By Steve Large

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Allegiant Airlines is defending its safety practices one day after a scathing report by CBS’s 60 Minutes, showing the airlines’ planes are 3.5 times more likely to have serious in-flight mechanical failures than other U.S. Airlines.

The airline flies in and out of Stockton Municipal Airport, where passengers seemed undeterred by the safety scrutiny Monday.

The airline with the motto “Travel is our deal” is dealing with troubling headlines from the 60 Minutes report.

Reporter Steve Croft’s investigation found of the 99 planes in the airline’s fleet, 25 have had engine failures or malfunctions in less than two years.

There have been no crashes.

Tami Gosselin lives in Modesto and is a frequent Allegiant Airlines passenger.

“One of the issues, due to the delays here with Allegiant, is due to mechanical issues and stuff,” Gosselin said.

Gosselin said she likes the convenience of the airline’s flights from Stockton, but said delays have become so common, she plans for them.

“I don’t schedule anything the day of the flight,” Gosselin said.

Greg and Jami McMullen live in Turlock and have had no problems flying Allegiant Airlines.

“We’ve had no negative issues, the only things they’ve done wrong is run out of nuts today,” Greg McMullen said.

A search online of the National Transportation Safety Board records shows the particular Allegiant airplane flying from Stockton Monday evening has had two mechanical incidents in the past three years.

In 2015, an electric burning smell onboard was identified during taxiing.

In 2017, an in-flight emergency was declared and the pilot made an unscheduled landing after the hydraulic system overheated.

An Allegiant Airlines vice president called the 60 Minutes report misleading in a statement that also reads in part, “Safety is at the core of every aspect of our operation, every day.”

An airline taking on scrutiny over safety, as its planes continue taking off from Stockton, and across the country.


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