Troubled Flight from CVG Included in "60 Minutes" Report on Allegiant
Fighting back sobs, a woman told 60 Minutes in a show that aired Sunday that she was worried she would never see her daughter again.
The fear arose during a flight on Allegiant Airlines from CVG Airport.
The CBS news magazine produced a scathing report about the low-cost carrier that has grown in the local market by adding flights to and from the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Flight 533, set to depart from CVG in 2016, was extensively delayed due to mechanical problems, but when it took off is when the woman said the engine blew, fire was seen, the cabin door popped open, and there was smoke inside.
Last July, Allegiant flight 533 may have returned to service before the plane was ready. Passengers told 60 Minutes they contacted their loved ones to say goodbye before safely landing. pic.twitter.com/R8jClkcSXA— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) April 15, 2018
The 60 Minutes investigation started with an open records request to the Federal Aviation Administration for mechanical records from seven airlines. Six of the airlines turned the information over. Allegiant did not.
60 Minutes filed a FOIA request with the FAA asking for more than a year’s worth of mechanical interruption summary reports from Allegiant and 7 other airlines. We received the documents from every airline except Allegiant. pic.twitter.com/qrLFXPbSD9— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) April 15, 2018
The airline flew 12 million passengers last year on its 99 planes to 120 destinations from California to Florida. But it's had persistent problems since at least the summer of 2015 when it experienced a rash of mid-air breakdowns, including five on a single day. It was not a fluke.
Public documents show an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure loss, emergency descents, and unscheduled landings. Yet for the most part, allegiant's difficulties have managed to stay under the radar of the flying public.
Allegiant has yet to respond publicly, but an internal memo was leaked online. In it, the company claimed that it believes that the investigation was triggered by a terminated employee who is suing the airline, and that it plans to fight back against the report.
Last week, Allegiant announced seven new destinations from CVG Airport, bringing its total to twenty.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher