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Allegiant Flight From Idaho Falls Makes Emergency Landing

A flight from Idaho Falls to Oakland, California made an emergency diversion to Reno on Monday afternoon after several people on board said they weren’t feeling well.

Zach Greenawalt, a passenger on the plane, said the air conditioning on the Allegiant plane wasn’t working.

About 45 minutes into the flight, Greenawalt said a father with a baby became concerned that his child was overheating. The pilot came on the PA system and asked if there was a doctor on board, Greenawalt said. A woman made a cold compress and put it on the baby, which seemed to calm it down a little bit, Greenawalt said.

Shortly after, an elderly man began complaining of a severe headache, a woman began having trouble breathing and a couple crew members said they weren’t feeling well either, Greenawalt said.

That’s when the pilot decided they needed to make an emergency landing. Firefighters boarded the plane asking for the people who weren’t feeling well. After that, the pilot deplaned all 117 passengers on board.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin told the Gazette Journal several ambulances were sent to meet the plane, but no one was transported. Passengers were given water bottles and put in the air conditioning.

Reno is not a HUB for Allegiant, so the company needed to find another plane to get the passengers from Reno to their original destination of Oakland.

The backup plane that was set to pick them also had problems, so it never made it, Greenawalt said.

Eventually, Allegiant found a former employee who now works for Horizon Airlines at the Reno-Tahoe Airport who was able to fix the air conditioning on the original plane, Greenawalt said.

After a several-hour delay, Greenawalt and the rest of the passengers made it to Oakland International around 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Greenawalt said throughout the ordeal the passengers remained calm and he believe the pilot handled the situation very well.

Editor’s Note: Greenawalt is Karole Honas’ nephew.

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