Allegiant breakdown leaves 150 people baking in Phoenix

PHOENIX — More than 150 passengers were forced to sweat it out on an Allegiant Airlines plane for 2 1/2 hours after a maintenance issue left the aircraft without adequate air conditioning.

KTVK-TV in Phoenix reported that passengers had already boarded the plane at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Wednesday when the issue was discovered. The station says passengers were required to stay in their seats in triple-digit temperatures even though the plane was still at the gate.

There were no reports of any injuries to the passengers. The plane was bound for Oakland, Calif., an Allegiant spokeswoman said Friday.

The delay happened for a variety of reasons, the airline said. First, the pilot’s microphone for addressing passengers needed to be repaired, spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler said. Then there was another maintenance issue to check on, and a couple passengers exited the aircraft during that time, she said.

As a result, the airline needed to redo federal paperwork required for takeoff, a delay of 50 minutes, Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the aircraft was connected to ground power, which provided electricity to the air-conditioning system. However, she said, it may have been hotter than when the aircraft is in the air.

Passengers received cool drinks during the delay.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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