Allegiant Air has run into a bit of PR trouble after reports that, on Wednesday, passengers were not allowed to evacuate the cabin when it filled up with heat and smoke.
According to Twitter user Chris Pelton, passengers were left inside the hot, smoky cabin for nearly an hour while crew inspected the plane.
But Allegiant spokeswoman Krysta Levy told the Des Moines Register a different version of the incident. She says that the flight—originally bound for Phoenix, Arizona from Cedar Rapids, Iowa—made an emergency landing “out of an abundance of caution,” and that there was never any risk to passengers.
“As far as the wait to deplane, we had to wait for a few minutes for an available gate at the airport—something we obviously wouldn’t have done if the plane really was ‘filling with smoke.’ The aircraft was not filling with smoke, and there was no need to evacuate,” she said.
It bears mentioning that one other passenger also Tweeted that his wife was trapped in a smoke-filled cabin and that this headline is not a good one for an airline that was, less than three months ago, part of a 60 Minutes report on airline safety issues and less than two months after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it would be auditing the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of maintenance issues at Allegiant.
To read more on this story, go to MSN.