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Direct Air Cancels All Flights From Kalamazoo To Myrtle Beach With No Warning
Posted by on
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Back in April 2009, I purchased 4 round trip tickets to Myrtle Beach. Direct Air had advertised and marketed this " direct from Kalamazoo to Myrtle Beach" route with lots of fanfare starting in December 2008. The trip was scheduled for July 6, 2009 and almost $1000.00 was taken from my account to pay for the tickets. Then on June 20th, just a couple weeks before the flight, I got a voice mail ( no e-mail, no personal phone call) saying to call a number concerning our flight. I called and was on hold for over an hour. Finally a female who sounded about 12 years old and had about the same intelligence level, said the route to Myrtle Beach was stopped. We had already booked a Marriott Resort Hotel, a rental car, reserved kennel for the dog, and purchased certificates from Restaurant.com for use in Myrtle Beach. She had no further information and said they would credit the money back, but nothing else for the short notice. Of course now being so close to travel time, the same flight on another airline is 3 to 4 times as much per ticket. When I asked how long I would have to wait for the money to be refunded, she had no concrete information and said it could be weeks. So they used my money for over two months, cancelled the flight and broke the contract with me, and still have not refunded our money. They are probably going bankrupt. I called our local newspaper, who had not heard that Direct Air had pulled all flights and gave them the info. Direct Air is sneaky, dishonest and extremely inconsiderate and has not refunded the money they took. I have been on hold today for over an hour waiting for a Direct Air "representative" to find out the status of the refund. Save yourself a headache and DO NOT book with Direct Air.

I just got through after an hour and 20 minute wait. The woman said "Only one employee is processing the credits, and he has other obligations and that is why it is taking so long". Oh really? Have you ever heard of hiring a temporary worker to help process credits for the people you have already pissed off by canceling their vacations? I guarantee that Direct Air will not last. Not with this type of customer service.
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-27:
I am very surprised that an airline as new as this one is already destroying the trust of its customers like this.

The route is no longer being offered but is still on their route map, so I believe this. Voted helpful.
Anonymous on 2009-06-27:
Tigroy, do they have a local business office you can just walk into? You could probably get more done in person, just a thought.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-27:
The corporate office is in Myrtle Beach, the OP's destination.
Anonymous on 2009-06-27:
Wasn't there a wildfire in Myrtle Beach, SC not too long ago?

Could be why the route was canceled though not removed from their route map.

Just a thought.
Anonymous on 2009-06-27:
I see that SC, only in Myrtle Beach, S.C., that sucks. Guess it's sitting on the phone for the refund then.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-27:
It's made the news, and I believe this is the OP featured in the story.

http://www.mlive.com/business/kzgazette/index.ssf?/base/business-6/1245336631101470.xml&coll=7
Anonymous on 2009-06-27:
Good find, I like this part the best (talk about sleazy).

"Tull said that Direct Air initially canceled all April and May flights to Myrtle Beach but continued to try to sell flights for the June, July and August, causing the delay in Harrison's notification".

Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-27:
Agreed, big time. This is really going to hurt this airline's customer relations.
Ben There on 2009-06-28:
From a financial standpoint, who cares about customer relations in a city that is not buying much of your product anyway. If Direct Air survives this year, I doubt they will ever go back into Kalamazoo. Even if they do, a week of $10 fares will help most people forget.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-28:
Direct Air still has routes from Kalamazoo to Punta Gorda and Sanford, FL.
Ben There on 2009-06-28:
Wow, what kind of business plan do they have? Allegiant on crack? Regardless, my point is that from a business standpoint you have to weigh you regional customer perception vs. the bottom line.

If people don't think much of you anyway (at least not from a sales perspective) or if the cost of continuing a service far outweighs the revenue generated, then it is best to take a hit on PR side instead of going broke making people feel warm and fuzzy about your brand.
BokiBean on 2009-06-28:
Their CEO says, "``And if they want to go to the beach they can go to the beach up there ,''????

That's not even a matter of bad PR, that's a matter of just being callus and clueless.

