Chicago/Rockford Airport Passengers Stranded, Wedding Partially to Blame

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Dozens of travelers were left stranded for an extra day at the Rockford Airport.  Allegiant Airlines say that’s partially due to a wedding reception that was held at the airport.

“There was nothing said about mechanical problems,” said Allegiant Airlines customer Tamela Christensen.

Christenson expressed her frustration after Allegiant Airlines officials confirmed that passengers had to be stranded Saturday night at RFD.  Allegiant said the decision to not send a backup plane into Rockford was made in part because of a wedding in the terminal for the Airport Director’s daughter.  Airport Director Mike Dunn refused Eyewitness News’ request to answer questions about what happened.  The incident became an issue for candidates running for Winnebago County Board Chairman.

The wedding was for Dunn’s daughter and Nelson believes that should raise red flags.  “These acts raise several questions, [including] is the airport by policy and planning open to the public for wedding receptions?” questioned Nelson.

In a statement, Democrat John Nelson said, “We need a detailed investigation and report to the public by the airport board.”  Haney disagrees.

“When the board Chairman says that polices were followed, I have no reason to not believe him at this point,” said Frank Haney (R).

Haney, who Nelson says is supported by Dunn, reserved judgment.

“As a leader with a responsibility of serving this community, I want to make sure I have all the facts before I throw a grenade at another taxing body or leader across the community.”

Airport Board Chairman Paul Cicero sent us a statement:

“The current rumors and news reports that the Chicago Rockford International Airport cancelled an Allegiant Airlines flight over this last weekend are incorrect.  The airport does not have the authority to cancel any flights from any airline.”

However, an Allegiant spokesperson told Eyewitness News that while the wedding had nothing to do with the flight cancelation, it was a factor in the airline’s decision not to send a backup plane that night as passengers were initially told they were going to do.

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