Excessive Contour Air flight cancellations raising concerns for Ogdensburg Airport, traveling public
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North County This Week
OGDENSBURG – Frequent cancellations of Contour Air flights are causing frustration for those attempting to fly in and out of the Ogdensburg International Airport.
Contour Air has not responded to multiple emails from North Country This Week aimed at finding out what’s causing the cancellations.Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Steve Lawrence says the OBPA is working with Contour Air to discuss the matter and work toward a resolution, though details on how things are proceeding are limited.
“We have received multiple concerns recently from the traveling public regarding frequent flight cancellations and the lack of scheduling clarity from our air service provider. We take this feedback seriously and are actively working to identify the causes of such issues and what remedies we have the ability to implement. It has always been, and always will be, our mission to provide an environment and the infrastructure for safe and reliable air transportation for our community,” Lawrence said.
“That is what our community expects and deserves, and that’s what we continually strive to provide. It is our expectation that our partners share this same philosophy and we will not accept anything less.”
Lawrence said the majority of cancellations are not related to runway issues.
North Country This Week received a number of complaints from people who say they have had flights canceled.
The cancellations could hurt the long-term health of the airport as another person who spoke with the newspaper said they booked a flight out of Montreal for fear of cancellation on a Contour flight.
At least 14 flights have been canceled by Contour Air since Jan. 16. Contour schedules 13 flights each week from Ogdensburg to Philadelphia – twice daily, except on Saturdays when only one flight takes place.
The cancellations could have a financial impact for the airport which is eligible for a $1 million bonus for meeting 10,000 enplanements in a single year.
The large number of cancellations puts the airport off to a rough start for 2023.
While the newspaper did not receive a response from Contour Air, one person whose flight was canceled shared a response she received from Contour Air.
“I am truly sorry your travel was adversely affected by our service failure. Please know that within the industry, we have earned a solid reputation for our commitment to operational integrity and Contour is consistently ranked as one of the country's most punctual and reliable carriers. To that end, each flight irregularity is thoroughly reviewed to prevent a similar occurrence. I pledge to you that we are dedicated to providing the safe, reliable transportation you expect and deserve,” the email said.
“Due to your ticket being originally bought by a 3rd Party, Contour does not have access to sensitive information to process this. You do qualify for a refund for your canceled flight - however you must contact the appropriate channels if you wish to complete this. We do not issue refunds for rentals or alternative transportation.”
However, the email does not identify what the proper channels are.
In July of 2022, Contour was named the federal Essential Air Service provider for Ogdensburg, replacing Skywest which pulled out of the arrangement early in 2022.