WOW Air Shut Down Operations and How to Be Compensated

Wow Airplane with it's bright purple logo
Wow Airplane with it's bright purple logo
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It is all over the news, so you are probably already aware by now, but WOW Air fully shut down their operations just yesterday. WOW Air was founded in 2011 and flew it’s first flight in May 2012 from Iceland to Paris. They ran a low-cost network or routes within Europe and then expanded to the US in 2015 with flights to Boston and Baltimore. I actually flew WOW Air in 2015 with my brother and sister and we all had a great experience. The prices were ridiculously low, the planes were perfectly fine for our 5 hour flight, the service exceeded expectations, and it was just an overall positive experience. I am definitely sad to see the airline shut down as I know it allowed many tourists to visit Iceland at a more reasonable price and explore such a wonderful country.

Exploring Iceland with my brother and sister

When WOW Air shut down, passengers were not given any warning at all—some passengers were sitting at the gate and planning to board within 20 minutes. Limited information was given and ultimately they ended up stranded at the airport. Unfortunately, WOW Air shutting down has displaced many passengers and due to the bankruptcy, they aren’t getting their money back right away (if ever from WOW Air).

First off, if you are impacted, Iceland Air is trying to help by providing discounted fares to those who have already started their trip. All you have to do is provide proof of a return ticket dated between March 28 and April 11. You’ll end up paying between $60-$100, but of course it is based on availability.

Most importantly though is to call your credit card company and file a claim. This is why it is extremely important to use a credit card that provides trip cancellation/interruption as one of their benefits. This is why I highly recommend using most (but not all) Chase credit cards when booking airfare. You are provided with so many benefits that you do NOT receive with American Express. Many folks think Amex cards are the best when things go array, but that does not apply to travel. Some recommended credit cards to use that carry this benefit/insurance include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.


I am definitely sad to see another airline go out of business, especially when it provided such a great way to get to an amazing country. With that being said, the writing was on the wall and this is by no means a surprise.

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4 years ago

It’s a shame Expedia is not helping, refunding, or rescheduling they way Hopper is, Hopper will have my business from now on. Expedia is an absolute disgrace and they deserve to loose their customers to Hopper. Lesson learned: NEVER book through Expedia!
The insurance Expedia sells (Travel Guard) is a scam, they will do anything to not have to pay what they promised.

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