Hundreds frustrated after Allegiant canceled flights at Flint Bishop airport

FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – Hundreds of passengers are frustrated after an airline saw a slew of delays and cancellations to and from Bishop Flint International Airport.

“We were looking forward to some sunshine and weather outside and it just wasn’t in the cards,” Michelle Smith said.

Smith said she and her family were on an Allegiant plane to Florida on Saturday. Everything seemed fine, but after sitting in the doorway for two hours, everyone had to disembark due to what Smith said was a computer problem. Then she saw luggage coming out of the plane.

A few hours after disembarking, the flight was cancelled. Smith tells TV5 that Allegiant told her she could wait for another flight.

“We waited in line for about 45 minutes to be told there were no flights. The next flight is Wednesday, when we were supposed to be home,” Smith said.

By then, Smith said all flights had departed Bishop International Airport. She had no more options. All that remained was to console three disappointed children and eat the loss of their Florida AirBnB rental.

Smith doesn’t understand why Allegiant canceled the flight.

“We had a fully booked flight and there was a full crew. So the reports saying it was because they didn’t have enough people stealing, I don’t believe that,” Smith said.

Nino Sapone is the CEO of Bishop International Airport. He tells TV5 that there have been 22 canceled Allegiant flights from the airport this month.

“We don’t like it. It’s troubling. But industry-wide, airlines are going through tough times and everyone knows that with labor and hiring,” Sapone said. “Really, it’s a small percentage of their landings here. They have tripled in size. And again, it’s during the busiest time of the year, peak season for spring break, and they’re having staffing issues as well.

Sapone expects the number of cancellations to improve in the coming months. He tells TV5 that Allegiant is doing everything it can to keep the flights on schedule.

“They don’t want to cancel flights. It’s their bread and butter season. They are committed to this region; they are committed to this airport.

Whether or not things improve at Allegiant doesn’t matter to Smith. She tells TV5 that these are the only holidays that Allegiant will have the chance to ruin.

“We definitely won’t be flying Allegiant again,” Smith said.

TV5 contacted Allegiant for an interview, but they declined and referenced a statement they sent earlier.

“Due to a labor shortage, the airline has had to cancel some flights or reduce the frequency of some routes on its network…and affected passengers will be relocated to alternative flights or receive a refund .”

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