Passengers are stranded as fog leads Allegiant Air to divert flights

Hundreds of airline passengers are stranded at the Punta Gorda Airport when flights landed because of fog near 3 a.m. Sunday. The three Allegiant Air flights were bound for the Sanford Orlando airport until their pilots informed them of heavy fog surrounding their destination.

There are no rental cars left, with many scrambling to find an alternative. WINK News heard airport staff announce that they were struggling to find any means of transportation.

Passengers stuck at Punta Gorda Airport because of dense fog Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. Photo via WINK News.
Passengers stuck at Punta Gorda Airport because of dense fog Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. Photo via WINK News.

In the last couple of hours, a select few were placed into large vans and buses, but several are left to their own means. One man said, renting a moving truck is his best option to get back home.

“Coming off the airplane, we were told literally and I recorded it,” Kenny Massingil said, a passenger, “that sorry you have to make your own arrangements. We are stranded. I’ve got a lead on a U-Haul at 10 a.m. and see if they have one of those big moving trucks and, I’ll take it.

Other passengers chose another route. Despite Punta Gorda Airport being somewhat secluded, some families walked to the nearest hotel about two miles away in the middle of the night.

Allegiant Air said it was struggling to find ground transportation because of the holidays. It has forced some passengers to rely on a ride from their relatives.

“It’s just outrageous that a company should abandon it’s customers the way they have,” John Perry said, a passenger. “My folks live up on the east coast and drove to Sanford to pick us up, about an hours drive.”

Perry, along with other passengers, said Allegiant Air could have handled this situation better and they will not use the airline again.

Passengers were informed they could receive up to $225 in travel compensation to get to the Sanford Orlando area.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
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