Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) 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 leukemia in 2014, was celebrated with surprises on both ends of his flight, as well as in the air.
Above Photo: Allegiant Air. Wish kid Cuatro and Captain Joshua Rockwood in the flight deck of the Airbus A319.
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.
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 favorite 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 favorite 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.
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.
Top Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 N218NV (msn 1229) (Make-A-Wish) IND (Ken Petersen). Image: 930270.
Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: