1. ITV Report

Wow Air: Your rights if your flight has been cancelled by the Icelandic airline

Icelandic airline announced on Thursday that all flights are cancelled - leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Credit: Credit: Wow Air

Icelandic airline Wow Air announced on Thursday that all flights are cancelled - leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Many passengers heard the news as they were about to board planes, and are stuck at airports across Europe.

The airline announced it has “ceased operation” as of March 28, after initially cancelling the day’s flights while completing an agreement with a group of investors over raising new funds.

The Civil Aviation Authority said travel firms with an Atol licence are responsible for making alternative arrangements to bring their customers home if they are currently overseas with a Wow Air booking.

So what can Wow Air passengers do amid the cancellations and what are their rights?

How will passengers reach their destination?

Passengers are advised to check available flights with other airlines.

Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances. Information on those airlines will be published, when it becomes available.

ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi shared Wow Air's official statement announcing the news:

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What rights do Wow Air passengers have?

Passengers whose ticket was paid with a credit card are advised to contact their credit card company to check whether a refund of the ticket cost will be issued.

Passengers who bought their ticket from a European travel agent (within the European Economic Area) as a part of a package tour (a package which includes flights and accommodation or other services) are protected by the Package Travel Directive.

Those passengers are advised to contact their travel agent to arrange an alternative flight.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said: "Passengers will quite rightly be appalled that Wow Air was still selling tickets right up to the moment it collapsed, knowing full well that any tickets sold would likely not be worth the paper they are printed on.

"You will need to check if you booked your flights as part of a package as this will mean you are Atol-protected and will be entitled to your money back.

"If not, you may still be able to claim through your travel insurance or card issuer but it will depend on your circumstances. You can visit for more advice on your rights."

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Will passengers be entitled to compensation?

Passengers who may have bought travel protection, or those passengers whose credit card terms may include such protection, may be entitled to claim compensation and assistance due to delays or travel disruption. However, such compensation is often limited.

Passengers may also be entitled to compensation from Wow Air itself, including in accordance with European regulation on Air Passenger Rights.

In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the business' administrator or liquidator.

Where can passengers get up-to-date information?

Passengers can check for updates on the following websites: