Niagara Gazette

March 12, 2012

Direct Air cancels Falls flights

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

NIAGARA FALLS — Passengers were left stranded at Niagara Falls International Airport Monday after Direct Air canceled three of its flights.

No explanation was given for the cancelations.

According to calls from the airport, some passengers had already boarded their Direct Air flight when word came that over the plane’s loudspeaker announcing the flight had been cancelled.

The Myrtle Beach-based low-cost canceled at least three flights set to depart Niagara Falls late Monday to West Palm Beach, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda and Myrtle Beach, according to its website.

One passenger called the resulting chaos at the ticket desk “a mob scene.”

Through its website, Direct Air was still accepting reservations for flights out of the Falls, including two — 3:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. — on Saturday to Myrtle Beach, S.C.

A call to Ed Warneck, president of Direct Air, was not returned Monday night.

NFTA Spokesman Doug Hartmayer told Channel 4 News they received word from Direct Air, advising the flights were canceled.

“The NFTA feels extremely bad that our customers were inconvenienced and are reaching out Direct Air to find out what the problem is,” he said.

There were reports Direct Air flights across the country were grounded. The State Journal-Register in Illinois reports that Direct Air also canceled a flight at a Springfield airport with no explanation on Monday.

Direct Air, whose corporate headquarters are located in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has been offering flight service from the Falls since 2007. Flights out of the Falls airport are offered to Myrtle Beach, S.C. and several Florida locations such as Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda, Melbourne and West Palm Beach as well as the Orlando West and Tampa region.