Information for Consumers Regarding the Cessation of Service by
Western Pacific Airlines
Western Pacific Airlines, in bankruptcy since October 6, 1997, ceased flight operations on February 4, 1998. Set forth below are certain alternatives available to Western Pacific customers holding tickets or having claims against the carrier.
1. Transportation options
If you purchased transportation on Western Pacific from the carrier or from a travel agency where Western Pacific was the "issuing carrier," and if you used a credit card for the purchase, United Airlines has agreed to provide transportation. This service will be available on flights operated by United Airlines and Shuttle by United, and on United Express commuter airlines that choose to participate in this program. The program covers Western Pacific transportation purchased on or before February 4, 1998 with a travel date before October 1, 1998.
Western Pacific credit card customers who wish to take advantage of the United Airlines offer must be re-booked onto United by Western Pacific, or by the passengers travel agent if the transportation was purchased from a travel agent. Western Pacific or the travel agent will issue confirmed reservations on the United flight. There will be no additional charge if Uniteds normal fare is higher than the Western Pacific fare. However, seats are limited and might not be available on specific substitute flights (or even dates) that may be requested.
Individuals who purchased "electronic tickets" via credit card for travel on Western Pacific must obtain a paper ticket from Western Pacific or their travel agent. Western Pacific has stated that it will be contacting such persons. If you have a credit card electronic ticket and do not hear from the carrier, you may call Western Pacific at 1-800-930-3030. However, that phone number might not be staffed indefinitely.
If you purchased your original Western Pacific ticket with cash or check, United is offering special fares to Western Pacific ticket holders. These fares are approximately 80% off Uniteds unrestricted coach fare. Call United Airlines reservations for additional information. Check with other airlines as well; they might accept Western Pacific tickets or offer special fares. If other carriers accept the ticket, service may be standby, and there may be an additional collection if the new carriers fare is higher.
Details on Uniteds program are available on the carriers World Wide Web site at http://www.ual.com/airline/default.asp. Click "Our Company," then choose "Press Releases" from the dropdown box.
If you bought a ticket from another airline and that ticket includes a segment on Western Pacific, you may be able to use that ticket for transportation on another carrier, or you can get a refund from the issuing airline. If you bought a ticket from a travel agency for Western Pacific transportation and the ticket shows another airline as issuing carrier, this ticket can also be refunded or can probably be used for travel on another airline. In both of the above cases, if the new airlines fare is higher than the Western Pacific fare, you may have to pay the difference. You should contact your travel agency or the airline that issued the ticket to arrange substitute transportation.
If you purchased your ticket from Western Pacific or from a travel agency that showed Western Pacific as the issuing carrier and the ticket includes a segment on another U.S. airline, that other carrier will accept the ticket for its own segment as shown on the ticket. Airlines may or may not honor any Western Pacific segments or segments of other carriers on such tickets.
Frontier Airlines (1-800-4321-FLY) has agreed to honor the certificates for travel on Western Pacific that were purchased from the King Soopers supermarket chain. Frontier will accept the certificates for flights to any of the cities it serves on a space-available basis at no additional charge through June 15, 1998.
Western Pacific is making no ticket refunds, even if a refund had been requested prior to the cessation of operations. The carrier is currently under the protection of the bankruptcy court.
As described at the beginning of section 1 above, if you have a ticket which includes Western Pacific transportation but it was purchased from another airline or from a travel agency which showed another airline as the issuing carrier, you can get a refund from the airline or travel agency that issued the ticket if you choose not to use it for substitute transportation. If that airline attempts to assess a cancellation penalty or service charge, point out that Western Pacific canceled your flight, you did not cancel your reservation. The airlines contracts of carriage generally require that they make such refunds on an "involuntary" basis, i.e. without assessing any cancellation fees.
If you charged your Western Pacific 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. Send a photocopy of the ticket, if possible, or indicate the price of the ticket and the date it was purchased. If the ticket was partially used, identify the used and unused segments. State that Western Pacific 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.
This notice must be received by the credit card issuer no later than 60 days after the date that you received the first monthly statement that listed the charge for the Western Pacific ticket, although credit card companies sometimes waive this deadline for future transportation. Some credit card issuers may ask for the original unused tickets. If these are requested, keep photocopies and send the originals certified mail. Do not send the originals unless they are requested.
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. Fill it out, keep a photocopy if possible, and send the original to:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
U.S. Custom House
721 19th Street
Denver, CO 80202-2508
Make reference to Case #97-247-01-FBB. If possible, send 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 will probably take several months at a minimum.
As with refunds, Western Pacific is making no 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.