Passengers slept on the floor of the terminal at Fort Wayne International Airport after an Allegiant flight was delayed due to a lack of a crew, passengers told WANE 15.
Allegiant flight G41651 was set to depart for Punta Gorda, Florida, at 9:16 p.m. Thursday night, but it was delayed due to severe weather in the area. By 3:40 a.m., a passenger said the airline again delayed the flight until 8:40 a.m. Friday.
Around 8:30 a.m., passengers received a text from Allegiant that said the flight would depart at 10:40 a.m.
Passengers, some with babies, slept on the floor of the terminal, a passenger said.
Emma Gemlick, a Fort Wayne woman traveling to Florida with a group of friends to celebrate the end of their college year, was among the passengers. She said their plane landed at 1:30 a.m. but the flight crew “timed out” and left.
The airline called in another crew at 1 a.m., passengers were told, but a flight attendant later said the crew wasn’t actually called in until 3:30 a.m., Gemlick said.
Photos shared with WANE 15 show passengers scattered around the terminal, some laying on the floor.
Passengers were finally boarded around 10:40 a.m. Gemlick said the airline’s computers were down, though, so the process had to be done manually.
Allegiant offered passengers $50 food vouchers for their troubles, Gemlick said. Allegiant said later that due to the “extraordinary inconvenience,” its customer service had now also issued additional $100 vouchers.
Allegiant issued the following explanation to WANE 15:
Unfortunately this was a situation where there was a confluence of factors contributing to the initial delay, and then causing the flight to be rescheduled for this morning.
The bulk of the delay was due to weather, which caused the inbound flight to divert to Cincinnati. When the aircraft arrived in Fort Wayne, there was a minor indicator issue which required an inspection to ensure everything was in order (it was). The weather delay and additional time for the inspection unfortunately resulted in the crew scheduled for the flight to “time out,” meaning their working hours dictated by safety regulations were exceeded.
Ultimately the flight was rescheduled for this morning, where it should be arriving in Punta Gorda at approximately 2 p.m. local time.
We apologize to our customers for the extended delay in this unusual situation, which was truly due to weather but was complicated by additional time factors. We have issued $150 vouchers good toward future travel on Allegiant due to the inconvenience.