Medford travelers respond to ’60 Minutes’ Allegiant story

Medford, Ore.– A “60 Minutes” report that alleged of poor safety on Allegiant Air created a buzz among travelers across the U.S. after it aired Sunday night on CBS.

In the segment, CBS called out the airline for having what they said were old and poorly maintained planes. According to the program, Allegiant experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents between January 1, 2016 and October, 2017. It included aborted takeoffs, rapid descents and mid-air engine failures.

Allegiant is a low-cost carrier, which makes it a popular choice for Medford travelers flying to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

John W., a former Medford resident who was at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport Monday, said he thinks the report may have been little unfair to the airline.

“It’s the FAA’s responsibility to make sure that they’re maintained properly. So Allegiant is not doing well, but the FAA is doing worse,” he said.

John did not watch the report and said he has never flown on an Allegiant plane, but as a former military pilot he said sometimes reported maintenance issues are “not as bad as they sound.”

“A lot of maintenance gigs really aren’t that big. It’s like a, ‘You forgot to sign something,’ or ‘You forgot to do something,’ but you’re probably not going to die because of it. So I wouldn’t be too worried,” he said.

Allegiant’s stock price has fallen since the “60 Minutes” report surfaced. The airline is swatting back at the report, calling it “irresponsible,” and “grossly misleading,” in a response letter.

NBC5 News anchor and reporter Kristina Zagame is from Boston, Massachusetts. She comes to us from KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri where she was the evening anchor and executive producer.

Kristina received her degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She spent a summer interning for an international online magazine in Santiago, Chile. She also covered Hurricane Maria relief efforts in the Virgin Islands.

When she’s not in the newsroom, Kristina loves exploring, dancing and live music.

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