WOW Air has gone bust leaving thousands of passengers stranded and out of pocket.
The budget airline announced that it has cancelled all flights around this morning leaving customers in travel chaos.
Alamy The budget airline has cancelled all flights leaving thousands of customers out of pocket
Discussions with Icelandair Group about a possible takeover collapsed earlier this week and Wow Air cancelled 20 flights on Monday before suspending all of them today.
Customers are being advised to check alternative available routes with other airlines, who may offer reduced rates.
Your refund rights depend on whether you booked the flights through an ATOL protected service.
ATOL protection means that you’re guaranteed a refund if a company goes into administration and an alternative route home will be found for you.
WOWAir Icelandic budget airline Wow Air has suspended all flights
Here’s how to get your money back when an airline has gone bust:How to find out if your booking is ATOL protected
If you booked your flight as part of a package holiday then it may be ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) protected.
You will have received a confirmation certificate when you made the booking if it is.
In this case, the travel agent is responsible for your flights and must either arrange alternative flights or provide a full refund.
If you’re already on holiday then they will make alternative arrangements to get you home.
Passengers who booked flights through other companies will need to check the website and see if it is has the ATOL logo on it.
You can also check which firms are protected via the ATOL website here.
Get a refund from your debit or credit card provider
Wow Air is advising customers who booked tickets with a credit card to contact the provider about getting a refund.
This is because under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, card providers are jointly liable when a purchase isn’t fulfilled so you should be able to get your money back.
A departure board at Reykjavik Airport shows a series of cancelled Wow Air flights
But it only applies to credit card transactions over £100.
If you paid with your debit card, or paid less than £100 with your credit card, then you may be able to get a refund via a scheme called Chargeback.
Like Section 75, it pays out when purchases go wrong but it’s not a legal requirement so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your cash back.
Both schemes only cover refunds and not the cost of alternative flights.
Neither will payout for any associated costs either, such as hotel bookings, because technically nothing has gone wrong with those transactions.
If you can’t travel, check with the providers to see if you can cancel or rearrange your booking for free.
Twitter / Travelgirlto Stranded passengers at Toronto Airport this morning
Some card providers may ask for a “negative response letter”, which will be published by the UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
You may be entitled to a refund on flights booked with PayPal.
You’ll need to open a “dispute” within 180 days of payments by going to the “Resolution Centre” and click “Dispute a Transaction”.
Check your travel insurance cover – it may pay out
Your flight may be covered by your travel insurance who will be able to give you the money back.
Depending on your policy, you might even be able to get a full refund for the holiday if you were covered for “scheduled airline failure insurance” (SAFI) – so check you policy.
Financial information provider, Defaqto, says that around two fifths of travel insurance policies won’t protect holidaymakers from this kind of failure so double check yours.
The CAA adds a policy may simply cover the cost of the original tickets purchased or any unused portion, or the additional cost of purchasing new flights, such as new tickets for travel back to the UK.
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Before submitting a claim, double check the excess fee because it will eat into any refund you get.You’re not likely to get compensation
Where an EU flight is cancelled you may be due compensation for delays reaching your final destination and food, drink and accommodation if you’re left waiting at the airport.
This is paid under EU rules EU261/2004. But while Wow Air says you can submit a compensation claim, as the airline has no cash it’s unlikely you’d get anything back.
You’ll join the long list of creditors who is owed money, behind bigger firms who are owed large sums.
Last month, airline FlyBMI went into administration, leaving thousands stranded after all flights were cancelled.
It follows the collapse of Primera Air and Cobalt Air in October 2018 and of Monarch Airlines in October 2017.
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