What to do when the airline you’re flying goes out of business


WOW air has announced its closing, leaving many travelers stranded in airports around the world. To help you figure out what to do if this news impacts your travel plans, we’ve rounded up the latest information so you can ultimately get home as quickly and safely as possible — or make alternate arrangements for future travel plans.

Here’s some advice to help those impacted:

  1. Call your credit card company. If you booked your flight using a credit card, give them a call and see if they’ll work with you on getting your money back. You may be able to claim compensation from their credit card firm.
  2. Continue to check the WOW air website. For updates, the airline promises to provide customers with more information on its website in the coming days at https://wowair.com/
  3. Contact the OTA you booked with. As KAYAK is a travel search engine and not a seller, we don’t service your booking (as we won’t have specific booking details for you or your trip). If your ticket was purchased through an OTA (check your card or bank statement to find out), reach out to them as soon as possible to see your options.
  4. Contact your insurance company & check to see if your trip is protected. If your trip was insured, you could be eligible to claim back your ticket costs. You’ll want to check your travel insurance policy to see if “scheduled airline failure” is covered. Unfortunately, not all policies offer this as standard.  If you booked your flight through a travel agent or as part of a vacation package, it’s possible that the agent’s ATOL protection (Air Travel Organizer’s License) will apply here. This means you might be refunded in full or your agent may be required to book you alternative flights.

Airlines offering discounts to stranded passengers

Several airlines are offering limited “rescue fares.” These include:

  • Norwegian Air: Norwegian has announced it will offer specially reduced “repatriation” or “rescue” fares for WOW air passengers. Norwegian says the fares will be offered at around a 25% discount subject to availability when a passenger shows a valid WOW air booking. These will be available until April 8 and are available on the following routes:
    • London Gatwick to Boston
    • London Gatwick to New York JFK
    • Paris CDG to Boston
    • Paris CDG to New York JFK
    • Copenhagen to New York JFK
    • Amsterdam to New York JFK
    • Stockholm to New York JFK
    • Barcelona to Newark
  • Icelandair: Icelandair is offering discounted economy fares to passengers stranded en route to, from or through Iceland. These fares will be available until April 11 and passengers will need to apply. Discounted costs are around $100 for flights to the US and Canada and around $60 for flights to Europe — not including taxes and fees.
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • British Airways
  • Aer Lingus
  • XL Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Wizz

Please contact these airlines directly for a price quote and the specific terms and conditions of these discounted fares.


What are my rights?

The Icelandic Transport Authority has published this notice, which includes pertinent information about trying to re-coup your payment:

  • 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.
  • 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, including in accordance with European regulation on Air Passenger Rights. In case of a bankruptcy, claims should be filed to the administrator / liquidator.

For more information on what you can do if your flight is suddenly canceled, we’ve rounded up a few of our top tips. KAYAK will continue to update this post as more discounts become available.



Additional terms and conditions may apply to airline offers above and customers should contact airlines directly for details.