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Great Lakes ends service sooner than expected

3/28/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Great Lakes Airlines' tenure at Hays Regional Airport is ending sooner than its already shortened stay.

Although the carrier announced Monday was the final day of air service, its Monday flights have been canceled, according to the company's website. Great Lakes' last flight out of Hays will be at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The airline was scheduled to serve the airport until May 1.

Jake Glover, Hays, said he had two scheduled flights dropped after Great Lakes finalized its pullout. The company did not contact him, but United Airlines called him and arranged for him to fly out of other airports.

Although he was rebooked for free, no compensation was offered.

"If I had just decided today to buy those same tickets, you can go online and buy those exact same tickets out of Denver or out of Wichita for $200 less than what I paid for trying to fly out of Hays back in January when I originally made the tickets. So that money's just gone," he said.

Traveling through the company has been frustrating, he said.

"I've been stranded in Denver because they wouldn't make the flight or I missed a connecting flight because they canceled the flight trying to get me out of Hays. So I was actually very glad to see they were leaving town," Glover said.

The new carrier, SkyWest, does not have a start date announced yet.

"We're looking forward to a new carrier coming on board and a positive direction for the airport," said Toby Dougherty, Hays city manager.