WOW Air goes bust: here are your rights if you're due to fly

28 March 2019

Thousands of passengers with WOW Air have been left without flights as the low-cost carrier ceased operation.

WOW Air announced it was ceasing operations with a short message on its website: “WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled.”

The result is many of its passengers could be left out of pocket and even stranded abroad.

But there are ways to get your money back and get home.

WOW Air says on its statement that passengers could be in line for compensation from the airline, however that is unclear at this time. Any claims would have to filed with the administrator of the bust firm.

Stranded passengers

If you’re abroad and stuck now that WOW Air can’t fly you home, check other flight prices returning to the UK from your destination’s airport.

In some cases, certain airlines offer ‘rescue fares’ to passengers of bust airlines, essentially flights at a reduced cost. WOW Air says on its website it will detail more information on this in due course, so its best to keep an eye on it.

Credit cards

If you bought your flights with a credit card and the value was over £100 you will be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

This gives you entitlement to protection from your credit card company. You’ll need to get in touch with them to obtain a refund.


Flights booked directly with the airline won’t have ATOL protection, but if you booked the flights as part of a tour or bigger package, your tour operator will likely have ATOL protection.

Check your booking, you would have been sent an ATOL protection certificate.

If you booked WOW Air flights through a 3rd-party website, speak to them directly in the first instance to see if you can get a refund.

Travel insurance

You may be able to claim back for the failure of the airline on your travel insurance. This is known in the policy as scheduled airline failure insurance or SAFI.

However, this is not necessarily standard cover on all travel policies. Check your cover Ts&Cs and get in touch with the provider to see if you are protected.

Consequential losses

If you’ve got hotels, car hires and other activities booked as part of your holiday that you now can’t access, check to see if you are able to cancel them before paying any money.

Check your travel insurance too as these may be covered as ‘consequential losses’ as a result of the failure of the airline.

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