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MASON CITY, Iowa - Allegiant Air is facing controversy over mechanical issues on its aircraft.
A '60 Minutes' documentary that aired last Sunday found that in-flight breakdowns were common. Public documents show an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, unscheduled landings, and even smoke and fumes billowing inside the cabin, among others. The report also found that Allegiant's planes have been nearly 3 1/2 times more likely to have serious in-flight mechanical failures compared to other U.S. based airlines. Over 100 serious incidents occurred on their planes between January 2016 and October 2017.
Jay Thede of Mason City has family members who had problems flying recently, and say they're not willing to sacrifice safety for a cheaper ticket.
"It wouldn't be worth it to me. Not especially with flying. That's something I wouldn't take a chance with," Thede says.
Wes Alshara of Mason City believes it is the airline's ultimate responsibility to make it right for their passengers if they encounter delays or problems.
"They can...either go cheaper or something because they're not going to get any business if people are feeling unsafe on their planes. Even if it's just a little malfunction, you think someone else is going to go on their plane?" Alshara says.
Last year, the airline flew 12 million passengers on its 99 planes to over 120 destinations coast to coast.