Mechanical issues delay Allegiant plane out of PIE

- Passengers on their way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota from St. Petersburg will have to stay an extra evening due to mechanical issues. 

The airline tells FOX 13 News, flight 850 with service from the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) to Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD) was rescheduled from April 1 to April 2 due to a maintenance issue. The flight is scheduled to leave PIE Saturday at 9 a.m.

There were 156 passengers scheduled to fly on flight 850.

Allegiant said passengers received meal vouchers, $100 vouchers for future travel on Allegiant, a hotel stay if they live more than 50 miles away from the airport and the option to change their flight to another one in the Allegiant network at no fee.

Allegiant said in an email to FOX 13 News, "we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our passengers."

This is the latest in a string of issues to plague the airline's flights.  

On March 24, passengers flying from Orlando-Sanford International Airport to Grand Rapids, Michigan were delayed nearly 15 hours after three unsuccessful attempts to put them on a plane without mechanical problems.

A flight from Fort Wayne, Indiana to St. Petersburg on March 5 aborted takeoff due to mechanical issues.

In February, Allegiant Flight 904 to Kansas City aborted its takeoff after a loud boom was heard, according to passengers. St. Pete-Clearwater's public information officer said the reason was a mechanical issue.

The Teamster's Aviation Mechanics Coalition compiled the nine-page document examining nearly 100 maintenance problems across Allegiant's fleet that the union deemed "separate and preventable." The incidents included aborted takeoffs, emergency landings, and diversions.

The union called the incidents preventable -- and, in some instances, catastrophic -- maintenance issues.

Former Air Force pilot and aviation attorney, Jim Brauchle told FOX 13 News the kinds of problems Allegiant Air has faced are dangerous.

"It's an accident waiting to happen," Brauchle said.

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