I-Team Investigation: Breeze Airways suspends new route due to staffing issues

Breeze suspends new route due to staffing issues
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 7:29 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Breeze Airways is suspending the Hartford to Akron, Ohio route a little more than a month after it started.

They’re blaming staffing issues.

The upstart airline serves several other destinations and if you’re holding a ticket to one of them, you may be wondering if your route is next.

Sometimes it’s more expensive to fill up your car these days than to fly Breeze.

That’s the allure with this airline that’s celebrating its first anniversary.

But some travelers say the savings haven’t been worth the headaches.

Terri Beckett had her three-day weekend planned out to visit her grandchildren who moved to Connecticut a week ago.

“We just wanted to see West Hartford and where they’re living,” said Terri Beckett, Breeze passenger.

Instead, the Cleveland native ended up with nearly the same amount of time in delays and cancellations than she actually did staying in Connecticut.

“We’re exhausted, we sat at the airport 12 hours,” Beckett said.

She said it started on Friday with a seven-hour delay.

“They kept coming on saying there’s mechanical problems,” said Beckett.

Finally, she got on the plane, had her seatbelt on only to be told: “The pilot comes out and says ‘sorry, we’re five minutes too late, we can’t fly anymore. We’re timed out.’ So we all had to get off the plane. Some people had to find hotel rooms.”

Beckett drove the hour back to Cleveland and went back to Akron on Saturday.

“To get a 7:30 flight. Our plane didn’t leave until 12 o’clock. It was delayed again,” she said.

Finally, she and her daughter got to Hartford on Saturday afternoon.

“We went to dinner. Sunday, went to New Haven that’s it. Today, they had to get up and go to work,” said Beckett.

She was supposed to leave this morning but that was pushed to 3:30 this afternoon.

“We got a text during the night that our flight was going to be delayed four hours,” said Beckett.

The I-Team asked Breeze what was going on and they tell us after running for less than three weeks, “constraints of crew availability” caused the airline to suspend the Hartford to Akron route two months early.

It ends of July 1. If you booked after that date, you can get a refund.

Beckett saw the staffing issues first-hand in Akron.

“The same woman who checked us in, flagged the plane in. She came back in and started making announcements. She did everything, she was amazing!” Beckett said.

Breeze also flies to 10 other destinations, nine of them, like Savannah and Jacksonville, are brand new routes to Bradley.

We were still able to book flights to those cities through the end of the year.

Breeze told Eyewitness News it expects the Akron route to return next year, but some passengers vow they won’t.

“I will never, never, fly Breeze again. I know it’s new airline, only a year old, but talking with a flight attendant, she said they have a lot of kinks to work out,” said Beckett.

If you are holding a Breeze ticket to any other destination than Akron, your route is still active.

However, the I-Team is seeing some delays in those locations as well, but this is something we’re seeing no matter which airline you’re flying these days.