Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Flair Airlines debacle

A Vancouver resident is awaiting compensation after being stuck at Kelowna International Airport for more than eight hours.

Marina Rometsch expected to fly out of Kelowna with Flair Airlines at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday, but was left with no idea when she would be able to leave after the plane twice made an emergency landing.

The Boeing 737-400 landed back at YLW twice due to a safety interlock, which prevented the landing gear from retracting once in the air.

According to Rometsch, passengers were not given any information on when the plane would leave YLW.

After waiting eight hours, until 8 p.m., a representative from Air North approached the frustrated travellers and said it had flights available.

“I chose to do that so I could get home because there still wasn’t any details about when it would be taking off and I had to come to work Monday,” she said. "After waiting hours just to ask to re-book my flight, I was told that I could be reimbursed.”

Rometsch was assured by Flair she would receive a refund. She emailed the company to confirm once she got home Sunday night, but was surprised when a customer support representative told her she would not be receiving reimbursement because the plane did take off.

“Due to the nature of the delay, we do not offer financial compensation when the flight has been flown,” the company said in an email to Rometsch.

Castanet contacted a Flair representative, who now says the woman will be reimbursed. But the final outcome is still unclear, as Rometsch has been told yet again that no refund is coming. 

“I never would have purchased that ticket, and I am sure others would not have, if we hadn’t been told for sure that we would be reimbursed,” she said. “Not all of us can afford to pay this additional fee.”

She said she won't fly with a budget airline ever again. 

“Now I have paid over $300 for a terrible flight,” she said. “It was awful … they were incredibly understaffed and they told us people already left the office.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.castanet.net

Flair Airline passengers were stuck at Kelowna International Airport for over eight hours on Sunday.

Passengers boarded and took off in a plane not once, but twice and each time had to make an emergency landing.

Jules Rempel, Director Communications and Marketing for Flair Airlines said the landing gear system was never jeopardized, but that the issue was because a safety interlock that did not release after lift off.

“This is a safety system that prevents the gear from ever coming up when it is on the ground,” she said.

The safety system prevents the landing gear from retracting while on the ground, but once the plane was in the air it stayed out.

“The sensor thought it was on the ground and would not retract once it was on the ground,” she said.

Crews investigated and thought the issue was an “on-time thing” and all of the checks were approved.

“When they went for the second time there was an interlock cable that had been adjusted on the edge,” she said.

Numerous passengers took to Twitter saying the entire experience was horrible and a man was even escorted out of the airport.

“Our number one intention is to always get our passengers safely to their next destination and in an on-time manner. Unfortunately the on-time piece of the puzzle did not happen yesterday,” she said.

“We apologize for that. We worked diligently that we could get them on their way although delayed,” said Rempel.

Another aircraft was called to YLW from Edmonton and passengers left Kelowna just before 10 p.m.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.castanet.net

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