Hundreds of people are stranded and freaking out after Wow Air collapsed

WOW Air Airbus A320Flickr/Anna ZverevaFlickr/Anna Zvereva

  • Icelandic budget airline Wow Air abruptly ceased operations on Thursday.
  • The carrier canceled all flights, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded with no idea how to get home or complete their travels.
  • Wow Air was due to run 15 flights on Thursday alone. Its planes seat about 200 passengers each.
  • Are you affected by because of the collapse of Wow Air? Email ama@businessinsider.com.

Hundreds of passengers have been left stranded with no idea how to get home or complete their travels after budget airline Wow Air abruptly collapsed on Thursday.

The Icelandic airline said in a tersely-worded statement that it had canceled all flights and told passengers to try to book with other carriers.

It did not offer refund tickets, but told passengers to check with their credit card company and European regulators.

Read more: Wow Air just went bust in yet another blow to the struggling budget airline industry

Wow Air was due to operate 15 flights on Thursday alone, three of which from the US, according to aviation website Flightradar24. Dozens were meant to fly over the next week.

Multiple people identifying themselves as passengers have tweeted about being stranded in foreign countries as a result of the abrupt cancelations.

It appears that Wow Air gave no indication of its impending collapse and still allowed people to purchase tickets on their site in the hours running up to its Thursday morning announcement.

Rory Boland, the editor of UK consumer rights charity Which?, tweeted that as of 7 a.m. local time - about two hours before Wow Air declared its collapse - people could still book and pay for tickets on the carrier's website.

Another passenger, Thomas Duffy, told the Irish Times that he successfully booked flights for May with Wow Air on Wednesday evening. He has now bought new flights with a different carrier.

The last Wow Air flight - from Reykjavik to Detroit - was completed on Wednesday, Flightradar24 said.

The carrier owns 11 planes - ten Airbus A321 planes and one A320 - as of March 2019. Each plane seats about 200 people.

Wow Air had been struggling with debt but continued to offer low prices for its flights.

In January, the company offered one-way flights from the US to Europe for as little as $49, and ran a Valentine's Day promotion offering free flights to anyone named Valentine.

In 2018, the company laid off 111 employees and cut its fleet size by nearly half.

Wow Air's shutdown follows that of low-cost Danish carrier Primera Air last October. Passenger and crew members were also stuck in foreign countries after the airline announced its collapse, with some forced to sleep in airports.

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