On Thursday morning, it was revealed that Icelandic budget airline WOW Air has ceased operations entirely as a result of bankruptcy. All WOW Air flights have been cancelled as their signature fleet of magenta-coloured planes is grounded for good. It’s estimated that up to 4,000 WOW Air passengers worldwide have been affected. All of them are now forced to fend for themselves and are scrambling to secure boarding passes with other airlines to finally reach their destinations.
WOW Air has published a notice to their passengers with some information on how to rebook their flights with other airlines. According to WOW Air, some airlines may offer rescue fares at a reduced rate, in light of the circumstances. Icelandair and Hungarian airline Wizz Air, for example, are now offering rescue fares to stranded WOW Air passengers.
As far as refunds go, WOW Air has provided some detail about their passengers’ 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,” their statement reads.
Passengers may wish to contact their credit card dispute resolution department to file a claim, but should prepare for delays. One WOW Air passenger tells Narcity that the estimated wait time to file a claim with Canada's TD Bank is 1.5 to 2 hours as of Thursday afternoon.
WOW Air states that passengers who booked their flights through a European travel agency within the European Economic Area, as part of a package including their accommodations and other services, are protected by the Package Travel Directive.
North American passengers who booked their travel through a registered agency may also be entitled to reimbursement, depending on consumer protection regulations in your state or province. Canadians can head to the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies website for more information. Americans can refer to the US Department of Transportation website for help.
Passengers who didn’t book their flights through a registered travel agent have a couple of other options. Those who bought travel protection, or passengers whose credit card terms may include protection, could be compensated by their provider.
Passengers arriving or departing through an EU country can also enter their flight details into Flightright's claim check tool. By entering your information, Flightright can evaluate the compensation you may be eligible for, which they will submit to you in an email.
As per European regulations on Air Passenger Rights, they also claim that some passengers may be able to get money back from WOW Air, as it is a case of bankruptcy.
WOW Air is also providing customer support via Twitter. WOW Air passengers can tweet their booking numbers to @wowairsupport - from there, support agents are helping passengers on a case by case basis, to see if they are eligible for refunds or free destination changes. All of WOW Air’s customer support information can be found here.
Sorry for the Inconvenience caused. Please share the booking number via DM so we could check and assist you further. 👉 https://t.co/hJXPE66BDT— WOW air Support (@wowairsupport) March 28, 2019
My sincere apology for all the inconvenience. A full refund or free date/destination change is offered to the guest. Please check your DM.— WOW air Support (@wowairsupport) March 28, 2019
We apologize for the inconvenience caused. We would like to inform you that due to operational reasons our few flights have been cancelled. kindly share your WOW air booking confirmation number via DM (https://t.co/NsdgsBJoF2) for further assistance.-Bruce— WOW air Support (@wowairsupport) March 28, 2019
The Icelandic Transport Authority’s full notice to WOW Air passengers can be downloaded here.