Loganair’s compassionate fare policy has proved hugely popular, with hundreds of applications from passengers being received in the first six months of the scheme.
The airline has so far helped 400 passengers across the region make urgent travel arrangements at heavily-discounted rates in times of family bereavement or critical illness.
Introduced in September last year in consultation with the Islanders for Fair Air Fares Facebook campaign page, the policy is available across 19 Scottish Loganair routes and provides a 50 per cent discount on fares to eligible customers in times of a family emergency.
The compassionate fare policy also includes increased flexibility without charge when bookings are required to be amended or even cancelled.
The policy, started by a Facebook campaign after which campaigner Scott Preston, former owner of Tagon Stores in Voe, helped Loganair put the policy together, is available to customers who need to travel throughout Scotland at short notice for the following reasons:
• The bereavement of an immediate family member;
• Cases of critical and unexpected illness involving an immediate family member;
• An immediate family member is receiving in-patient treatment.
Both Loganair and the campaign’s volunteers worked together to agree the terms, conditions and processes of the policy.
The airline’s chief executive Stewart Adams said: “We believe Loganair was the first commercial airline in the UK to introduce such an inclusive compassionate fare policy for its customers, and we are proud of this achievement.
“It is also greatly encouraging to know that many of our customers have benefited from both the discounted fares and greater flexibility – particularly during what must be very difficult times for them and their families.
“The policy’s introduction was made possible through constructive collaboration between Loganair, Scott Preston and the volunteers of the Facebook page campaign, and I hope many more customers continue to make use of this very worthwhile offering.”
Given the sensitivities involved in making a compassionate fare reservation, both the airline and campaign group designed a short application form, which is available to download through the “Fare Finder” tab on Loganair’s website.
Mr Preston, founder of the Facebook campaign group and a former funeral director, said: “As a result of the island communities in Scotland raising their voices through the campaign and working with Stewart Adams and his team, this innovative and vital scheme was introduced.
“Six months later and the impact can be seen through the hundreds of individuals who have benefited from the generous reductions when people need them the most.
“The airline should be commended for listening to and working with their customers to improve their service offering.
“I am grateful to Loganair for their generosity in agreeing to introduce this scheme and I hope it will continue to serve islanders and their families for many years to come.”