New Zealand Couple Wants Reimbursement For Utah Airline’s No-Show Flight

Oct 5, 2018, 1:17 AM | Updated: 1:21 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Peter and Sylvia Thornhill from New Zealand only had 24 hours to visit the state of Utah.

They knew they wanted it to be memorable, so nine months ago they booked a private charter flight, over the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, with Utah business Utah Airways.

In January, $1,159.83 was charged to their Visa credit card.

Thursday morning, Dean Olsen with Drive Utah Executive Shuttle, took them to the Ogden-Hinckley Airport.

“I had an eerie feeling something wasn’t right,” Olsen said. “I decided to walk into the airport with them because something felt unsettling. When we walked inside – it was empty. Nobody was there.”

There was no plane from Utah Airways waiting for the Thornhill couple.

The Operational Manager at Ogden-Hinckley confirmed that Utah Airways was not scheduled to fly that day.

“It was just so disappointing,” Sylvia Thornhill told KSL 5 TV. “We double checked before we left New Zealand. My husband, Peter, rang Utah from home and spoke to somebody who confirmed that the flight was still a go.”

The Thornhills received a confirmation reminder email from Utah Airways on Wednesday, the day before the scheduled flight.

Peter Thornhill also printed off a Utah Airways confirmation with the booking number and processed credit card information.

“This happened two months ago to a Chinese couple who came with one dream to see the Grand Canyon,” Olsen said. “I think this company is targeting people who live out of the country, because they think they have no recourse.”

KSL 5 TV reached out to Utah Airways cofounder, David Story.

“Nobody is being targeted,” Story said. “Why would we do that? Our company mission is to lift and inspire. I really don’t have this couple in my system. I don’t have their money.”

Story told KSL 5 TV Utah Airways has been non-operational for 18 months. He claimed relationships with all third-party affiliates like Groupon were discontinued two years ago.

In an email reply sent to Sylvia Thornhill Thursday afternoon, the text read, “We have taken all booking pages down from the internet.”

But that is untrue. The website is full-functioning and taking reservations.

“We aren’t actively advertising so if someone does book, I just refund them,” Story said. “I will do my due diligence to find the Thornhill’s money, but I really don’t know where it could be.”

Story said Utah Airways is non-operational while they improve their aircraft. They expect to be operating at capacity come February 2019.

“We spent our entire day in Utah trying to back pedal and fix this mess,” Sylvia Thornhill said. “I couldn’t eat all day. My hands were shaking. I was in a delayed shock. I was really looking forward to this, but now it’s just a lost dream.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE - This Jan. 22, 2018, file photo, shows Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home which is oper...

Brianna Chavez

Utahn recounts how attempted arson at the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr. was prevented

Several bystanders, including two from Utah, were able to prevent a 26-year-old woman from burning down the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr. Thursday evening. The incident has since sparked national attention.

5 hours ago

Matt Cavanaugh ran the Salt Lake City Marathon in freezing weather on April 22. This was his fourth...

Kaigan Mears Bigler

12 marathons, 1 year, 1 kidney: A Park City man’s race to raise awareness

Even with only one kidney, 44-year-old Park City resident Matt Cavanaugh will be running his 12th marathon of the year on Sunday, completing his goal of completing 12 marathons, each in under three hours, in 2023.

6 hours ago

The family of a young girl who fell from a bedroom window said they want other people to install ex...

Shelby Lofton

Family of 8-year-old girl seriously injured after second-story window fall shares safety warning

The family of a young girl who fell from a bedroom window said they want other people to install extra protection locks on their windows.

10 hours ago

FILE — The Kane County Sheriff's Office took four people into custody Friday following a traffic...

Mark Jones

Four individuals arrested in fentanyl bust in Kanab

The Kane County Sheriff's Office took four people into custody Friday following a traffic stop that resulted in the discovery of several package of fentanyl pills.

10 hours ago

A house fire in Box Elder County Friday left a family displaced. (Tremonton Fire Department)...

Mark Jones

Family displaced following house fire in Box Elder County

The Tremonton Fire Department says a house fire Friday in Thatcher has left a family displaced.

11 hours ago

(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...

Andrew Adams

Sandy mailman has holiday side hustle as Santa’s helper

He has worked as a mailman for nearly four decades and knows his route on the Sandy bench by heart. For the past 20 years, however, Ray Berrett has had a side hustle -- for Santa Claus.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

New Zealand Couple Wants Reimbursement For Utah Airline’s No-Show Flight