United Airlines announced it was cutting Chicago to London flights effective June 30

Darcy Harris figures her family is out about $600.

She says they were stung by United Airlines’ recent decision to scrub direct Chicago-London flights after seven years effective June 30.

Last fall, Harris booked a July 15 United flight from Colorado to London via Chicago for herself, her husband and her daughter, part of a “bucket list” tour of Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Grand Canyon.

When she learned last week that the flight was cancelled, Harris spent hours on the phone negotiating compensation from United.

The airline offered her an Air Canada flight back to London via Toronto on July 17, but refused to cover the extra two nights accommodation in Colorado.

United also offered to refund the entire fare, but Harris found out that rebooking now would cost an extra $1,000.

United then offered to pay for an Air Canada flight from Colorado to Toronto on July 15, but not for a connection to London.

Harris said she’s lost the extra $400 she paid to fly direct to London and three airport shuttle tickets home from Toronto would cost $200 — a total of $600.

“I thought I was being pretty reasonable. They chose to cancel the service. For those of us who bought the tickets, what are we going to do?” said Harris, a professor at King’s University College.

Harris said she booked the outbound trip with WestJet. She would not have booked the return trip with United had she known the Chicago-London service was in jeopardy.

“I had no clue this was happening. I would have just done the extra driving and gone out of Detroit,” said Harris, who suspects other travellers may be in a similar fix.

United gave no warning and has not formally announced the cancellation.

Travellers only found out last week from airport counter staff and when the United website would not accept direct London-Toronto bookings beyond June 30.

The Canadian Transportation Agency requires domestic airlines cancelling local service to print a notice in a local newspaper at least 120 days before flights end.

But the regulation does not apply to international carriers.

A Canadian Transportation Agency spokesperson said international carriers have to make reasonable efforts to inform passengers of schedule changes.

“However, there is no standard deadline for advance notice of discontinuance of an international service. As well, there are no provisions in the Canada-U.S. air transportation agreement that prevents a carrier from discontinuing a service,” Martine Maltais said in a statement.

United officials could not be reached for comment on arrangements to compensate passengers.

United’s posted policies say only the airline “may” reroute passenger on another airline if service between two cities is cancelled.

A United spokesperson said last week Chicago-London service was cancelled after a regular review found it was “not meeting expectations.”

London airport president Mike Seabrook said United was cutting several Canadian routes because the low loonie made them unprofitable.