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Allegiant Air planes are four times as likely to break down midair as other major U.S. airlines

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Posted at 12:06 PM, Nov 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-06 12:06:59-05

Thousands of people flew Allegiant Air last year with an expectation of safe travels.

But according to the Tampa Bay Times, Allegiant Air planes are four times as likely to break down midair as any other major U.S. airline.

With several Allegiant Air flights flying in and out of Niagara Falls International Airport each week, this is something Western New Yorkers may want note.

Tampa Bay Times spoke with several passengers on different Allegiant Air flights that failed during flight. They all said they feared for their lives and thought they had reached the end.

According to the Tampa Bay Times investigation of Allegiant Air, Allegiant jets were forced to make unexpected landings at least 77 times for serious mechanical failures in 2015.

The Times report, which was not disputed by the airline, says the company repairs some of the systems that fail in order to put the planes back in service, only to have them fail again. 

The article also states that Allegiant's jets are, on average, 22 years old, in comparison to other carriers that use 12-year-old planes.

Due to increasing concerns, the FAA launched a three-month review in April to see if there were any issues with Allegiant's maintenance, training or operations program. The Times says the FAA found some problems with Allegiant's maintenance paperwork, but did not discover anything severe enough to fine the company or enforce any serious action against it.

The FAA decided the best course of action was to require Allegiant to file a plan for addressing the issues, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Plenty are rooting for the airline, like travelers who appreciate the low airfares and people who use smaller airports that are closer to home that Allegiant often serves.

On the other hand, those in the industry say there is a reason most air travel is expensive - it can be hard to offer good deals and spend the right amount of money needed to maintain the aircrafts.

The picture featured is from the Tampa Bay Times showing what parts of the aircrafts failed in flight and how many times it happened between January 2015 and September 2016.