Allegiant announced the grounding of up to 30 of its 57 MD80 aircraft for “immediate reinspection” of the emergency slides on those planes. Each MD80 jet will be placed back into service as soon as its slides are given the thumbs up by inspectors.
The company gives no specific timeline for when these planes will be back in service, but did say it expects to complete the re-inspection process by the end of September.
“We apologize for the disruption to our passengers and ask that they please remain patient as we work to correct the issue, reschedule affected flights and accommodate any passengers impacted,” said Andrew Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President.
The airline says it has activated additional call center staff to handle customer queries and will be contacting affected travelers directly.
The grounding has already resulted in Allegiant cancelling 18 of 121 scheduled flights for today.
Beyond the cancelled flights, the grounded planes will have the ripple effect of delaying other Allegiant planes.
According to the airline, here is how it will refund affected customers:
Flights delayed less than four hours: $100 voucher for future travel.
Flights delayed 4-6 hours: $150 off voucher for future travel.
Flights delayed six or more hours: $200 voucher for future travel.
Cancelled flights: Full refund, $200 voucher for future travel.
For passengers delayed overnight, hotel accommodations and meals will be provided.
Customers can sign up for flight alerts for individual flights at https://www2.allegiantair.com/flight-status or call 702-505-8888.
If you have an Allegiant flight scheduled in the upcoming days, you may want to keep track of things on the airline’s Facebook page, where it has been pretty good about providing updates on the situation.