Over 300 students may be stranded at Harvard this Christmas if an unresolved TWA air strike forces the cancellation of two HSA California charter flights. The flights are scheduled to leave December 19 and 21.
In a letter yesterday, HSA Student Travel Services told students holding reservations on flights C1 and C3 to seek alternate transportation.
Students with reservations on flight C4--which is being handled for HSA by American Airlines--will depart as scheduled on December 20.
"We are requesting our travel agent to research alternative carriers and attempt to arrange other plans just in case the (TWA) strike is not settled," the HSA letter said. "For (the students') protection, we are requesting that (they) make alternative plans also."
The request was made in light of the TWA air attendants' strike which enters its 33rd day today. No settlement is foreseen in the near future.
"In view of the strike and present state of negotiations, flights on December 19 do not look promising," Angus C. McClure, public relations director for TWA's eastern division, said yesterday.
"If we do settle in the next five or ten days, we can honor the reservation. Otherwise, it's pure speculation as to what will happen," McClure said.
Although most holiday flights from Boston are booked, New York flights are available and should be sought immediately, Marcy West, head of charter flights for HSA, said yesterday.
HSA has also submitted requests for a charter booking to United Airlines and to small, non-commercial airlines, but has yet to receive any response.
"We hope to have a definite answer by the end of the week," West said. "It is just a question of waiting to see if the strike is resolved and if flights on other airlines are available," West said.
TWA has promised an allocation of fuel for the two flights, but the airline cannot provide planes unless a strike settlement is reached in the near future.
"Up until a week ago, we thought TWA might go back to its regular schedule. We didn't send out any communications before that for fear of causing hysteria," West said.
HSA has received no cancellations because of the indefinite flight schedule. Ninety-nine per cent of the 350 people who hold reservations on the two flights have paid their bill in full. HSA regulations normally stipulate a $15 cancellation fee.
If the HSA flights are cancelled, refunds will be made by check to students, probably before the Christmas holidays, West said