Information for consumers regarding the cessation of service by
National Airlines, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since December 6, 2000, ceased flight operations on November 6, 2002. Set forth below are certain alternatives available to National Airlines customers who have paid for future transportation, or who have other claims against the carrier involving travel that took place through November 6, 2002.
1. Transportation options
If you purchased transportation from National Airlines or from a travel agency where National was the "issuing carrier," you should attempt to make arrangements on other airlines if you still wish to travel. Several airlines are reportedly accepting National tickets on a space-available basis (perhaps with a service charge) or are permitting passengers to purchase confirmed-space discount tickets with advance-purchase restrictions waived. For further information on the obligations of other airlines to honor National tickets, go to http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/20021114.pdf.
National Airlines is making no refunds at this time, even if a refund had been requested prior to the cessation of operations. The carrier is currently under the protection of the bankruptcy court.
If you charged your National Airlines transportation with a credit card (whether or not you received the ticket) and you have difficulty using the transportation or refund options described above, you may be able to have the cost of the ticket credited to your credit card account as described below.
Write to the credit card issuer, being sure to state your account number. Enclose a photocopy of the ticket, itinerary or receipt if possible, or indicate the price of the transportation and the date it was purchased. If the transportation was partially used, identify the used and unused segments. State that National Airlines is in bankruptcy and has ceased operations, that you will not receive the services that you charged to your account and that you are requesting a credit pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act.
The credit card issuer must receive this notice no later than 60 days after the date that you received the first monthly statement that listed the charge for the National Airlines transportation, although credit card companies sometimes waive this deadline for future transportation. If you have a paper ticket, some credit card issuers may ask for the original unused ticket. If this is requested, keep a photocopy and send the original ticket certified mail. Do not send the original ticket unless it is requested. However, it would be a good idea to enclose a copy of any confirmation or itinerary sheet that you may have received.
If you cannot take advantage of any of the transportation or refund options described above, you can file a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding. Get a bankruptcy "Proof of Claim" form from any U.S. Courthouse or at http://www.uscourts.gov/bankform/formb10new.pdf. Fill it out, keep a photocopy if possible, and send the original to:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
District of Nevada
Lloyd D. George Federal Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Make reference to National Airlines and case #00-19258. If possible, enclose a photocopy of your ticket or receipt. Do not send the original, unless it is requested. Such a filing does not guarantee a refund. If a refund is made, it may not be for the full amount of the claim. The process may take a long time. You should note that if you obtain substitute air service from another carrier for free or for a minimal charge, it may affect your right to a refund in the bankruptcy proceeding or from a credit card issuer.
As with refunds, National is not making payments at this time for baggage or cargo claims (e.g., loss/damage/pilferage). You should send a copy of such claims with a completed "Proof of Claim" form to the bankruptcy court as described in the Refunds section above.
November 7, 2002