FAA investigating Allegiant Air passenger jet that nearly ran out of fuel | Fox News

Federal officials are investigating why an Allegiant Air passenger jet nearly ran out of fuel before landing at an airport that was temporarily closed to most traffic.

Allegiant said Tuesday it is cooperating with the Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation of the incident.

The Allegiant plane with 144 passengers landed safely last Thursday at Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota, after a flight from Las Vegas.

While the Fargo airport was the flight’s intended destination, it was temporarily closed for practice by the Navy Blue Angels flying team.

via FAA investigating Allegiant Air passenger jet that nearly ran out of fuel | Fox News.

I’ve flown Allegiant a couple times. They’re a discount carrier, with insanely low ticket prices, and tack on fees for *everything.*

The only way a carrier like Allegiant can stay afloat is to be ruthless about cutting their costs. One way to do that is to fly with the absolute minimum fuel legally possible. Now, most airlines try to fly with as little fuel as possible, but they also allow the Captain and the dispatcher a little fudge factor, say a couple thousand extra pounds of fuel for every kid the pilot has. But it costs fuel to carry fuel. So one suspects Allegiant doesn’t allow much excess fuel. That means that anything that deviates from the planning assumptions, say a greater than anticipated headwind, or even minor rerouting by ATC, quickly begins eating into the legally mandated divert and holding reserves. And pretty soon, a  crew finds itself out of options. There’s no Door #2 or #3.  In this case, no one was harmed. But common sense tells you that winnowing your options down to zero is fraught with risk.

9 thoughts on “FAA investigating Allegiant Air passenger jet that nearly ran out of fuel | Fox News”

  1. I priced Allegiant one time for a trip from Austin to Las Vegas; after adding up all the extras on top of the ticket, I decided that if they were that hard up for revenue I’d probably better go on Southwest.

  2. As with both Thunderbirds and Blue Angels their demo schedule is published AND disseminated an insane amount of time before the event(s). The ATC at Hector Int’l did beyond due diligence and maximized notification on the NOTAM for the event…Allegiant ought to have accounted for that in their fudge factor never mind being an hour late departing Las Vegas. Low budget, low cost, low rent, higher risk…Fuggem

  3. Great clarification. The report I saw said that their first report was words to the effect of “we’ll be bingo fuel in 3-4 minutes.” I was wondering how they could achieve that level enroute to their final destination. All is clear now.

  4. Ok, I have a question for the airline grognards out there: just why did we deregulate the industry, and how does the current model serve the public better?

    Haven’t been on a airliner since I was a wee lad (and that was a prop job) but I don’t see how companies cutting everything to the bone makes for a pleasant ride. It didn’t used to be that way.

    No political diatribes, please, just facts & knowledge of airline operations. 🙂

    1. Deregulation has resulted in much lower ticket prices, but that’s about all I see. Safety has improved, but I seriously doubt that has any connection to deregulation.

      I flew Eastern, Allegheny and TWA before things were deregulated. In all three cases the flights were far more pleasant than they are now.

  5. QM that’s what I’ve gathered from other sources, but it doesn’t make sense. Maybe I’m stupid, but what’s the point of lowering ticket prices if all is does is make 90% of the passengers miserable, along with forcing airlines to operate on almost no margin?

    1. People want low prices. No one is forcing them to fly on the lowest price airline.

      Paul

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