When Dynamic Airways suddenly stopped flying from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Caracas, Andres Montagnani was left wondering how to get home — and how to get his money back.
Dynamic is an excellent modifier for a company name — like Acme Rocket. But add it to “Airways” and it perfectly captures the company’s record of scheduling flights and then canceling them.
And what about a refund?
Yes, what about it? Mortagnani had not received much more than an ungrammatical email promising to escalate his request to “head quarters. [sic]” And unfortunately our advocate could not get any response.
Montagnani booked a round-trip flight to Caracas, Venezuela, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in June, this was an accomplishment. During 2016, many well-regarded airlines suspended Venezuelan service, including Latin America’s largest, LATAM Group; Lufthansa; American Airways; Aeroméxico; and Avianca. Blame the national economy, which is circling the drain.
Dynamic’s founder, Kenneth M. Woolley, has experimented with a questionable business model at this six-aircraft charter operation in Greensboro, N.C.: Schedule flights to underserved destinations, collect round-trip fares, and then cancel service without rebooking on other airlines. According to frustrated fliers, Dynamic Airways promised refunds, but months later only sent an email with more promises.
Some 120 Yelpers awarded Dynamic Airways an aggregate one star. (There is no provision for zero stars, though many wished there were.) Even the Better Business Bureau ranks it similarly at one star.
Dynamic utilized its new business model for several months. Perhaps this proved profitable, though its withdrawal in August suggests otherwise. Its failure to refund customers only reinforces that theory.
Montagnani might not have had many options for air travel, but this overwhelming rating of Dynamic Airways’ service as abysmal might have prepared him for trouble. Dynamic’s withdrawal from Venezuela happened six weeks prior to his ticketed return flight.
Dynamic knows its customer is waiting. After multiple emails, a “team member” wrote:
Your the[sic] request for a refund was made on August 03rd, we reviewed your ticket information and we am [sic] aware that your refund is taking more than [sic] expected, for that reason, I’m going to remit your case to our head quarters [sic] in order to speed up the process. Thank you for your patience and continuous support.
Montagnani’s options, as outlined by that advocate, are several — none of them great.
- File a service complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration, which he has done with no response so far;
- Check with his credit card issuer to determine if a dispute is still possible, assuming that he paid with Visa, MasterCard or American Express;
- Take the matter to small claims court. Procedures likely are listed on his Florida county’s website under courts. Here is some general information.
Given the financial and social chaos in Venezuela, and the shrinking number of flights, Montagnani likely knew that he was running a risk. It’s curious that his lingering issue traces not to Venezuela but to a six-airplane charter operator in North Carolina. We regret that this is a Case Dismissed.