Compassionate air fare scheme announced for island flights

Loganair have announced the introduction of a compassionate air fare scheme offering customers a fifty per cent discount in the event of family bereavement or illness.

The new fare has been developed in partnership with the Facebook campaign page established by Shetland-based Scott Preston and James Stewart and will offer reduced rate flights and flexibility to customers who need to make bookings at short notice on compassionate grounds. The new fares will be available on all of Loganair’s 19 Scottish routes.

Both Loganair and the campaign’s volunteers have worked together to agree the terms, conditions and process of the policy – believed to be the first of its kind for a UK commercial airline. The new scheme will be available to customers who need to travel throughout Scotland at short notice due to the death of an immediate family member, cases of critical and unexpected illness involving an immediate family member or if an immediate family member is receiving in-patient treatment.

The compassionate fare policy will also include increased flexibility without charge when bookings are required to be amended or even cancelled.

Loganair chief executive Stewart Adams said: “With the introduction of this policy we believe Loganair is now offering a comprehensive compassionate fare unique in the UK airline industry.

“More importantly, we are confident the reduced fares will be of great benefit to our customers in circumstances of bereavement and critical illness – the very times they need assistance most.

“The compassionate fare policy is the direct result of weeks of constructive collaboration between the airline, Scott Preston and the volunteers of the Facebook page campaign.

“It will ensure eligible customers receive a 50 per cent discount on flights and offers increased flexibility when bookings are required to be made during understandably difficult times.”

Scott Preston, founder of the Facebook campaign group and a former funeral director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have made such significant progress with the campaign. When the campaign launched, members told us that one issue they wanted to see resolved was a possibility for a bereavement fare. As a result of our work with Loganair we have not only met that demand but we have also expanded on it to include situations of emergency and critical care.

“This is a monumental change, the first enhancement for air travel to all the isles since 2006 and its introduction shows the power that local people have in changing their communities for the better.

“The scheme has been conceived, considered and implemented in just three months, and it is worth us considering why change through political channels takes so long when we have clearly demonstrated what can be achieved in such a short space of time.

“We’re very grateful to everyone who has supported the campaign and has helped our united voice become a strong, passionate force for change.

“Loganair deserve credit for being open to discussing this matter and many others, as well as for having the courage to remedy a problem for their customers.”

 He added: “The remaining objective of the campaign is to address overall fare prices and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government, HIAL and Loganair in continuing to address the fares we have little choice but to pay.

“Today’s announcement builds on the momentum of the campaign and we are looking forward to announcing further improvements very soon.”

The new compassionate fare policy has also been backed by the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Details of the policy and a short booking form are available to download at loganair.co.uk