Flair Airlines

Flair faces backlash for flight cancellations, could be forced to compensate

Flair Airlines, seen here in its new livery, faced a backlash on social media for cancelling flights to Florida and California (photo: Flair Airlines)

The Canadian Transportation Agency says people affected by the cancellation of numerous Flair flights to Florida and California, may be entitled to compensation.

“Currently Flair Airlines reports that it is offering refunds to passengers who have not yet travelled, or it is repatriating passengers needing to fly back home,” reads a notice published Friday on the CTA’s website. “You may be eligible for a refund, to be rebooked on another flight or you may also be eligible for a reimbursement of damages covered under the Montreal Convention.”

The ultra low-cost carrier informed passengers this week it was cancelling flights to Miami and St. Petersburg, Florida and to Palm Springs, California, and drastically cutting service to Orlando, due to operational issues and low passenger loads.

So far, Flair has offered to refund flights plus a $50 voucher for future travel. It is also offering to rebook passengers who already started their travel to come home on another airline.

Small comfort to hundreds of travellers affected by the change.

“I spent months checking multiple websites daily to ensure that we would get a good deal on our flights,” writes Kris Buurman, an affected passenger contacted by Western Aviation News. She had booked a trip to Florida with Flair with her husband, six children and their grandfather, nine people in all.

“Last November, Flair was having a sale with some pretty awesome deals. Other airlines were only $50-100 more, but for our family, that was a difference of $450-900.”

She booked the ticket on Flair. Then came the message this week her flight March 6 had been cancelled.

“I instantly felt sick to my stomach! It was only because we got a great deal on those flights that we decided to fly instead of drive.”

Buurman called Flair to find out what was going on.

“[From] the start of that conversation, it was painfully obvious that they had been instructed to give up no information and insist that our only option was a refund. I tried explaining that their cancellation of service was going to cost our family thousands… They didn’t seem to care.”

Others echo the sentiment on social media. One, Amanda D, wrote “With 12 days to go before our vacation, you cancel our flights due to ‘schedule changes?’ We just paid double prices!”

Buurman has booked another flight for her family, paying $3,000 for the group to travel to Florida for Spring Break.

“There’s been no consideration for the fact that prices have doubled,” she wrote, “or the panic that they have caused our family and many others.

“They need to step up and make this right.”

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