Utah-based Breeze Airways now offers flights from Reid Airport

Breeze Airways has bumpy start with some flights

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Breeze Airways landed in the Las Vegas market barely a week ago but already it’s been a bumpy ride for some passengers who have had to deal with flight cancellations and delays.

Jamie Bova Whitehead, was excited when she heard that the low-cost airline would offer non-stop service to Syracuse, New York. She was even more excited when she paid $69 for her one-way ticket.

Breeze Airways, a Utah-based airline that made its national debut in May 2021, prides itself in offering non-stop service at budget prices to underserved markets.

Breeze Airways. (Business Wire via Associated Press)

“I booked the flight as soon as they opened the route,” Whitehead said.

But Thursday night around 9:30 p.m. she got an email from the airline stating her flight for Friday around 11 a.m. was canceled due to staff shortages. Whitehead was traveling to Syracruse for her mother’s funeral on Saturday, a funeral that had already been postponed twice before due to the pandemic.

“I was scrambling to find tickets,” she said.

And she wasn’t alone. Charles Thompson who was supposed to fly to Richmond, Virginia on Thursday, June 16, said his flight was delayed several times before being canceled. He spent nine hours at Harry Reid International Airport.

“They offered no help,” he said.

Thompson said when he finally got to sleep at 2 a.m. he checked and his flight was rescheduled for Friday at 11:45 a.m. but when he woke up in the morning, he saw it had been moved to 9:30 a.m. Although the airline said it sent out notifications, Thompson said he never received one and barely made the flight.

Text message between Charles Thompson and Breeze Airways. (Credit: Charles Thompson)

Whitehead was able to leave Las Vegas Friday but on a different airline and it cost her $2,985.

Thompson’s delay caused him to miss his first night in his VRBO and then he had to find and pay for a hotel room in Las Vegas. The airline said it would reimburse him up to $125 for the room and $25 for food.

“Breeze has had to make some cancellations and temporary schedule adjustments for some flights in the coming months due to the constraints of crew availability, including that it is taking longer than expected to certify pilots for the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A220s.  In most cases, this may mean trimming one or two weekly frequencies from a route.”

Ryne Williams, communications specialist, Breeze Airways

Breeze Airways has been expanding its service and is making a significant investment in Las Vegas. Currently, it offers flights from Las Vegas to Richmond, VA, Syracuse, NY, and Fort Myers, FL. However, by October 6, it will offer or add flights from Las Vegas to Norfolk, VA, Huntsville, AL, Charleston, SC, Hartford, CT, Westchester, NY, Jacksonville, FL, Provo/Salt Lake City, UT, and Akron/Canton, OH.

According to media reports, in the past few months, Breeze Airways had to scale back flights in several cities including Charleston, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Providence, and Jacksonville.

It’s no secret that air travel has been less than pleasant for some airline passengers. Numerous airlines have been forced to delay or cancel flights in recent months due to staffing shortages or other issues.

According to FlightAware which is a website that tracks flights, on Thursday, June 16, there were 1,759 flight cancellations and 8,827 delays on flights within the U.S. or traveling into or out of the U.S. On Friday, June 17, there were 1,251 cancellations and 3,913 delays.

Williams said Breeze Airways is working to limit the impact on its customers but shares this advice.

“We recommend that travelers turn on Breeze app notifications and watch for text messages about possible schedule adjustments.”

Passengers do have some rights when it comes to delayed or canceled flights. You can find out more about those at this link.

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