On June 22, an Allegiant Air flight bound to South Bend, Indiana from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport had to return home to preserve the health of some of its passengers. Several people began complaining of overheat. However, their grief was not without grounds. The airplane encountered technical difficulties with its air conditioner. As a consequence, the passengers had to face the wrath of a summer day without any protection against it.
The Pilot Decided to Turn the Plane Back Home the Moment a Flight Attendant Was Affected by Lack of Air Conditioner
The Allegiant Air flight had to turn back mid course after the cabin became so hot that several people got ill. A team of rescue professionals at the St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue department was the first to meet the returned aircraft. Therefore, passengers were in need for medical attention for just a short time in a hot flight.
According to a local publication, there were four people who received treatment for heat-related symptoms. A spokesperson on behalf of Allegiant stated that the source of the technical issues was a cooling valve that started malfunctioning during the flight. As a consequence, the air conditioner stopped working.
The representative reassured the public that there was no person who actually fainted while on board. On the other hand, the pilot decided to go back the moment a flight attendant reported a sensation similar to fainting.
The FAA Controls no Regulations Regarding Cabin Temperatures
However, even though this incident was not the first of its kind at Allegiant alone, the company might go away with no consequences for such conditions whatsoever. That’s because the Federal Aviation Administration ruled no laws regarding how hot or cold an airplane cabin can get.
For years, the Association of Flight Attendants attempted to set maximum temperatures of 80 degrees through the Congress. However, their efforts rendered no results. Union member Taylor Garland stated that the Congress holds such decisions at the bottom of their priority list.
“Bottom line, the airlines and regulators do not consider temperature to be a safety issue.”
The FAA did not release any statement regarding the Allegiant incident. However, the agency did urge the airline companies to take the necessary measures when they notice critical temperatures on the ground.
Image source: 1