MADISON (WKOW) -- Some Southern Wisconsin residents are having to change their travel plans after Direct Air announced this week it was suspending its flights until mid-May.
Direct Air runs flights from Rockford's Chicago Rockford International Airport, with an estimated 3,750 expected to use the airline's service to Punta Gorda, Florida between now and May 1, according to airport administration.
Tom Turnquist bought vouchers in the fall through Direct Air's Family Ties promotion, but was having trouble booking a flight.
"I think it was $169 direct flight from Rockford to Punta Gorda, which is maybe a 40-minute drive from Ft. Myers." Turnquist said.
Like many other Direct Air customers who have voiced their complaints about the Family Ties vouchers online, Tom found the dates he wanted were already booked and he struggled to reach anyone at Direct Air by phone.
"It's really almost not worth the time and effort to try to book a flight with this company," Turnquist said.
Airport administration told 27 News Friday morning it has arranged for another carrier to begin service to Fort Myers, Florida on Monday, March 19, and would notify the public when they could start booking flights on that new carrier, Vision Airline. The airport expected those bookings could begin Friday.
Airport administration says people who had purchased flights through Direct Air on credit need to contact their credit card company for a refund, then book a new flight through Vision.
Direct Air's website suggests people who purchased tickets with their debit cards or with cash call 1-855-888-8090 or see detailed instructions for filing a claim with an escrow bank and securer at www.dot.gov.