LOGANAIR has said that around 400 passengers have so far benefited from its new compassionate fares, introduced in September last year following a powerful online campaign that originated in Shetland.
The airline has come under significant pressure from the Islanders for Fair Air Fares Facebook campaign with thousands of passengers expressing their dissatisfaction with the performance of its operation.
Since then Loganair management have been striving to turn around the fate of the airline, committing to much-needed investments aimed at increasing punctuality and reliability.
As part of its improvement programme, the airline negotiated with campaigners the introduction of a compassionate fare policy allowing islanders to make urgent travel arrangements at heavily discounted rates in times of family bereavement or critical illness.
The company has also introduced improved airfare terms for student travel.
On Wednesday, Loganair management said it wanted more people to be aware of the benefits of the compassionate fare policy.
Its chief executive Stewart Adams said: “The policy’s introduction was made possible through constructive collaboration between Loganair, Scott Preston and the volunteers of the Facebook page campaign, and I hope many more customers continue to make use of this very worthwhile offering.”
Preston added: “The airline should be commended for listening to and working with their customers to improve their service offering.
“I am grateful to Loganair for their generosity in agreeing to introduce this scheme and I hope it will continue to serve islanders and their families for many years to come.”
One of those who found the new scheme a “real help” was Richard Gibb, who was able to take his family to Shetland for his grandmother’s funeral in Yell last December.
The 39 year old said: “I looked at flights from Cardiff up to Glasgow or Edinburgh and then on to Shetland. Given the reason for the flight I was making a booking at short notice, so flight costs were obviously higher.
“I looked at driving up and getting the ferry, but with petrol, possible overnight accommodation, ferry costs and food, it was working out nearly the same and would’ve taken a lot of time and been a lot of hassle.
“My uncle told me about the compassionate fare option and I called the ADS phone number. I called and manager to get all of us booked and saved around £500 all in from the original cost.”
The scheme is available across 19 Loganair routes in Scotland and provides a 50 per cent discount on fares to eligible customers in times of a family emergency.
Details of both polices (compassionate air fares and student discounts) including application forms are available at: www.loganair.co.uk/farefinder