Vacationers have been left shocked Thursday as WOW Air, a low-cost Icelandic service, unexpectedly collapsed and ceased all operations, leaving passengers stranded and demanding refunds for the 1000’s of dollars they’d spent on aircraft tickets.
“WOW AIR has ceased operation,” the airline mentioned in an announcement on its web site after declaring chapter. “All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled.”
The corporate urged clients to search out flights dwelling through different airways and advised those that “some airways could provide flights at a lowered price” because of the present circumstances.
“We’re all feeling very stressed about it and really shocked,” mentioned Jackie Lafferty, a 28-year-old Philadelphia healthcare employee on trip in Iceland. Lafferty mentioned she and her buddies solely realized of WOW Air’s abrupt collapse after being despatched a information story once they wakened on Thursday morning.
“We tried calling them,” Lafferty advised BuzzFeed Information, however mentioned she was met with a relentless ringing sound and nobody selecting up. “We tried tweeting them, emailing them, and didn’t get any response.”
Lafferty and her buddies have been amongst an estimated 10,000 folks left stranded by the corporate’s collapse, in accordance with the BBC.
Marc Solari, a 32-year-old New Hampshire resident, advised BuzzFeed Information he was resulting from fly to Iceland with WOW on Wednesday night, however as a substitute discovered himself caught at Boston airport.
Unable to go on his journey, Solari was advised to name the WOW help line, however mentioned he “gave up on that after being on maintain for 40 minutes” and went dwelling.
“Essentially the most annoying factor for me at this level is the quantity of dishonesty from WOW yesterday to not solely their clients but additionally their staff who’re then compelled to cope with an offended mob of individuals all through your complete evening” Solari mentioned.
Solari mentioned he was in a position to get a full refund from Fleetway, who he says referred to as and provided him a full refund.
WOW couldn’t be reached for remark as a result of, properly, it would not exist anymore.
In line with the Wall Avenue Journal, the airline, which was based in 2011, bought a few of its jets final 12 months in a bid to boost cash and had been attempting to safe long-term funding for months.
Maryland civil servant Denise Eblen advised BuzzFeed Information she’d be lacking her nephew’s christening in Eire because of the airline going bust. When she appeared up a brand new value on one other airline for the $665 flight she’d initially booked, she was shocked to be confronted with a $1,775 various.
The day the airline went bust, the corporate had been emailing clients promotional presents to improve their flights, in accordance with proof offered by each Eblen and Lafferty.
Veron Campagna, a 24-year-old server in Ontario, Canada, advised BuzzFeed Information she’d been left heartbroken after spending a large chunk of cash on a dream journey to Europe.
“My girlfriend’s mother referred to as us this morning and we thought, what on this planet may she probably need at eight a.m.,” Campagna mentioned. “We have been actually shocked and had a giant cry.”
Like many others, Campagna mentioned she hasn’t had any communication with WOW Air and received’t know if she’ll be refunded by her financial institution for one more one or two enterprise days.
“The WOW airfares alone have been about $1,000 that we at present don’t know if we are able to get again,” Campagna mentioned. “After which about $1,000 on the remainder of the journey.”
It appears as if WOW’s staff could have been at the hours of darkness in regards to the firm’s impending collapse.
Christopher Hecox, a scholar learning enterprise on the College of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, mentioned he spoke with a consultant on Wednesday as a result of he’d observed considered one of his flights from Iceland to Paris for his honeymoon was canceled.
Hecox, 27, mentioned he referred to as the consultant to determine what was occurring and solely whereas having a dialog did he discover out that it wasn’t simply considered one of his flights that was canceled, however all of them.
“I believe he was simply attempting his finest to repair the issue,” Hecox mentioned of the rep. “I believe he realized there have been issues happening with the corporate on the time, and I don’t know what sort of strain he had from the highest there to only repair it and transfer on.”
“I used to be simply attempting to grasp how huge the issue was,” Hecox mentioned, who was in a position to get a refund from his financial institution for the journey he was set to go on in Might.
On their web site, WOW suggested clients to contact their bank card firms and journey brokers to attempt to search refunds.