Several flights involving Flair Airlines were cancelled Saturday which impacted many passengers travelling for March break.
Andrea Thompson booked a flight with Flair in December for a trip to Toronto with her daughter, Charlotte.
She and her daughter arrived at the Halifax Stanfield Airport bright and early Saturday, however, things took a disappointing turn minutes before going through security
“The arriving and departing flights changed to cancel at the exact same time,” said Thompson.
They were told by flair representatives that their flight had been cancelled due to “unanticipated maintenance delays within airline’s control, but required for safety.”
Following the cancellations, Flair released a statement saying flights will be rebooked for those affected.
“There was just under 1300 to 1288 passengers that I’m aware of whose plans were disrupted that we needed to work through with them. We offered them alternative transportation on Flair or when that wasn’t convenient, we also offered to book them on other airlines to get them to where they were going,” said Stephen Jones, CEO of Flair Airlines.
The airline had four aircrafts seized in Toronto on Saturday as a result of a commercial disputes with a New York based hedge-fund and aircraft lender.
“It was a commercial dispute between our sales and leasing company and their New York hedge-fund backers. So the result was they came in [on] on of the peak holiday weekends,” explained Jones.
He said the dispute is relatively minor.
“Roughly a million dollars in slightly overdue lease payments. We really want to find a conceptual solution with the lessor on this because we think that the dispute is minor and the actions were unwarranted,” he said.
For Thompson, getting to Toronto was extremely difficult. She was advised by an agent to purchase a ticket to Ottawa.
“I had to purchase two train tickets to get us from Ottawa to Union Station in Toronto. Then we had to take the Union Pearson Express to the Toronto Airport and from there I ended up having to take an Uber,” said Thompson.
Thompson said the costs she incurred were steep.
“I ended up having an additional $600 in cost that I wasn’t anticipating.”
Thompson was not alone.
A once in a lifetime family trip to Disney World was cut short for Ed Ringwald’s family after their flight out of Kitchener was cancelled.
“There was no interaction it was as far as find your way to get another flight pretty much,” said Ringwald.
He said his family had to scramble and managed to find a flight out of Detroit.
“It’s going to cost them a lot more money plus you have to drive to Detroit.”
Thompson said she had reached out to Flair about possible compensation but the company has declined.
“I was told that due to the reason for the cancellation, they did not owe me anything,” she said.