'60 Minutes' Allegiant story creates buzz at Ford Airport

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In response to the investigation, Allegiant issued a statement on Sunday night, in which they called the report "grossly misleading" and noted that the story was instigated by a "terminated employee now involved in a lawsuit seeking money damages from the company". The report does acknowledge a "sharp drop-off" in Allegiant service issues after the airline and the FAA knew they were working on the story.

In 2014, a flight headed from the Ford to Florida was forced to make an emergency landing in SC after a loss of pressure in the cabin.

"Allegiant Air has experienced issues in the past, like any growing airline, but has worked to correct them".

In a separate incident in September 2017, one passenger of Allegiant Flight 514 said the plane's cabin began to fill with smoke shortly after landing in Fresno, California. "But, according to federal aviation records and interviews with pilots, mechanics and industry experts, it may also be the most unsafe", CBS News' 60 Minutes reports.

The airline provides several nonstop flights from Blue Grass Airport, including many in Florida.

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Allegiant's vice president of operations, Capt. Eric Gust, issued a statement after the program that said the story was outdated and shows a "troubling misunderstanding" of the Federal Aviation Administration's safety oversight of airlines.

"We have only had a positive experience with Allegiant Airlines since they began operations a year ago".

As Allegiant Air went on the defense Monday in the wake of a national news report questioning its safety, travel experts and customers in two of its IL feeder markets - including the Quad-Cities - had mixed reactions.

"We're satisfied that - that we are- we are taking the appropriate actions with regard to Allegiant and every other carrier that we work with to make sure that those problems have been - have been appropriately dealt with", John Duncan, executive director of FAA's flight standards service, told "60 Minutes".

"The force of it was so hard that it- it popped open the cockpit doors", Mercedes Weller told 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft.

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"My husband has flown Allegiant many times and said he had never had a problem, but I was still nervous after reading all the material slamming Allegiant for their safety record", Ribken said.

Not only do we expect our team members to adhere to all company procedures and policies, but many positions are subject to statutory and regulatory obligations, the violation of which would not only trigger punitive action from the company, but could also result in enforcement action from regulatory agencies, loss of a certification, and even criminal charges.

Now, Allegiant says that pilot is pushing the story to CBS and paying one of the experts "60 Minutes" interviewed.

"What we found raised some disturbing questions about the performance of their fleet", the "60 Minutes" reporter said on air. We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001.

"Yet for the most part, allegiant's difficulties have managed to stay under the radar of the flying public".

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By "comprehensive audit", Gust is likely referring to the 2016 review of Allegiant's FAA certificate. It also pointed to a Department of Transportation report claiming it had the second-lowest cancellation rate of any airline.

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