WOW Airlines Cancels All Flights, Leaves Passengers Stranded In Different Countries
By Parker Diakite
The Icelandic Airline carrier WOW Air ceased all operations Thursday, leaving passengers stranded across two continents.
In a statement on the airlines’ website, passengers were told to to check for available flights with other airlines.
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“Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances. Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available,” the statement reads.
WOW began its operations in 2012 with its chief executive, Skuli Mogensen, and specialized in ultra-cheap flights between North America and Europe, with flights to airports in cities including Washington, D.C, New York, Paris, London, and its Reykjavik hub.
Its bankruptcy comes after six months of turbulent negotiations to sell the low-cost carrier, first to its main rival and flag-ship carrier Icelandair and later to Indigo Partners, an American company operating the airline Wizz, as reported in U.S. News and World Report.
“I will never forgive myself for not acting sooner,” Mogensen said in a letter to employees Thursday. “WOW was clearly an incredible airline and we were on the path to do amazing things again.”
Passengers took to Twitter Thursday morning to express their frustrations.
One passenger asked, “how can I go about getting a refund? Your website won’t even let me submit a claim for a refund.”
Another passenger stated, “So I guess I’m not coming home from Denmark since my flight is @wow_air and they just completely shut down?”
So, What’s Next For Stranded Passengers?
The airlines is advising that passengers who paid with a credit card to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued.
For passengers who purchased tickets from a European travel agent within the European Economic Area as a part of a package tour, the company stated that those passengers are advised to contact their travel agent to arrange an alternative flight.
Airlines including EasyJet and Norwegian Air were offering reduced fares to stranded travelers because of the difficult circumstances, according to the Icelandic Transport Authority.
Passengers may also be entitled to compensation from WOW AIR, including in accordance with European regulation on Air Passenger Rights. In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator, a WOW Air statement reads.