper claims that the company admitted during an interview that their planes break down way too often.
Also Washington Post report earlier this year cited FAA records for Allegiant that show a pattern of safety problems that have triggered a relatively large number of aborted takeoffs, emergency descents and emergency landings from Jan. 1, 2015 to March 2016.
The Tampa Bay Times Story goes into detail about some of the incidents, where passengers were sure they were going to die because of what possibly came from poor maintenance:
Matt Jones fumbled with his cellphone, trying to call his wife to say goodbye, as crew members on Allegiant Flight 822 ordered him to tuck into crash position over Baltimore. “I said to myself, ‘I’m never going to see my wife or my kids or my grandkids again,’” he recalled.
Jessica Stoffel was so afraid on Allegiant Flight 175 over Mesa, Ariz., that she grabbed the stranger next to her and squeezed his hand. “I was terrified and honestly did not think we were going to make it,” she said.
“Now I’m going to die.” FlightAware.com’s flight tracker shows Lisa Cozzolino’s flight, Allegiant Flight 844, circling the gulf and then returning for an unscheduled landing after taking off in June from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
All major airlines break down once in awhile. But none of them break down in midair more often than Allegiant.