Airlines offer free flights for Las Vegas victims’ families

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2014, file photo, a Southwest Airlines jet lands at Love Field in Dallas. Southwest Airlines said Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, that it's fixed the technology problems that delayed hundreds of flights Sunday and that it expects a normal day of operations. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(CBS News) – Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air are providing free flights to family members of people who were killed or injured in the Las Vegas shooting.

A Southwest spokeswoman said Tuesday that the offer was good for up to five family members. The airline will also help transport bodies of those killed, she said.

Allegiant Air spokeswoman Hilarie Grey said more than a dozen people had accepted the airline’s offer, which was posted on Facebook, by midday Tuesday.

“Las Vegas is Allegiant’s hometown, and on this tragic day we are heartbroken but gratified to see the world rally around our community,” Allegiant said on its Facebook page. “If you or your family members were affected by what happened last night, we want to help.”

Allegiant asked victims’ family members to write to communications@allegiantair.com for help. Both airlines said they were working with local hotels to provide lodging help for family members arriving from out of town.

Allegiant is headquartered in Las Vegas. Southwest operates about 218 departing flights a day there, making Las Vegas the third-biggest operation in the Dallas-based airline’s network.

At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured when a gunman in a nearby hotel opened fire on the crowd at a country music festival Sunday night.

Grey said about 30 people fleeing the shooting climbed over fences at McCarran International Airport, run across active runways and took cover in an Allegiant Air maintenance facility for several hours. Mechanics on the overnight shift helped them charge phones and contact friends and family, she said.

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