ADVERTISEMENT

Travel News: All WOW Air Flights Canceled. Here’s What You Need to Know.

By The Budget Travel Editors
September 29, 2021
Wow Air
Courtesy Wow Air
As the Icelandic budget carrier cancels all upcoming flights, we share some tips for stranded passengers and WOW ticket holders.

As our colleagues at Lonely Planet reported earlier this morning, Icelandic super-bargain transatlantic carrier WOW Air has canceled all of its flights as the company appears to be in financial collapse. WOW's website announces that the company has ceased operations and suggests that stranded passengers contact other airlines in hopes of receiving a discounted "rescue" fare. (Aer Lingus, the flagship airline of Ireland, announced that it would provide rescue fares to WOW passengers with tickets to fly between today and April 11, subject to availability.)

Passengers Stranded

With WOW passengers stranded at airports and prospective European vacationers holding WOW tickets for upcoming trips asking, “What do I do now?” we offer some tips from the air-passenger-rights company AirHelp.

Claim a Refund

If you’ve booked using a travel agency or partner airline or package tour company, the company that booked your trip may be responsible for refunding some or all of the cost of your canceled flight(s).

If you’ve booked directly with WOW using a credit card, the credit card company may be able to stop the payment to the airline and refund your fare. If WOW files for bankruptcy protection, there is also the chance that the airline would repay debited cash to customers.

AirHelp CEO Henrik Zillmer cautions, "Customers who have booked their tickets directly with the airline do unfortunately have narrow chances of reimbursement of their costs and must address their claims directly to the bankruptcy trustee of the airline."

CLUB DISCOUNTS

Save up to 50% on Hotels

1 rooms, 1 guests
ADVERTISEMENT
Keep reading
News

TSA Workers Are Moving to the Southwest Border. Will Airport Security Be Affected?

CNN reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to send up to 175 law enforcement officials and up to “400 people from Security Ops” to the Southwest border to assist with immigration duties, according to an internal email obtained by CNN. TSA May Face Depleted Resources According to the CNN report, TSA acknowledges that the “immediate need” at the border presents “some risk” of depleted aviation security. The effort will not involve TSA’s airport screeners—the most visible part of the TSA’s daily activities—but will involve employees who work in behind-the-scenes security roles, including monitoring airport security lines, conducting airport sweeps, and working with local and state law enforcement officials. Will Your Travel Experience Be Affected? Because the move of TSA workers to the border will not initially involve uniformed screeners, chances are most travelers will not immediately experience longer lines or wait times at airport security. However, the effect on behind-the-scenes security initiatives—arguably as crucial to TSA’s mission as routine screening—remains to be seen. TALK TO US: If you experience longer-than-usual wait times at airport security, please share your stories in the comments below. This story is evolving, and Budget Travel will continue to follow developments that may have a direct impact on air travelers.

News

Security Lines Are About to Get Shorter for US Passengers

Ninety-four per cent of people in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck lanes clear the scanners in under five minutes, and now even more passengers are set to benefit from the agency’s expedited screening program. On Monday, the TSA added five international airlines to its roster of participating carriers: Austrian Airlines, Canada’s Swoop, PAL Express (Philippines Airlines), and the Mexico-based Viva Aerobus and Interjet. Letting pre-approved fliers skip through security lines without the hassles of separating out their liquids, taking off their shoes, or pulling out their laptops, PreCheck is available for passengers on 72 domestic and international airlines, provided they’re US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents who’ve gotten the all-clear. (Members of the US Armed Forces are also eligible.) After being fingerprinted and passing a background check and an in-person interview, applicants pay US$85 for a five-year membership, gaining access to express lines on US departures and domestic connections after US returns. (For smoother reentry from overseas, Global Entry costs a little bit more, but it streamlines the customs process and includes PreCheck benefits, while SENTRI and NEXUS cover the Mexican and Canadian borders.) With some 2.2 million passengers and crew members passing through TSA checkpoints daily, the agency recommends travelers arrive two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international—time that could be better spent on the ground, enjoying a destination, rather than waiting on line. Of course, PreCheck doesn’t completely guarantee expedited service either (the agency reserves the right to implement additional screening measures), but for many frequent fliers, the likelihood of an easier airport experience is worth the risk. To learn more and to apply, visit tsa.gov.

News

New rules could see emotional support animals banned from flights

In a notice of proposed rulemaking issued on 22nd January, the department announced its intention to limit the definition of a service animal to a dog “trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” The amendment would also recognize ESAs as pets rather than service animals, effectively letting airlines ban them from the cabin, allow carriers to require documentation on the animal’s training and behavior, set limits on the number of service animals permitted per person, require an earlier check-in for passengers traveling with ESAs, and clarify breed restrictions. USA Today reports that the department said “it was not prohibiting airlines from allowing passengers to fly with emotional support animals. However, it would no longer require them to do so if the proposed rule becomes final.” ESAs continue to be a hotly debated topic in the wake of multiple incidents involving animal misbehavior, with airlines claiming travelers are trying to work around the rules by claiming their pets to be emotional support animals, and disability groups calling the potential regulations unnecessarily restrictive. “These proposals will make it much harder for people with disabilities to travel,” the National Disability Rights Network’s executive director Curt Decker said in a statement. “We acknowledge that some people have misrepresented themselves and their pets as people with disabilities with service or emotional support animals. But it is rare. These proposals are a vast overreaction to an uncommon problem... Requiring additional documentation and attestation, and imposing additional costs on passengers with disabilities, is overly burdensome and discriminatory.” The Department of Transportation is soliciting public comment on the proposal for the next 60 days. Visit regulations.gov to submit your opinion. This article first appeared on our sister site, Lonely Planet.

News

The founder of JetBlue is launching the “nicest airline in the world”

There’s no doubt about it, air travel can be stressful, and in recent times, videos and news reports have surfaced that tell tales of the worst sides of people coming out, whether its instances of companies treating passengers unfairly or arguments between flyers erupting mid-flight. What’s the remedy? Trying to inject some friendliness back into the industry again. One new company has announced that it’s on that very mission; to be the nicest airline in the world. Conceived by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, Azul Airways, Morris Air and WestJet, Breeze Airways will seek to prioritise kindness and niceness when it comes to hiring employees, with the company saying that it values the trait as one of the most important criteria for its future vision. Formerly known as Moxy, the company is currently applying for its airline operating certificate with the Federal Aviation Administration and US Department of Transportation, and hopes to be flying by the end of 2020. “Breeze will fly non-stop service between places currently without meaningful or affordable service,” said Breeze’s CEO and president David Neeleman. “Twenty years ago, we brought humanity back to the airline industry with JetBlue. Today, we’re excited to introduce plans for ‘the World’s Nicest Airline’.” According to the company, Breeze aims to be the nicest airline in the world © Colin Anderson Productions Pty Ltd / Getty ImagesBreeze will begin by serving mid-sized US city pairs that currently have no non-stop services. The company has ordered sixty new Airbus A220 jets, with deliveries beginning in April 2021, and has leased thirty Embraer 195 aircrafts. The former is suited to nonstop flights between mid-size destinations, while the latter can connect smaller places more cost-effectively. The airline is currently advertising for a range of jobs online. This article originated on our partner site, Lonely Planet.