Unfortunately, the worst possible scenario has just happened: WOW air is officially bankrupt and ceasing operations. Here’s what to do if you bought tickets with them.
First, here’s their official message from their website:
End of Operation of WOW AIR
Information for WOW AIR passengers
WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled.
How will I reach my destination?
Passengers are advised to check available flights with other airlines.
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.
What are my rights?
Passengers whose ticket was paid with a credit card are advised to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued.Passengers who bought their ticket from a European travel agent (within the European Economic Area) as a part of a package tour (a package which includes flights and accommodation or other services) are protected by the Package Travel Directive. Those passengers are advised to contact their travel agent to arrange an alternative flight.
Passengers who may have bought travel protection, or those passengers whose credit card terms may include such protection, may be entitled to claim compensation and assistance due to delays or travel disruption. However, such compensation is often limited.
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 / liquidator.
Where can I get up-to-date information?
This announcement will be published and continuously updated on the following websites:
– Icelandic Transport Authority: www.samgongustofa.is / www.icetra.is
– Keflavik Airport: www.isavia.is/en
– WOW AIR: www.wowair.com
– Posted at all relevant airports
General information about passenger rights can be found at www.icetra.is
So, as WOW mentions in their message, you should now quickly contact your credit card companies and ask for a refund.
By calling your credit card’s customer service number, you can explain that you clearly haven’t received the service for which you paid, and therefore you can ask for a refund.
If you bought a ticket with a travel agency, contact them directly quickly. They will also be able to help you.
What to do if you are “stuck” in Europe
1- Contact your credit card company to get a refund, it will give you a budget for step #2.
2- Use our favorite search engine for more advanced searches and try to find the best return flight including from an airport near where you are right now (let’s take Paris here as an example) or even airports you can reach with a cheap internal European flight. You can also check for flights arriving in the US that can sometimes be drastically cheaper. If you’re flexible on the date of return, also play around with the date, it will give you more options. It’s really possible to see many options with this tool as in this example where I used a radius around certain regions to cover more ground (you can also choose “Europe” to a radius around your final destination and that will give you plenty of other options).
How to find another cheap option to go to Europe
You can apply the same strategy as laid out above in point #2 to find cheap roundtrip ticket just use their “return” option instead of one-way.
It’s a dark day for transatlantic ULCCs and the incredible prices they brought us.
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