Avoid Breeze Airways

Old Sep 9th, 2023, 02:05 AM
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Avoid Breeze Airways

A month ago, I used Breeze to fly from SFO to RIC due to a death in the family. Plane arrives late and they announce that a mechanical issue was found with a door on the nosecone. Said it was 1/10" out of spec and blah blah blah. One hour became four and they kept stringing us along until they rescheduled the flight for 1PM the next day, which was 28 hours after I'd arrived at SFO. They didn't cancel the flight, which would entitle passengers to some remediation. I ended up booking a flight with Delta and left the same day, just 12 hours later than originally scheduled. I submitted reimbursement requests as directed, but Breeze never followed up. Not a good experience.

On 9/8, we departed from SFO to RIC. I'd booked this flight in March, so I didn't have an option to cancel it without penalty after my last horrible experience. We had a slightly late departure but everything seemed OK. About one or two hours into the flight, a fight broke out. Some person went feral and attacked 2 of the flight attendants and needed three flight attendants and at least two passengers to be subdued (!). So pilot gets on the radio and says "by FAA regulations, we're required to land for the safety of our staff etc." which was fine. Nobody deserves to be treated that way and the flight crew were completely professional despite what they'd just gone through.

However, Breeze stranded everyone at XNA (Bentonville, AR). They said they didn't have the ability to take off again and announced that the next flight out of XNA would not be until 1:30PM tomorrow, delaying our arrival by 24 hours. No assistance with ground transportation, booking hotel rooms, or even up to date information. The Breeze employees at XNA shrugged it off as "well, it's a budget airline" and "submit your reimbursement requests online..." For those who aren't familiar with XNA, it's a tiny airport that makes RIC and ORF look huge. Departing flights are extremely limited and therefore pricey to book with no advanced notice. It's also extremely rural, so getting to and from the airport by Uber or Lyft is expensive. We ended up renting a car because it cost less than a round trip on Uber and were lucky to find a hotel room that's 30 minutes away from the airport because the situation quickly deteriorated to "every man for himself."

For the uninitiated, Breeze has a portal where you submit reimbursement requests (name, flight details, photos of receipts, etc.). Once you've done so, there's no confirmation or way to track your submission, and they don't follow up. So Breeze might say they'll reimburse you for $150 per person in expenses, but there's no way to hold them to their word. Caveat emptor.
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