ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Allegiant Airlines announced Thursday it is canceling dozens of flights over the next two weeks, leaving a lot of passengers scrambling for solutions.
In a statement, Allegiant spokesperson Krysta Levy said the airline is introducing new Airbus models into its fleet, and swapping out the older MD-80 planes that caused a lot of well-documented delays and cancelations in recent years. Some of the new aircraft, however, are not ready to fly.
Levy said the airline was left "with limited resources available and the very difficult choice to cancel certain flights."
"We have offered options to our passengers on canceled flights, including re-accommodation to other flights or refunds. We sincerely apologize for the interruption to our passengers’ travel plans," she said. "I want to be clear that this is not an issue with the new Airbus entering our fleet from Airbus manufacturing. This is an issue with new-to-fleet used aircraft that still go through an induction process."
Allegiant has so far canceled 32 flights between Thursday, Friday this week and June 21.
"I got a text on my phone yesterday that said my flight was canceled for next Thursday," said Jessica Simkins. "[My family in Kentucky] planned a family reunion around our flight because we're the only ones traveling, so I didn't buy the insurance to change your flight but I came here instead of calling on the phone and I'm going to fly out on Tuesday instead of Thursday."
Another customer said she spent hours trying to figure out how to get her family new travel arrangements to fly into the Tampa Bay area.
"I have three cousins that were flying in from Lexington today and then we got the cancelation last night, so we tried to reschedule them," Peggy Thompson told FOX 13. "After a whole lot of rigamarole, now they've got all three of them on Sunday. So, a big hassle but what can you do?"
Thompson, however, added she's flown on one of Allegiant's new planes and believes, despite the inconvenience, it'll be worth the wait.