Scoring a direct flight from the U.S. to Caracas, Venezuela just got a bit more difficult for travelers, especially those who prefer to fly with United Airlines, as the company announced it would suspend flights to the country this summer.
Bloomberg reports that United will suspend its direct flight from Houston to Caracas starting July 1 as a result of falling traffic and political unrest in Venezuela.
“Because our Houston-Caracas service is not meeting our financial expectations we have decided to suspend it, effective July 1,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement.
Leaving behind the Houston-to-Caracas route doesn’t necessarily mean that the airline is completely ditching service to Venezuela.
A look at United’s website shows that while the direct flight is no longer an option for a trip leaving on July 8, the airline offers several other options operated by partner airlines, such as Copa Airlines and Avianca.
It’s unclear if United will refund passengers who have purchased tickets on the direct route that are scheduled to leave after July 1 or if it will re-book those customers on its partner airlines.
We’ve reached out to United for further details. We’ll update this post when we hear back.
In the meantime, the airline’s contract of carriage notes that United has the right to cancel reservations of any passenger in cases where there is a condition beyond the airline’s control, such as “strikes, civil commotions, embargoes, wars, hostilities, or other disturbances, whether actual, threatened, or reported.”
Further, if no portion of a ticket has been used, the contract notes that an amount equal to the fare and charges will be refunded to customers. This includes the above conditions, United states.
Bloomberg reports that United isn’t the only airline to leave Caracas over political unrest and withheld funds.
For instance, TAP-Transportes Aereos Portugueses stopped servicing the city last month after it said it wasn’t getting money from sales of the tickets.
Last year, carriers asked the U.S. Department of Transition for antitrust immunity in order to discuss how to recoup $3.8 million in money they were owed by the country, Bloomberg reports.