Direct Air Parent Files for Bankruptcy Protection

March 16, 2012 Updated Mar 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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March 16, 2012 Updated Mar 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The parent company of Direct Air, Southern Sky Air & Tours L.L.C., filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection late Thursday night.

This news comes just three days after the discount air carrier abruptly halted service Monday, leaving hundreds of customers stranded and with no way to use their purchased tickets.

According to bankruptcy court papers filed in Massachusetts, the company has between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities, compared to just $500,000 to $1 million in assets.

Not to mention the countless customers left holding tickets that wouldn't be honored.

"These people are out money," said U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, who has called on the CEO of Direct Air to directly reimburse customers who lost out when the company ceased operation.

Direct Air operated several flights a week out of Niagara Falls International Airport to destinations in Florida and South Carolina.

"People paid for a service that was not rendered and they have an obligation to refund these people directly," added Higgins.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, the company was supposed to hold money in an escrow account that can be used to refund customers.

Customers can also contact Direct Air directly for a refund, but those claims must be filed within 60 days. For more information, click here.

Customers can also call 1-855-888-8090 for more information.