Ben There on 2009-06-28:
Boki, that is what you get when you book am ultra low cost or charter carrier...
BokiBean on 2009-06-28:
I know Ben, but that is just a horrible attitude for their CEO to have..
Anonymous on 2009-06-28:
Just read in the paper today that the Irish carrier Ryan Air to cut costs will stop checking luggage (carry on only). And they will have no counter agents, you have to check in and get your tickets on-line. Think they are starting it in September. We only paid $10 Euro's each to go from Dublin to London with Ryan Air. No wonder they are trying to cut costs.
Anna on 2011-12-09:
I wish there was more consumer info on these jerks. I never would have booked with them. We paid for flights to San Juan, PR a few months ago. THen based on getting cheap flights, we booked our February cruise, and hotels. Now, in December 2011, they send an email saying to call them. And the useless "customer service" woman says the flight is cancelled. Just like that, no explanation or help. We are so screwed. The cruise has now been paid in full and is mostly not refundable. It will cost me about $300 more to get new flights. I wrote corporate and got back a "sorry, too bad" form letter. Then I sent them the nastiest letter I've even sent a company. SO DO NOT try to fly with them.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Failure to Follow Through With Promotion
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FLYING OUT OF WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -- I have been trying since December to confirm 5 flights that have already been paid for. The family ties promotion offered purchase of air fare tickets then, destinations and dates to be confirmed when we wanted to make them.

There has been no contact available by phone; a machine picks up and says to call back later; no option to hold on.

I tried again today and message said to hold on; which I did for 82 minutes before a live agent came on. The flights I wanted in April were
not available; nothing is available in April. I asked for a refund. They do not refund. I asked if they would put on another flight to accommodate all those they overbooked and she said no, it is not their fault if there are no flights left. I asked her name. No answer. I asked to speak with a manager. She hung up on me. Now, I ask you: Is this any way to run a business? Is there no recourse?
F. Y.I. THEY ARE OFFERING A NEW PROMOTION NOW: WAY 2 GO.........I would not trust this to work either.
     
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Beware Of Travel On Direct Air!
Posted by on
PUNTA GORDA, FLORIDA -- We have used this airline because we have a large family and the prices are inexpensive. Every flight has been delayed an average of at least 6 hours. Almost every flight has been a mechanical problem and there are no back up planes when that happens. The staff at the airport are absolutely clueless and rude. They have only 2 or 3 checking people in for 2 flights leaving at the same time. Often times there is a 200 people backup in line. If you have plans on the day of travel do not expect to get there on time. Plan on spenfing $50 at the small pathetic snack bar. Expect there to be no communication from the airline staff. Expect Mayhem when the flight takes off and there are not enough seats. Handicapped people and children are not getting on first. It may be cheap but It is not worth the headache!
     
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Alain on 2012-01-06:
Sometimes the bargain rate isn't worth the lower quality service. You can make an official complaint at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/problems.htm However, it's probably easier to spend a little more for a slightly better quality airline.
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Direct Air Great Customer Service
Posted by on
NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK -- My husband and I booked flights to Lakeland Florida in October 2011 and a Direct Air Customer Service Rep called to inform me the flight had been overbooked but had booked us through an nearby airport (Buffalo, NY) for an alternative flight. The flight was the same day and still non stop. It was now with Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines then called to give me further confirmations. Then Direct Air called me again to tell me that my husband and I were being given two non-stop return flights for FREE to be used anytime in the next 12 months for all our inconvenience and gave me a conf# to use. So contrary to complaints against this airline, I say bravo to Direct Air!!
     
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Alain on 2011-12-12:
When a company does something right, I'm always happy to see it!
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Flights for Spring Break Cancelled 2 months ago - we were not notified!
Posted by on
NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK -- We booked an extended family vacation with Cruise to San Juan for Spring Break. We heard from a friend - who heard from a friend, that Direct Air hand cancelled some flights out of Niagara FAlls. Upon calling Direct Air myself, I found out that in fact our flight had been cancelled, 2 months prior! When asked why I hadn't been contacted, or a refund hadn't been issued, they said they were working their way through a big list, and calls were being made based on when we booked. We booked 7 months ago!
We have now re-booked using a major airlines and paid over $1100 more than our original cost as we are getting too close to our travel period, and all the Direct Air cancelled flights to San Juan, Barbados and a Florida destination that's gone, are scrambling to leave the same weekend!@
Thanks a lot Direct Air.
Great Customer service! NOT!
     
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trmn8r on 2011-12-04:
The way thing are in the airline ticket business these days, your complaint is a good reminder to everyone to intermittently check on their reservations. A lot of cancellations are taking place as airlines fight to be profitable and fly full planes.
CowboyFan on 2011-12-05:
Direct Air is a charter flight. All charter flights risk being cancelled if not enough people sign up, or there are problems with planes, etc. The problem is compounded by buying through a third party, Cruise.com, since Direct Air might not even have your contact information.
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Do Not Do Business With This Airline
Posted by on
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -- We bought 2 Family Ties vouchers in April this year and a week ago, I went online to reserve flights in January, 2012. I followed up with an email asking how long it would be before I heard whether we had the flights requested. I have heard from neither the reservation request nor the email. My next move is to sue them under Massachusetts General Law 93A for unfair and deceptive practices. Fortunately, I am a lawyer who can do it. If this has happened to you and you have lost money as a result, contact a Massachusetts lawyer who deals in consumer protection if you are in Massachusetts and want to sue them as well.
     
