ZOOM Airlines problems

This is probably more relevant for Canadians on the Helpline, but there may be some passengers from the U.S. also booked (I believe they also flew out of JFK?).

Zoom Airlines has suddenly suspended all operations today, leaving passengers stranded on both sides of the Atlantic. Passengers at some airports were allowed to check luggage in preparation for flights, and a few hours later were told to pick their bags up at the carousel as they wouldn't be going anywhere. This situation is certainly reminiscent of the Canada 3000 situation a few years ago!

If anyone is interested in more details, have a look at This News Site.

The airline is trying to get creditor protection and new investors, so they may fly again? This is one reason I always book transatlantic flights through a travel agent, as in this area they're covered by a Travel Assurance Fund so getting a refund is not a problem (in the event the credit card firm won't cover it).

Hopefully, Zoom will fly again, as they provided excellent service to Europe!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Yes, I read about it in this mornings paper! I too hope they get back on track, used them for last two years with no problem, and loved the "Premium Economy " prices and seating.

Posted by Frank II
USA
4377 posts

And Jazz announced today that it would remove all life vests from its aircraft to lessen weight.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

pat,

I've also used them for several trips to Europe, and enjoyed the 'premium' seating and extra leg room (the 'free' Okanagan wines on the flight home from Paris were a nice touch!).

However, after listening to the travel consultant on Global Noon News today, it's not surprising they ran into trouble. They were apparently offering fares from Vancouver to the U.K. for $99 and with fuel prices today, that would seem to be a really bad business decision.

It will be interesting to see whether they can recover?

Cheers!

Posted by Jon
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
368 posts

Well, I just got screwed.

On the phone with my credit card company now.

Thanks for the heads up!

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3404 posts

The news makes me very sad ! I have used Zoom to London and to Paris and found it a great boon to have such an economical way to travel to Europe. Now we'll have to use bloody old Air Canada. Drat.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Oh Jon, thats awful. I hope your CC covers you.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Ken, ,why is it I never find these 99 dollars fares in time to use them,,,LOL< oh well, I agree its hard to believe that was ever a smart business decision on their part.

Posted by Jon
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
368 posts

Apparently Mastercard will be refunding my money and contacting Zoom themselves as a creditor. I spent 3 hours on hold trying to get through but they have filed the forms and told me to expect to see a credit on my account sooner or later. We got new tix with United that will be connecting through Chicago. Only $700 more which was fine with me considering the late date and the situation!

Posted by Rebekah
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
6 posts

We ran into the same problem!! We we booked to fly with Zoom on Sept 9th and now are stuck... after being on hold with Visa for ages, they told us they will refund our tickets when Zoom officially declares bankruptcy - apparently it's not "official" yet - so do we book new tickets? If someone happens to take over the company, our tickets still stand... if not, we need new tickets! I think we'll get new tickets!

Posted by Jon
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
368 posts

I would not hold out hopes of them coming out of insolvency in the next few weeks. So depending on when your flight is it will probably better to just get new flights and not wait and see. As we are leaving on September 21st, I couldn't justify the risk. We (and the travel agent) watched the flights on other carriers spiking after the Zoom press release appeared (they went up about 100% in a day apparently) so waiting was not a good idea unless we wanted to pay even more.

Personally I think Zoom is done for good as they didn't seem to be adapting at all to the way the market was evolving during the last year. They continued to drop prices and have sales while other carriers started to increase prices and start surcharging. I don't think there is an incentive for another airline to pick them up as they didn't own their planes, had limited runs and were a loss leader to begin with. Other airlines would be happier just to stick you on their planes then try to deal in the short term with keeping Zoom floating.

Posted by Norm
Ottawa, Canada
4555 posts

Part of the problem with credit card refunds is that you actually have to wait until there's a sure sign that the service you purchased won't be delivered. Since Zoom is seeking bankruptcy protection (not bankruptcy) there is a chance it could resume flights. So tickets for flights later in September may not be refundable right now because of that possibility. If you're flying out in a couple of weeks time, however, that's small comfort, so you may get stuck with paying more to get a ticket on another airline now AND be stuck with an unrefundable ticket from Zoom if you choose not to use it. If your credit card company gives you a hassle over this, ask for the service rep's manager. If bankruptcy protection is denied and the company does have to "go bankrupt," then there's no chance the flights will go, so credit card refunds would be made available to ALL ticket holders.

Posted by Jon
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
368 posts

I am keeping my fingers crossed they don't somehow find an angel investor willing to give them $100,000,000.

:D

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

For those living in British Columbia, Ontario or Quebec you also have the option of making a claim against the Travel Assurance Fund if you booked through a travel agent. It's just one more option in the event the credit card companies decide to be "difficult".

Fortunately, there are still some low cost options available to us. Air Transat still seems to be in a solid and stable business position. They've adapted nicely with flights to several destinations in Europe in the spring/summer/fall, and to the "sun" destinations (Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, I believe) in the winter, so their passenger loadings have been good.

There's also Canadian Affair which appears to fly only to the U.K. however getting to other places in Europe from there with other Euro budget airlines shouldn't be too difficult or expensive. C.A. may be affiliated with Thomas Cook which is an airline I'd never heard of until my travel agent booked me on a flight to the U.K. with them in 2004. That's another reason I like dealing with through my travel agent for transatlantic flights. They've been able to find great flight options for me very quickly - at the least, it's saved me a lot of internet time and I also got some good deals. The small service charge has been well worth the cost!

Happy travels all!