Today, Primera Air announced that they are declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations with immediate effect. This plucky upstart in the transatlantic market has struggled with rising fuel prices and expensive aircraft leases. While we're just as surprised as you guys, we'll do our very best to make sure you have the latest information as this news develops.
So, what should you do next if you currently hold a booking with them? We'll try and answer your most pressing questions here, though at the moment many things are still unclear.
Are all flights cancelled?
Will I get a refund from Primera?
Most likely no. The final answer to this will depend on the bankruptcy proceedings in the airline's home country of Denmark. Anyone with an outstanding booking will become a creditor and (theoretically) entitled to a share of the value of the airline's remaining assets. The problem in Primera's case is that there are hardly any assets so you're unlikely to ever see any money.
Will Primera re-book me on another airline?
No. As the airline has ceased operations, Primera will not be able to re-book passengers on other airlines.
I'm in Europe at the moment and had a booked a Primera flight home. How do I get home now?
If you're abroad right now, your best option is try and find any other flight to get home and pay for it out of your own pocket. Do this as quickly as possible as there will be many other passengers in the same position.
Primera flew to Washington, D.C., New York & Boston in the U.S., airlines like Norwegian, Aer Lingus and LEVEL will typically offer the best value one-way fares in these markets. You can quickly check your options on our flight search tool.
Can I claim on my travel or trip insurance?
Yes. Many credit cards come with Trip Interruption insurance which typically covers the bankruptcy or insolvency of your travel provider. For example, the policy from Chase's popular Sapphire Preferred card states that "Financial insolvency of the Cardholder’s travel agency, tour operator, or travel supplier" is covered up to $10,000 per trip. Check the Benefit Guide of your credit card to see if you're covered
I recently booked a flight with Primera, can I get a refund from my credit card company?
Most likely yes. If you booked your flight with a credit card then you can dispute the charge with your credit card provider on the grounds of services not delivered. Look for the 'Dispute A Charge' section of your online credit card account or call the number on the back of your card.
This process can take a long time to be concluded but most credit card companies will remove the disputed amount from your balance due until the dispute is resolved.
I also booked a hotel or rental car through Primera, what happens to that booking?
It depends. If Primera already made the payment to the merchant in question (i.e. the hotel or rental company) then your booking should stand. If your payment was not transferred then it is likely that you will need to make a new booking or pay again upon check-in. You should call the hotel or rental company directly to verify if your booking stands.
Will another airline honor my ticket?
Norwegian are offering discounted repatriation fares to those stranded by Primera's failure. They are offering up to 50% off the base fare, so these fares could represent a good option for getting back home. You can find more information about that on Norwegian's Twitter feed.
Virgin Atlantic are also offering discounted fares to those affected by the collapse of Primera, you'll need to call them to inquire on 1 800 862 8621
What about European EC/261 delay compensation?
By law, European airlines have to pay compensation for delays and cancellations due to factors within their control. Unfortunately, because the airline has folded, any compensation you were due will now become another claim against the assets of the airline, much like if you had a ticket. You're unlikely to see any money.
Similarly, EC/261 compensation doesn't apply to any cancellations caused by the bankruptcy itself because the airline is no longer in operation, hence there is no one to file a claim against