Wow Air surprised its passengers by suddenly saying it’s going out of business Thursday, in a move that left travelers scrambling to book other tickets — and wondering whether they would be able to secure a refund.
“WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled,” the minimal effort Iceland-based carrier declared Thursday morning.
For many travelers, the news affirmed their worst-case scenario. Wow had just canceled various global flights of Newark, N.J., Baltimore/Washington International Airport and different air terminals Wednesday night. In a few cases, those cancellations pursued long stretches of delays.
“The airline offered hotel accommodations until the next flight,” Wow customer Suher Adi said, adding, “but that’s not going happen.”
Adi, who lives in Washington, had been planned to fly from Baltimore to Paris, with a stopover in Reykjavik. At the point when her flight didn’t take off Wednesday night, airline delegates advised her to record a case for a refund. That word came after hours of delay notices about her flight.
“Many passengers are stranded without any place to stay tonight or any idea of what’s going on,” Adi said in a tweet to the airline last night.
And after that, Thursday morning, the aircraft went silent.
“It’s unclear if there are any options at this point,” Adi said. She called the situation “absolutely horrible and shocking.”
The Icelandic Transport Authority has posted data for Wow clients in the wake of the abrupt news that the airline had shut down. Be that as it may, the guidance offers little comfort, advising travelers to check with different airlines to find a new ticket.
“Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances,” the agency said.
Anybody pondering about a discount was advised to take that up with their credit card companies.
In response of the unexpected shutdown, Icelandair is putting forth limited tickets to jilted Wow customers, going from $60 for flights to Reykjavik and $160 for flights between North America and Europe.
“These fares will only be available for passengers who have already embarked on their journey,” Icelandair said, “and have a return ticket with Wow air between 28 March and 11 April 2019.”
Wow customer Alison Fath says she and her fiancé are looking into Icelandair’s offer, because the pair no longer have a ticket on a return flight from Paris to Baltimore this Sunday. And in a sign of how travel problems often cascade into each other, she says they can’t meet Icelandair’s proof-of-travel requirement — because Wow isn’t available to issue an e-ticket she could convert into a new ticket.
Earlier Thursday, she had posted on the Wow Facebook page, “Currently stuck in Europe.”
“Anyone have any advice on how to get back to the States,” she asked, noting that most tickets are now at least $2,000.
For Denise Riordan, the cancellations mean she’ll miss what was intended to be her first opportunity to meet her child nephew, Ollie, and go to his initiating in her native Ireland.
Travelers were at that point boarding her 7:05 p.m. flight to Dublin, Riordan reveals to Ireland’s Independent newspaper, when airline staff reported that there was an issue. Following four hours ofdelays, the flight was canceled.
“They said that there will be further information today and asked if we have any questions,” Riordan said. “There was uproar — of course we have questions!”
Wow Air was established in late 2011 with the goal of offering modest flights and rivaling Icelandair. Individuals were drawn by the low costs — a departure from Washington to London was as of late estimated at $139, for example, with a Boston to Reykjavik trip recorded at $99.
With its armada of purple-painted Airbus planes, Wow extended quickly, drawing clients from Europe and North America. The carrier served 3.5 million travelers in 2018. On its website, the airline says it has around 1,000 employees.
In expansive part, Wow’s business system relied on its ability to fly littler carriers into the U.S. what’s more, Europe than their American and European contenders, utilizing one-stop agendas to offer low-evaluated tickets between cities that already lacked a nonstop option.
“As a consumer you certainly root for it to succeed,” Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan told NPR’s Here and Now in 2017, “but the burden of proof is still very much on the airlines who are trying something that hasn’t worked until now.”
Wow was one of several carriers to try new strategies, drawing on two recent trends: high demand for vacation trips and low fuel prices. Others offering low-airfare flights include Danish carrier Primera Air and Norwegian Air.