flair airlines taylor swift

Nightmare experience for Canadian Taylor Swift fan after flight cancelled

One Canadian woman's LA trip to see Taylor Swift in concert resulted in her losing thousands of dollars after her flight was cancelled.

Meagan O'Connor, 24, is a retail worker who lives in Squamish, BC. She and her sister had scored tickets to Taylor Swift's concert in LA. They were scheduled to fly with Flair Airlines from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on August 8. They had also booked a rental car at their destination to make it easier to get around the city.

"We had a 7 a.m. flight from YVR to LAX for the day before the Taylor Swift concert, and we took off at 7 a.m.," O'Connor told Daily Hive. "Then halfway to LA, the pilot comes on and is like, 'We're turning back to YVR due to a lavatory issue.' Basically, the toilet wasn't flushing."

A representative for Flair Airlines confirmed the issue.

"Due to an unforeseen mechanical issue impacting the lavatory system, the pilots made the decision to return to Vancouver,” they stated in an email.

However, O'Connor alleges that the staff had prior knowledge about the issue with the toilet, which wasn't flushing.

"We are 99 per cent sure they knew about it prior to taking off because there was a lady in my row who tried to use the washroom before take-off, and they didn't let her for whatever reason," she recalled.

Upon landing back in Vancouver, they were told that it would only take 15 to 20 minutes to fix the problem. However, O'Connor alleged that the passengers waited on the tarmac for three hours "with no AC, no food and no water and hardly any updates as to what was going on."

Flair stated that "as a gesture of goodwill," passengers were given hotel vouchers and a $60 meal voucher. But O'Connor said they received a $10 food voucher via email "that wasn't accepted anywhere in the airport."

Now worried about missing the concert the next day, they spent $1,600 to get on a WestJet flight. A Flair Airlines representative assured them their luggage would be on the carousel in 20 minutes. But when they got there, their luggage was nowhere in sight.

The stressed pair asked airport staff for help, but he couldn't get through to Flair. That's when they realized they had to leave without their bags if they didn't want to miss their flight.

"We made it to our gate with minutes to spare, landed in LA with literally nothing," said O'Connor. "So [we] had to drop like another $1,500 to $2,000 on everything we needed since they never got our luggage to us."

They had to buy everything, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, underwear, and more. To make the situation worse, the delay meant they lost their rental car reservation, leading them to pay for expensive Uber rides.

O'Connor and her sister made it to the Taylor Swift concert; however, the trip cost them far more than anticipated.
flair airlines taylor swift

Meagan O'Connor (right) with her sister (Supplied)

"We luckily made it, but there were many other Taylor Swift fans on the same Flair flight as us whose concert was the same day, and they didn't end up making it due to this flight issue," she said.

Although Flair had refunded their tickets, O'Connor said the airline refused to compensate them for the additional expenses they incurred due to the cancellation.

As for their luggage, it never left Vancouver, and they got their bags back when they returned from their trip on August 10.

"Legally, we are owed $500 each since the flight was delayed more than 8 hours, and we're also legally owed reimbursement for everything we had to purchase in LA because they didn't get our luggage to us," she said. "But they are denying all compensation because they are saying it was a 'safety issue,' yet they didn't do an emergency landing, so if it was really a safety issue, they kept us in the air in an unsafe plane."
flair airlines taylor swift

Supplied by Meagan O'Connor

In screenshots provided by O'Connor, a representative stated in an email that she wasn't eligible for compensation.

"We are able to confirm that this delay and cancellation was due to reasons within Flair Airlines' control but required for safety purposes and is not eligible for the payment of compensation under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR)," reads the email. "We, therefore, respectfully decline your request."

In a separate email, another representative stated, "You have been informed of the postponement, and accordingly, you are responsible for packing your luggage accordingly."

Flair told Daily Hive that the company is "incredibly sorry to the passengers travelling on flight F81888 from Vancouver to LA."

"We sincerely apologize to Miss O'Connor for the frustration she experienced, and we would like to provide her with some additional reimbursement," reads a statement. "Our customer service team has reached out to her directly to see how we can make it right."

When asked what this experience has been like for her, O'Connor replied, "The main advice I would give is do not fly with Flair."

"They are unreliable and are basically a non-existent airline. They don't have any real customer service, and everyone we talked to from YVR, WestJet, and Air Canada all laughed when we brought up Flair and responded with, 'Oh, Flair doesn't really exist, so good luck.'"

Lead photo by

Sandy Hooper-USA TODAY

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