Passenger anger over cancellation notification

Passenger anger over cancellation notification

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Passengers still waiting or hear from Stobart after flights cancelled – © Pat Flynn 2014

Customers of Stobart Air and Aer Lingus Regional have expressed anger at the airline’s failure to advise them they are pulling out of Shannon.

On Friday hundreds of customers learned from newspaper reports that Stobart Air will withdraw from Shannon and axe a total of 20 weekly flights from January 5th next.

Formerly Aer Arann, Stobart Air currently operates services from Shannon to Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh on behalf of Aer Lingus under the Aer Lingus Regional brand.

After confirming plans to axe it’s Shannon operation late last week, Stobart Air said they would be contacting passengers directly.

However, yesterday (Monday) some passengers said they still had heard nothing from the airline and have expressed anger at being ‘left in the dark.’

One regular traveller to Edinburgh said: “I can’t believe this at all. I actually don’t know what to believe because if what’s being reported is true, the airline hasn’t bothered to tell me.”

Another passenger said: “We’re booked to travel to Edinburgh for a hen weekend in February and all we know is we don’t have a flight. Nobody has contacted us to tell us why and I read about it in the newspapers.”

“Right now we don’t know what we’re going to do or what Aer Lingus Regional are going to do for us. Are they going to tell us get lost, here’s your money back,” she added.

In early November, Stobart’s 22 staff at Shannon, comprising pilots, cabin crew and two aircraft engineers, were told that the airline planned closing the base.

Stobart Air declined to comment on the planned closure and would only confirmed they were reviewing their operation at Shannon.

On Thursday night last however and flights on the routes could no longer be book on line, the airline finally confirmed plans to cease operations at Shannon.

“Shannon does not fit with our current strategic plan, and we have to make the right long-term choices for the airline,” the airline said.

The company also said: “Passengers with bookings for flights after 5 January 2015 will be contacted directly by the airline in the coming days. All passengers will be re-booked on alternative Aer Lingus Regional flights from other airports or given a full refund.”

Yesterday (Monday) the airline said: “We have commenced engaging with passengers regarding alternative flight arrangements/refunds.”

In October, Stobart axed it’s Shannon to Manchester service a day after Ryanair commenced operations on the same route.

While Stobart said that decision had nothing to do with Ryanair taking up the route, just days later, the airline informed staff at Shannon of plans to close the base there.

Stobar Air confirmed this Tuesday that all customers have now been contacted by text and email and have been offered refunds or the opportunity to book alternative flights from Cork or Dublin.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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