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Circuits Busy - No response from efforts to contact through Web Site
Posted by on
We pre-purchased two of the family ties vouchers (the special ended 9/11/11)from Direct Air. Ticket reservations opened 9/12 for the family vouchers. We went on the web site at 12:01 A.M. and submitted a round trip reservation request for a Punta Gorda departure in December with a return from Kalamazoo, MI. We are supposed to receive an e-mail letting us know if the flight reservation has been accepted. It has been 48 hours and no response. We have tried to call Direct Air numerous times and "all circuits are busy". We have sent e'mail contacts through the web site and no response. Our next move if we do not hear from this company in the next 24 hours is to cancel the charges. This whole situation leaves me wondering how this company does business. They obviously are understaffed and are totally lacking in customer service. I do not recommend doing business with this airlines.
     
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BEJ on 2011-09-13:
Perhaps they have been overwhelmed by the number of responses. If it is a really great deal you might want to give them more time to respond if that fits in with your time schedule.
no response on 2011-11-20:
They do NOT respond to emails! DO NOT USE THEM!
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Direct Air - Family Ties Sep 2011
Posted by on
I left this as a comment on another post, then thought it probably deserves its own heading.

Today is Sep 12, which is the first day you can book for the Family Ties passes that were sold until last week. Having read some of the reviews I was not looking forward to the experience. My goal for purchasing these passes was for inexpensive flights to FLA to get on a cruise with my parents and family (6 total). Before I bought the passes I called the customer service # (on Sep 5) and asked how many seats were available for the flights I wanted (constrained by the cruise schedule). There were 50 each I was told, which is how many are blocked for this promotion. The woman said if I called back on the 12th I should have no problem. I had a hard time getting through today (all lines busy) but called the main number on the website and they transferred me into the system. I was on hold for 1/2 hour and heard some key clicking then was disconnected. Called back the same way again, waited 35 minutes, and had my call handled. It all went very smoothly. I got the flights I wanted, all seats booked together on both flights, and no service charges (was advised of luggage charges for checked bags and given advice to pre-pay the day before once we were packed). Very courteous male agent. Now to see if the flights go as planned, but so far I'm happy with the promotion and the service.
     
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Direct Air Family Ties
Posted by on
I bought 6 Family Ties passes intending to use them on the Niagara Falls / Punta Gorda route this past winter.

Every time I tried to book a flight either the flights were full or one of the legs was full so I could get there but not back or (and this really makes me crazy) the allocation of Family Ties seat on this particular flight was used up. Who knew there was small print that said seats for Family Ties pass holders were restricted ?

So here I am, still holding 6 passes. Direct Air have stopped flights to Florida for the season and by the time they start flying again the passes will have expired and I will be out of pocket over $600.

I have tried e-mailing them on a number of occasions but they have never responded. Calling them is a complete waste of time. You can wait hours to get through and get absolutely no help at at all from the person who eventually answers the phone.

I am surprised an enterprising lawyer hasn't jumped all over this.

     
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yoke on 2011-05-16:
This is typical DirectAir. They take the money with no intentions of ever giving the service. There are many other complaints with these family tie passes. Time for the government to look into this scam.
ngeorge on 2011-05-16:
I would never buy an airline ticket without a reservation number. As I have said before there are enough 50% off promotions, no need for family ties. Family ties is just a modern day standby service. If you have no commitments and are willing to fly somewhere on a whim it may work.
Than being said you do have a legitimate beef, and I would try calling their haed office, not the call centre. Both Plattsburgh and Niagara Falls are important markets for them, being border towns. I have flown to Punta Gorda in February/ March and was aware that is a seasonal winter destination.
yoke on 2011-05-16:
Unfortunately people trusted this airline, thinking if they gave money they would get a flight. Seems DirectAir has NO intentions of allowing people who bought the seats to use them. It was a scam. Can't wait to see them go out of business.
ngeorge on 2011-05-19:
I am a Canadian who has used the PLATTSBURGH airport for six flights so far. Have conversed with a Family Ties client sitting next to me who has flown this way. Being retired and spending the winters in Florida, he comes and goes at the availability of seats with Direct Air. And that's what this marketing ploy is. I wouldn't plan a vacation with F ties. But for last munite whims it could work. As I have mentioned before there are enough 50% off promotions that they do, ( one is going on right now until Saturday) to find a real flight with a confirm number etc. Direct Air is a charter and they will cancel flights if there are few or no passengers. The problem here is the next flight might be in two days. They will return your money as per federal regulations, although I hear it takes 14 days. Personally I feel that DA is a victim of their own success, they are expanding very quickly constantly adding destinations out of these smaller airports.
Recently I called head office to speak to marketing about the feasibility of flights from Plattsburgh to West Palm Beach, I was connected immediately to a very polite employee. I agree the call centre is a challenge, but be patient, put them on speaker phone, grab a coffee, you will be responded. The email communication works too.

