As you likely know by know, budget airline WOW Air ceased operations last week, leaving anyone with an existing reservation out of luck. Refunds are not being offered, even if you’ve been stranded away from home without a return flight. So if you have a ticket on a now-cancelled WOW flight, what do you do?
WOW’s own dedicated page advises passengers “to check available flights with other airlines,” some of which are offering discounts to passengers that can show evidence of unrealized WOW reservations. Per the Washington Post, via MSN, that list so far includes the Lufthansa Group (Swiss, Lufthansa and Austrian), which are “offering 25 percent off the ticket price if you depart by April 30 and complete your trip by June 30,” Icelandair (“reduced return fares between March 28 and April 11”), Aer Lingus (“rescue fares through April 11” if you “have a reservation on Wow within the next 11 days”), Norwegian Air (“discounting economy fares by 25 percent”), and Virgin Atlantic (“reduced fares” if you “book by April 6 and complete travel by April 30”), plus—via The Points Guy—Delta (“handled on a case-by-case basis”), United (“discounted fares from March 28 to April 12 for travel through April 30”), American (offering “deeply discounted fares to WOW customers stranded in a foreign country”), EasyJet (somewhat unofficially), Wizz Air (“one-way flights from Reykjavík to Warsaw and London-Luton from £74.99 ($98) to £79.99 ($105), valid for travel up to May 10”), and British Airways (“rescue fares to travel home from Iceland throughout April”).
TPG has likely the most complete list of airlines that have officially and unofficially opened their arms to out-of-luck WOW passengers, so if you have a WOW ticket, give it a long look. And as the Post notes, the most important thing is to “work every possible portal. Call, tweet and leave a Facebook message with the various airlines. If you are at the airport, speak to a ticketing agent. You can also buy a walk-up fare, but brace yourself for a high figure — possibly upward of $1,000. If you have some flexibility, [TPG’s Ben] Mutzabaugh suggests hunkering down in the destination until the first wave of the crisis clears.”
Lastly, don’t forget to check in with any insurance carrier you may have a policy with (this is another reason to consider a plan; I’m an ambassador for Allianz), your credit card company (a good travel card may cover the loss), and even the OTA you booked the flight through. Hopper, for example, is reimbursing anyone that purchased unused WOW flights through its portal. You may ultimately be entitled to compensation from the airline, but if you have a trip that needs saving, the first thing to do is to try to save it (you won’t be the only one trying).
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