Allegiant reporting delays to inspect MD-80 slides - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Allegiant reporting delays to inspect MD-80 slides

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MESA, Ariz. -

Dozens of Allegiant Airline flights were delayed out of Mesa Gateway Airport Friday after the airline had to take most of its MD-80 aircraft out of service.

This all stems from an incident Monday at Las Vegas' McCarran Airport.

There was smoke reported in the cabin of an MD-80 before takeoff -- so it deployed its emergency slides.

While those slides worked, the incident raised questions about emergency slides on other MD-80 aircraft, forcing the airline to carry out emergency inspections on those planes.

18 Allegiant flights were canceled. 20 flights delayed.

One of those flights out of Mesa-Gateway Airport was delayed 6 hours. Planes sat on the tarmac waiting.

"I came for an 8:15 flight this morning to Wichita, Kansas and my flight has been delayed until 2:15," says Cyndy Squires.

Allegiant Air's MD-80s are not allowed to take off until its slides are re-inspected. That inspection takes time.

"It kind of messed everything up, absolutely. I had a hair appointment when I got in and dinner with kids and getting in now at 6:30 at night instead of noon -- it really changed plans for everybody," says Squires.

It used to be slides on MD-80s were only inspected once every three years. But new guidelines call for a yearly inspection. Allegiant wasn't in compliance.

"Well I'm a very patient person and I'd rather be on the ground where it's safe than in the air where it's not," says flier Jean Zimmerman.

Not everyone was so patient.

"I want to go home. I'm about ready to call Southwest or American or something," says Jenny Miller.

Passengers say Allegiant Air gave them a free food voucher for the inconvenience.

"There's really nothing to do here, there's no shops or nothing close."

So Jenny Miller and Allison Falsafi became friends.

"We're getting to know each, we're both motor mouths and we're talking and she's from Kansas," says Falsafi.

"If there was a mall or something close it would be nice… just piddling my time away until its time," says Miller.

Allegiant Air doesn't know how long it'll take to re-inspect all the planes.

Passengers can sign up for flight alerts here: https://www2.allegiantair.com/flight-status

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