Today, WOW air announced that they are ceasing operations with immediate effect. This upstart Icelandic airline tried to make a business out of connecting North America and Europe with crazy low fares.
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 WOW Air?
Most likely no. It appears that for the moment the airline is still in business but it's likely that they will enter bankruptcy proceedings soon.
If WOW air does enter bankruptcy proceedings then claims for refunds will need to be filed with the administrator in the airline's home country of Iceland. 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 WOW air's case is that there are hardly any assets so you're unlikely to ever see any money.
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 issue is resolved.
Will WOW Air Re-Book Me On Another Airline?
No. As the airline has ceased operations, WOW air will not be able to re-book passengers on other airlines.
I'm In Europe At The Moment And Had A Booking On WOW Air. 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.
WOW Air's North American route network used to be very extensive but as of yesterday included Washington, D.C., New York, Detroit, Toronto & Boston. Airlines like Icelandair, 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 Also Booked A Hotel Or Rental Car Through WOW Air, What Happens To That Booking?
It depends. If WOW air 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.
If you bought a package from a European travel agent or tour operator then you will likely be covered by the Package Travel Directive rules and you should contact the company you booked with to enquire about these provisions.
Will Another Airline Honor My Ticket?
No, but some are offering rescue fares:
- Icelandair has announced specially discounted fares for people stuck with a WOW air booking. More information can be found here.
- EasyJet is offering rescue fares between the U.K. and Iceland. Full info here.
- XL Airways is offering rescue fares between Paris and New York. See details here.
- Norwegian will offer rescue fares on selected routes beginning March 29, 2019. Full info here.
- Virgin Atlantic are offering discounted rescue fares on routes the U.S. and Canada and the U.K.. Full info here.
- United are offering discounted rescue fares between the U.S. and Europe. Call +1 800-864-8331 to book.
- Aer Lingus are offering rescue fares for travel after April 12. Full details here.
- Wizz Air are offering special fares between Iceland and London and Warsaw. Details here.
What About European EC/261 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
Got A Question We Haven't Answered?
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