Windsor

Flair Airlines cancels service from Windsor to Montreal without notifying customers

Flair Airlines will stop its flights from Windsor, Ont., to Montreal after Feb. 6. According to one Windsor resident, the airline company didn't notify customers and he only found out his flight was cancelled when he tried to book another one in March.

The last flight from Windsor to Montreal via Flair is on Feb. 6

A white large-body plane with a black tail and green accents sits on the runway.
Flair Airlines will stop flight service from Windsor, Ont., to Montreal after Feb. 6, but a customer who booked a flight for Feb. 17 said he was not notified about the cancellation. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC)

Flair Airlines has cancelled its biweekly flight from Windsor, Ont., to Montreal without notifying passengers their trips have been cancelled. 

On Jan. 5, Aidan Gendreau booked a flight to Montreal to visit his girlfriend in Ottawa on Feb. 17. 

He was able to put in his reservation code and see his flight was confirmed through Flair's app, but when Gendreau went on the airline's website to book another trip in March he saw there were no flights available. 

"I was confused. I remember when I was booking this, I mean, [the flight dates] went all the way into April," he said. 

"Now I'm seeing if they don't have anything after Feb. 6 and my flight's on the seventeenth. I'm like, 'Oh well, that's not looking right,'" he said. 

Flair Airlines will continue offering flights out of Windsor International Airport to Tucson, Ariz. for the winter. CEO Mark Galvin said the airline will begin offering flights to Halifax again in early June. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

A Flair Airlines representative told CBC News in an email, "The airline has made the decision to stop its service to Montreal from Windsor for the time being."

It also said "passengers who have booked tickets will receive full refunds."

Jasmine Lagundzija, media relations consultant with Flair Airlines, said the airline "began notifying affected customers Friday" and finished notifying them on Monday. 

She said in an email, "The team prioritized all upcoming flights and abided by the [Air Passenger Protections Regulation] requirements, which includes a 15-day regulatory requirement."

But Gendreau said he still hasn't received an email notifying him the flight has been cancelled or he would get his money back.

For Gendreau, the sudden cancellation means choosing between extra fees or non-refundable deposits. 

"I already have a hotel booked, I already have my train from Montreal airport to Ottawa booked, I already have a return flight out of Ottawa booked," he said. 

"And then I realized that I don't even have a way to get there."

Gendreau said he had to book a new flight that cost an extra $150. 

Flights to Halifax on pause until June

Flair launched the Windsor-Montreal route less than a year ago. The offering began July 7, 2022, as part of several new flights, which included service to Halifax and Tucson, Ariz. 

Flair's flights to Tucson from Windsor are still available through the winter. But the airline told CBC News that flights to Halifax are on pause until the beginning of June.

Mark Galvin, CEO of Windsor International Airport, said the airport has plans to "announce a new route with Flair in the coming weeks," and he believes Windsor's "residents will be excited about."

He was unable to comment on what the new route is or why Flair cancelled its flights without informing customers. 

"We always work with our airline partners. They have business decisions to make and we try to support all of our airline partners," Galvin said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cara Nickerson is a journalist with CBC Hamilton and CBC Windsor. She covers all topics, but has a special interest in reporting on social issues and community events.

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