Wow Air Abruptly Shuts Down, and Stranded Passengers Don't Know What to Do

Illustration for article titled Wow Air Abruptly Shuts Down, and Stranded Passengers Don't Know What to Do
Photo: Wow Air

Budget airline Wow Air has ceased all operations and canceled all flights, leaving many passengers very screwed and very stranded.


Before Thursday, Wow Air offered flights to 23 airports for fares as low as $50. The airline has been struggling in recent months. In November competing airline Icelandair pulled out of a plan to acquire the airline. A couple of weeks later the company announced it laid off 111 employees. Talks between Icelandair and Wow reportedly picked up again last week, but Icelandair again decided to scrap the idea.

Wow Air released a notice on Thursday alerting travelers to the flight cancellations, effective immediately, and providing some insight on how they can get to their destination—basically, you’re on your own.

The notice suggests passengers check for available flights with other airlines and advised them to ask their credit card company if they can get a refund for the ticket. It states passengers may be able to get compensation from the company. But it seems the airline is not issuing any automatic refunds. Wow Air did not respond to our request for comment and information on how travelers can get refunds.

The sudden notice left many travelers on both sides of the Atlantic confused and scrambling to find a way to their destinations.

Toronto publication BlogTO tweeted a video that seems to show angry would-be passengers at Toronto Pearson International Airport.


A Twitter search shows many people are tweeting angry and confused messages to @wow_air, like “you’re the WOAT [worst of all time], I’m stranded in Amsterdam;”“WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO NOW!;”“stranded my sister in Paris with $1,400 being the cheapest one way home... how is that legal?;” and “fuck you! Canceled our flight to Paris and still charged us for bags etc had us waiting for hours at the airport sayin our flight was delayed! wow fuckin WOW.”


The Icelandic Transport Authority issued a notice which EasyJet, Norwegian Air, Wizz Air, and XL Airways are offering reduced fares for travelers who are stranded because of Wow’s collapse.

[Wow Air]


Former senior reporter at Gizmodo


Lars Vargas is still suspicious of 2021's motives

There are ways to shut down a business and ways not to. I don’t blame the employees since it would appear they had the same zero notice as customers. But this was completely graceless and awful on the part of management.

They knew this was coming and could have prepared. Instead, they took the coward’s way out an inconvenienced thousands of people costing hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even millions). Wow.