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Icelandic Airline Wow Air Goes Down, All Flights Are Canceled

A major but financially strapped airline company from Iceland has closed down and canceled flights at the last minute, causing chaos at airports in North America and Europe. As these things tend to go, much of that chaos is playing out on social media, with passengers taking to Twitter and IG to document their ordeals.
Wow Air abruptly ceases operation, cancels all flights 10 photos
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In a brief statement on the official website, Wow Air writes that it “has ceased operation” and, as such, “all flights have been canceled.” As you can see in some of the tweets available at the bottom of the page, the announcement came, in some cases, mere minutes before the scheduled flight was supposed to take off.

Even worse news than the cancellation of the flight is that not all passengers will get refunds. The same announcement includes options for stranded fliers: “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.”

As for compensation, those who bought tickets from an European travel agent are protected by the Package Travel Directive and can turn to the travel agent for arrangements for a new flight. Those who paid with a credit card may also receive some of the money back, especially if they have travel insurance. They shouldn’t hold out hope, though, Wow says.

“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,” the airline adds.

Founded by Skuli Mogensen in 2012, Wow operated in 37 destinations, flying between Iceland, Europe and North America. Following news of its going belly up, flights have been grounded in Montreal, Boston, Detroit, Baltimore and New York, but also Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dublin, Copenhagen and Frankfurt.

Wow offered cheap flights but charged extra for seating options and luggage. Its low-fare policy forced competitors to slash prices as well, but it didn’t help it boost revenue per passenger. In 2017, after a 20 percent drop, Wow went on the market: negotiations to sell it to its main rival fell through, and talks were opened with American company Indigo Partners, which also operates Wizz Air.


 
 
 
 
 

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