Thursday, March 24, 2016

Michigan passengers delayed 3 times at Florida airport: 2 days and 4 planes later, Orlando flight arrives in Grand Rapids



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A direct flight from Orlando to Grand Rapids was supposed to take about three hours, but instead it took two days and four different aircraft.

Passengers on Allegiant Air Flight 682 were scheduled to take off from Orlando Sanford International Airport at 3:21 p.m. Wednesday and land at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids around 6:30 p.m., but the flight was delayed after multiple different mechanical problems.

“It was getting scary too. We just kind of felt like are we really going to make it back,” said Nicole Doud, who was traveling with her 10-month-old baby and two-year-old son.

Passengers tell 24 Hour News 8 the first plane took off then had to turn around and return to the gate around 4:21 p.m. due to a mechanical issue.

The travelers then boarded another aircraft around 6 p.m., but were again sent back to the gate a half hour later due to another, unrelated mechanical issue.

The third flight was scheduled to depart around 8:45 p.m., however, it returned to the gate around 9:30 p.m. because there was an issue with the cabin lighting.

Allegiant Air told 24 Hour News 8 in a statement released Thursday that passengers were given hotel rooms for the night. They were also given food and drinks at the gate and $200 off vouchers for future flights.

Flight 682 was rescheduled as Flight 5682 for Thursday. It left Orlando at 8:27 a.m. and landed in Grand Rapids 10:57 a.m.

“He was just a good pilot. So as aggravating as the situation was, it was a good experience because [the pilot] was safe,” said Princess Braue.

“We are exhausted. We are just tired that it was just off and on and off and on,” Gina Postelli told 24 Hour News 8 after landing in Grand Rapids on Thursday. When asked if she would fly with Allegiant Airlines again, Postelli said she would not.

Passengers were offered the option to change their reservation to another Allegiant flight at no extra cost. Any passengers who chose not to fly with Allegiant will receive a full refund, according to the airline.

Allegiant Air sent the following statement to 24 Hour News 8 on Thursday:

“Flight 682 with scheduled service from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to Gerald R. Ford Airport (GRR) on March 23, 2016 took off at 3:21 p.m. local time and returned to SFB at approximately 4:21 p.m. due to a mechanical issue. Passengers deplaned normally and boarded on another aircraft at SFB. The second aircraft pushed back at 5:52 p.m. and returned to the gate at 6:23 p.m. due to an unrelated mechanical issue. The third aircraft pushed back at 8:46 p.m. and returned to the gate at approximately 9:27 p.m. due to an issue with cabin lighting.

Passengers were given hotel rooms for the night. Passengers were also offered the option to change their reservation to another flight in the Allegiant system at no cost. Any passenger who chose not to fly will receive a full refund. Passengers were given food and drinks at the gate and have been issued $200 dollars off vouchers for future travel. Flight 682 was rescheduled as flight 5682 for March 24. It left SFB at 8:27 a.m. and landed in Grand Rapids at 10:57 a.m.

Allegiant On-Call Media Relations”

Story and video:  http://woodtv.com

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