Hope this helps.
longtimeflyer on 2011-05-21:
the thing is with the family tie is the reason why they lawer hasn't took anything about the family ties because it says in the terms that their limited space for the family ties and it is 50 per flight and a lot of people have been booking for a befor you got your.....and I used to work for them.....
yoke on 2011-05-23:
It is to bad that when DA takes the money from the customer they also do not tell the customer that there is a huge chance that they will not fly out on the day they think they are. I would not call it success I would call it greed.
ngeorge on 2011-05-24:
I read somewhere that 95% of their scheduled flights do fly. Again it's a charter, there are risks as this is not Air Canada with a fleet of jets and many destinations so alternate arrangements can be made. I can only speak from experience, and my six flights have all left on time with no unusual incidents.

At prices that are 70% cheaper than those from Canadian destinations, I will assume some risk. But at the same time I know the market that Plattsburgh serves and they have been very successful there. Believe me there are flights from Plattsburgh that do go to Myrtle and Punta Gordo.
I cannot buy the line that they never fly, and just take clients money.

yoke on 2011-05-24:
ngeorge, you have been very lucky to have been able to fly with DA after buying your ticket. That is NOT the norm. There are more complaints about not being able to fly or use the tickets purchased. I can tell you that it is a 25% chance that you will be able to fly Punta Gorda to Worcester. It would be nice if DA let the consumer know up front that they may not be able to fly the day that you purchased for and if your flight gets cancelled it will take 14 business days to get your money back.
Janet on 2011-06-05:
Those Family Ties Vouchers are such a RIP-OFF! I trusted DirectAir. Why? I don't know! Probably because I was so happy they came into our local under-used airport. I have 2 sets of round-trip tickets that I bought for planned trips in October 2011 (vouchers expire 10/31/11) and April 2012 (vouchers expire 4/30/12). SLIGHT PROBLEM: they suspended their flights to my destination and they REFUSE to extend the vouchers!

I agree -- how can they get away with this SCAM? My goal now is to warn as many people as I can about this RIP-OFF!

And, they have absolutely NO CONCERN FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. It's evident in every single dealing I've had with them!
Jack C on 2011-07-01:
I am sorry to post this, but feel compelled to share what I believe is terrible business practices. I hope others won't make the mistake I made, it was costly, DA had $700 of my hard earned money and I have nothing. As someone stated in an earlier post, "this is a family owned and run business", too bad they don't exhibit any flexibility or family values. I purchased $700 worth of tickets, when events beyond my control made it impossible for me to use my tickets, I asked for an extension on the time limits and was told "absolutely not". Not much of a family in my book. I have flown them before and when their schedule wasn't on time, due to events out of their control, we sat patiently without a word, not one complaint since they were "family" for several hours. Our flight was probably one of the worst flights and most uncomfortable flying experiences I ever had, but I didn't say a word, except a few prayers that we would land safely. After all, weather conditions aren't controlled by DA. I have always flown Delta primarily, thinking I was saving a few bucks was the draw, what a joke. In the end, I have had better service, better prices and better flights with the old reliable airlines. Don't be fooled with this company, they only want your money and when they have it, they obviously don't care about their customers. I could go on with other examples about this company, but I think you get the message. I'll never fly Direct Air again. The reviews I have read here say it all when it comes down to the truth. No good company worth its salt should allow these complaints to go unanswered
ngeorge on 2011-07-05:
Have you tried emailing Ed Warneck at Direct Air? He is the president, and responded very promptly to a recent email of mine. I assume these are family ties.
ewarneck@myrtlebeachdirect.com
spoont on 2011-09-12:
Sep 12, which is the first day you can book for the Family Ties passes that were sold until last week. Having read some of the reviews I was not looking forward to the experience. My goal for purchasing these passes was for inexpensive flights to FLA to get on a cruise with my parents and family. Before I bought the passes I called the customer service # and asked how many seats were available for the flights I wanted (constrained by the cruise schedule). There were 50 each I was told, which is how many are blocked for this promotion. The woman said if I called back on the 12th I should have no problem. I had a hard time getting through today (all lines busy) but called the main number on the website and they transferred me into the system. I was on hold for 1/2 hour and heard some key clicking then was disconnected. Called back the same way again, waited 35 minutes, and had my call handled. It all went very smoothly. I got the flights I wanted, all seats booked together on both flights, and no service charges (was advised of luggage charges for checked bags and given advice to pre-pay the day before once we were packed). Very courteous agent. Now to see if the flights go as planned, but so far I'm happy with the promotion and the service.
J Swales on 2012-03-14:
I bought three passes in December 2011. I gave them to my grandchildren as xmas gifts to be used for March Break. I began in January to confirm the reservations for that time. As of last Friday, March 9th, 2012 they were not responding to my request. Last night March 13, 2012 I get an email telling me they have ceased operations until May 15, 2012. This was a total scam as pointed out above. Now, how do I prove to the Credit Card company that I have not been able to utilize these prepaid passes??
I doubt if they will ever honour these passes. How many families are now stranded without return flights that were booked and paid to Direct Air. Terrible!!
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Direct air
Posted by on
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I fly with them when I can. What people don't understand is that they are a Charter...And you know what make it hard on people to book is that people talk to the agent. And they do have it harder that you do. I have flone them over I would say about 50 time in in the last year.... I talk to some of the agents online from time to time.. I ask one tonight how there day went they said that it was very bad because people aren't nice to them. And its not up to them on canceling the flight. That comes from a higher up... SO GIVE THEM A BRAKE PLEASE.... THANK YOU
     
