Skybus goes broke, stranding fliers

BURBANK Several passengers at Bobe Hope airport in Burbank were left wondering what to do Saturday morning after hearing that their scheduled flights on Skybus Airline would not be leaving.

"We came here for a cruise and we have no money and we're stuck. It's just really sad," said Phyllis Simms, whose flight was cancelled.

Skybus, known for offering several $10 seats on every flight, announced late Friday that it would be ceasing operations on Saturday and filing for bankruptcy.

There were two flights scheduled to leave Burbank on Saturday. The cancellations brought a sour end to some people's spring vacations as they scrambled to find seats on another airline.

Skybus had only been in business since May 2007. The low-cost carrier, based in Columbus, Ohio, served 15 cities with 74 flights a day.

Airline executives blamed the shutdown on rising fuel prices and the sluggish economy. Employees were just as surprised as passengers.

"I feel bad for the passengers. I mean, it's a shock for them, especially when they're on a vacation here and they want to get home," said Tina Nilsson, a former Skybus employee. "But, you know, they lost a ticket and we lost our jobs."

"I'm mad and disappointed. For something like this to happen in unexplainable and unacceptable," Keaira Williams said. She had booked a flight to go on a college tour in the south.

Skybus passengers are being advised to contact their credit card companies for refunds.


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