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“My Flight Doesn’t Exist:” Budget Airline Leaves Customers Stranded

“My Flight Doesn’t Exist:” Budget Airline Leaves Customers Stranded
Jackie Reddy

There have been widespread reports of customers being left stranded by budget carrier Level. The airline – owned by International Airlines Group – has reportedly delayed the launch of multiple services, but many travelers report that they were not adequately informed of these operational changes.

ABC News reports that transatlantic customers are being left high and dry by Level, a discount carrier that operates as part of the International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways (BA).

One stranded traveler, Erin Levi, revealed her experience with Level to the outlet. Levi had purchased a ticket to Paris from Newark and was due to depart on September 9. However, she arrived at the airport only to find that her given gate simply did not exist.

While the outlet reports that Levi had received an error message while trying to check in online, what she didn’t realize was that the carrier had delayed the debut of its Newark to Paris route until September 18. This information, reports the outlet, was not made public on its website.

Levi made her way to the desk of an airline called OpenSkies, a carrier run by BA. It was here, Levi says, that she was informed that the launch of the Newark to Paris route had been delayed. She was eventually forced to purchase a new ticket with a different carrier.

Commenting on her experience, the travel writer said, “I’ve traveled to over 40 countries even on a handwritten ticket to Uzbekistan and this has never happened before.”

Sadly, Levi’s story is not unique; there are reports of strandings from as far afield as Martinique and Montreal. Many – frustrated by the perceived lack of communication from the carrier – are now setting up social media groups in an attempt to navigate their way through Level’s refund process.

However, Level says that it is doing its best to keep customers abreast of operational changes.

In an email to the outlet, Hugo Trac, Level’s communications and marketing manager stated, “Indeed, on August 20th, we took the prudent decision to postpone by two weeks the launch of our operations between Paris and New York, planned for September 4, for operational reasons. Customers impacted by this launch delay have been alerted by email, sent to [the] address registered in their booking (or to the travel agency that did the booking).”

[Photo: IAG]

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