It’s a Gamble

Allegiant Airlines offers flights from El Paso to Las Vegas for $39.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Allegiant’s airplanes are four times more likely to fail during flight than the airplanes operated by other airlines.

Matt Jones fumbled with his cellphone, trying to call his wife to say goodbye, as crew members on Allegiant Flight 822 ordered him to tuck into crash position over Baltimore. “I said to myself, ‘I’m never going to see my wife or my kids or my grandkids again,’” he recalled.

The reason, the newspaper reports, is that Allegiant flies an older fleet and is less rigorous with its maintenance.

Allegiant’s jets are, on average, 22 years old. The average age of planes flown by other carriers is 12. Experts say planes as old as Allegiant’s require the most rigorous maintenance in the industry. But Allegiant doesn’t staff its own mechanics at 107 of the 118 airports it flies to.

So bring your rabbit’s foot. And good luck.

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