Independence Air to Shut Down

Independence Air, a low-fare airline that started service about 18 months ago, said Monday it will cease all operations after 7 p.m. on Jan. 4. The carrier said money woes will force it to shut down. Parent company FLYi had tried to find a buyer but to no avail; the airline has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since November. The airline continues to sell tickets for travel through Thursday, and is contacting passengers with roundtrip tickets to see if they can return earlier, if their original return was after Jan. 4. Those who can't as well as those who booked flights for Friday and beyond will have to take their chance in bankruptcy court for a refund. Independence Air said it would ask the bankruptcy judge to process those refunds. There will be no refunds for vouchers or free tickets. Other U.S. airlines operating on the same routes as Independence Air are required by federal law to offer standby seats for $50 each way to passengers holding unrefunded tickets. Passengers must make their requests to competing carriers for a replacement seat within 60 days after Independence Air stops service.