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yoke on 2011-05-04:
Part of their job is to deal with upset customers. DirectAir cancels all the time for no reason other than the flight is not full. My niece was to be on a 7am flight, got the call that it was cancelled and was put on the 5pm flight, which ended up being overbooked. She needed to be out that day and DirectAir did not care. She was offered another flight 2 days later. She ended up flying home Southwest.
lnogtimeflyer on 2011-05-04:
yes they do deal with up set people but they don't need to be called some of the name that you all call them.... Now I know that when we get mad we say stuff that we don't mean... but they agents that we talk to its not there fault that the flight gets canceled that comes from a the main off when the clight get canceled.... I bet they also to you that they wear sorry to or at least tried to..... Don't the othere airlines cancel there flights ...... The last time I heard they do..... so why don't you take it easy the nexts time that you talk to a agent.....
yoke on 2011-05-04:
Unless the agent is willing to give the phone number of the person who cancelled the flight then yes they have to deal with the irate customer. The irate customer is the one paying the agents salary and the irate customer has just been told that their flight is cancelled and there is nothing that can be done about it. The agent still gets paid and the customer is out money and out a flight. If you are lucky you may get a live person to speak to at Direct Air. It is rare that happens.
lnogtimeflyer on 2011-05-05:
yes but the things should they have to put up with people calling them a**holes and b***hs and w***s and stupied stuff like that they aren't the one that cancels the flights they are just the person that books your flight...and the people that curse them need to be hung up on.... someone that call me and call me them name I would hang up on them to.....so I don't blam them....so give the agents a brake I know that it make you mad to have something like that canceled after paying as money for but don't call them names..... what you do if you was in there shoes???? stop and think about that the nexts time you call someone and book a flight..... and stop and think what would your mother say to you if she hear you talk like that....
yoke on 2011-05-05:
The agents are the only ones that the customer can talk to, if they are lucky enough to speak to someone at DirectAir. Of course they are going to be the ones getting the angry customer and the customer has all rights to be angry. It is not as if Direct Air cancels for a good reason and has another flight in the near future to get out on. They will cancel if the flight is not full and then expect you to wait a couple of days to get out and then if you are lucky get on a flight. I would hope that the next time someone books a flight with DirectAir the agent is honest and tells them that just because they purchased this flight does not guarantee they will ever fly. Maybe if they tell the customer that then the customers will not be as upset when they find out that were had by the airline.
Anonymous on 2011-05-05:
Anytime you work with the public in customer service, you have to be prepared to deal with anger. I know, it doesn't make it right to scream and call people names, but it does happen and you have to learn to tune that stuff out and move on. Especially in this industry. And any good company will train their employees very well in how to handle conflict.
Cwazychicken on 2011-05-07:
If people can't handle customers feedback, good or bad, then maybe that's the wrong job for them......
trmn8r on 2011-05-07:
I'm not sure whom you are addressing when you say "names that you all call them"

The people who might be inclined to regale CSR's with obscenities may not frequent consumer feedback websites.

I've become frustrated with CSR's on the phone, but I don't call them names. That isn't going to go anywhere except a dial tone.
lnogtimeflyer on 2011-05-08:
no some of the people call them name that really cut to the quick
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