KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- A long delay and then a cancellation of last night's Allegiant flight from Knoxville to Ft. Lauderdale left some passengers no other choice but to drive to Florida.
McGhee Tyson Airport spokeswoman Becky Huckaby says Allegiant first delayed, then ultimately canceled Flight 934 bound for Ft. Lauderdale last night.
There was a mechanical problem with the plane in Ft. Lauderdale, and fixing it took so long the crew timed out and was unable to fly to Knoxville, according to Allegiant Air spokesperson Tyri Squyres.
"It's a situation where Allegiant did everything possible to accommodate the stuck passengers," Huckaby told volunteertv.com.
Allegiant doesn't have a regularly-scheduled flight to Ft. Lauderdale on Monday, but the low cost carrier is bringing in another jet to fly some passengers to Florida. That flight leaves at 10:30 tonight.
Allegiant also rebooked other passengers on Tampa and Orlando flights. They also ordered pizza for stranded passengers and brought out games for them to play while they waited last night. When the flight was canceled, they put some passengers up in hotel rooms.
But that wasn't enough for some, namely some passengers who had to be in Florida on Monday for cruises or other activities. Some passengers rented cars and drove to Ft. Lauderdale last night.
Huckaby says she's helped two or three families get their travel plans changed this morning.
The issue that some passengers aren't aware of, according to Huckaby, is that Allegiant doesn't have a code-share agreement with any other airlines. As a result, they can't just book you on another airline if your flight cancels, as is the case for the legacy carriers.
No other airlines offer direct flights from Knoxville to Ft. Lauderdale, and walk-up, one-way fares to Fort Lauderdale are running just under $500 today. USAIR does have a walk-up, two stop, one way fare for $230.
"It's up to us to get folks to where they are going," Squyres said. "It's an inconvenience to our customers and we known that. We're just trying to make the best of it and not lose them as customers."
Squyres says inconvenienced passengers on the flight also got a $75 credit as well.
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