National Airlines Shuts Down
||:: Late-Breaking News
(Posted: Nov 7, 2002)
Frequent flyers now have one less airline to kick around. National Airlines announced on Wednesday, Nov. 6 that it was ceasing operations.
National said it would not be issuing refunds on purchased tickets and people left holding tickets purchased with a credit card will need to apply to those creditors for a refund. Several airlines, including Frontier, US Airways, America West and Alaska Airlines have agreed to honor the tickets on a standby basis should seats become available. By law the airlines are allowed to charge a processing fee.
Up until National?s demise, both Virgin Atlantic flying club members and LatinPass members could book award travel on National. Virgin said it was contacting its flying club members who had planned to use their miles for award travel on National.
" We are contacting the members and we will be refunding the miles or try and find alternative partner to fly them instead," said Wendy Buck, a public relations manager with Virgin. Buck said the British airline would also continue to give mileage credit for flights taken on National over the past six months.
A spokesman for LatinPass lamented the demise of the airline: "It?s a tragic thing. It?s really unfortunate." While no specific plans have yet been made to compensate members who may have booked award travel on National, LatinPass insists that "We?ll do what we can."
More than 7 million passengers flew the Las Vegas-based airline in its brief three-year history. In a statement posted on its Web site, National President and CEO Michael Conway said the company could not complete a reorganization plan mandated by its senior management, board of directors and some key creditors. The carrier was dealt a blow earlier this year when its application for a federal loan guarantee of $50 million was turned down by the Air Transportation Stabilization Board.
"This is a very sad day for the 1,500 employees of National Airlines, the City of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada as well as the travelling public who now have one less choice to meet their travel needs," Conway said in a prepared statement. "I truly hope that other carriers pick up the service vacuum and still maintain the low fare competition that National brought into every city we served."
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