Friday, 23 March 2018

Allegiant Celebrates Flying 1,000 Wish Kids through Partnership with Make-A-Wish

Allegiant Travel Company this week celebrated its 1,000th wish flight as a Make-A-Wish travel partner, bringing four-year-old Nicolas Dones IV (known by his nickname, "Cuatro") from McAllen, Texas to Las Vegas on March 21 for Monster Jam World Finals XIX. This wish kid, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014, was celebrated with surprises on both ends of his flight, as well as in the air.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant became a charitable partner with Make-A-Wish in 2012. Since then, the company has donated nearly two million dollars in complementary airfare to send wish kids and their families on wish trips. To commemorate the 1,000th wish milestone, Allegiant surprised passengers on board Cuatro's flight by announcing that all proceeds from ticket sales would be donated to Make-A-Wish – to pay it forward and provide funds toward the next wish.

"At Allegiant, we pride ourselves on making travel more accessible to everyone, so the partnership with Make-A-Wish is a perfect fit with our mission," said Allegiant President John Redmond. "Helping fulfil wishes that bring joy and hope to children facing critical illnesses has been a source of great pride for Allegiant team members and the company as a whole, and we couldn't be more pleased to reach this special milestone. We look forward to making many more wishes take flight in years to come."

Cuatro's wish journey began at McAllen Miller International Airport (MFE) with a special send-off celebration, including a monster truck-themed cake, as well as treats donated by Chick-Fil-A – his favourite restaurant. Upon arrival in Las Vegas, Cuatro rode from the gate through the airport in style – on a battery-powered, ride-on replica of his favourite monster truck, Grave Digger. Dozens of Allegiant employees greeted Cuatro and his family at baggage claim with full fanfare – a warm welcome from Las Vegas' hometown airline.

"Nearly 80 percent of wish requests involve travel," said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish. "Allegiant plays an important role as a travel partner, because of their generosity in providing free travel, and also because they serve so many smaller cities with nonstop flights. We are grateful for their commitment to helping make travel wishes possible for wish kids across the U.S." 

In addition to providing support for Make-A-Wish by donating travel, Allegiant also gets passengers involved through the sale of "Wingz Kid Snack Packs" on board each flight – one dollar from each snack pack sold goes directly to Make-A-Wish. In addition, Allegiant in 2017 donated office space to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, making the company's Las Vegas headquarters the new home of the nonprofit organization's local chapter at a rent of $1 per year.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant is focused on linking travellers in underserved cities to world-class leisure destinations. The airline offers industry-low fares on an all-jet fleet while also offering other travel-related products such as hotel rooms and rental cars. All can be purchased only through the company website, Beginning with one aircraft and one route in 1999, the company has grown to more than 80 aircraft and 300 routes across the country with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket.

Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world's leading children's wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 35,000 volunteers across the U.S., grant a wish every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the country. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 300,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,400 in 2017 alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit