GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Allegiant Air has canceled every flight in and out of Grand Forks Regional Airport in the month of December, citing a lack of demand.
Fordville, N.D., resident Julie Gemmill said she was shocked when a text about the cancellations came through in the middle of a meeting.
"I was like, 'my flight just got canceled,' what do you do," said Gemmill with a shrug.
She had a one way ticket from Arizona to get back home to rural Walsh County for Christmas.
"I had it all planned out, and now I have plan it all over again," Gemmill.
"I just met with them (Allegiant) last month, and this was not brought up," said Grand Forks Regional Airport executive director Ryan Riesinger.
He says he was notified at the same time passengers were. The airline cited a shortage of planes. In all, 44 airports with low numbers across the country will be impacted. Allegiant told the airport they plan to resume flights in January.
"They have no intent to pull out in my conversations with them," said Riesinger.
Allegiant has been serving the Grand Forks airport since 2009. Riesinger said the seasonal airline will sometimes black out dates on the schedule, but has never canceled flights like this. The cancellations impact 25 flights during the month of December, one of the busiest months at the airport.
"It's certainly something we have to monitor," said Riesinger.
Passengers whose flights were cancelled will receive full refunds or can fly out of Fargo.
Gemmill isn't sure what her family is going to do. Fargo is 3 hours from her home, and switching airlines will cost several hundred dollars. She hopes the low-cost carrier returns to Grand Forks as promised.
"We would be lost without them, it's a very valuable asset to our communities," she said.
November flights are not impacted by the cancellation.