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WOW Air ceases operations, cancels all flights, thousands stranded

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If you want to get to your destination on time, stick with this budget airline. Buzz60’s Sean Dowling has more.
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Iceland’s low-cost carrier WOW Air has ceased operations – and the passengers left in a lurch by the airline’s sudden shutdown are taking their outrage to social media.

The announcement came in a travel alert posted to their website Thursday, which says all flights have been canceled.

Furthermore, it advises passengers to “check available flights with other airlines” if they have not yet reached their destination.

This sudden cease-all has left thousands of passengers stranded, according to BBC and NBC News

The airline doesn’t promise displaced passengers would be guaranteed compensation, either. Instead, the travel alert says some passengers “may” be entitled to compensation from the airline. The airline advises contacting your credit card company and/or travel agent first to see if a refund will be issued.

As is usually the case with such incidents, passengers have taken to social media to air their anger over how their lives were impacted.

“my husband hasn’t been home in ten years. we finally book flights to surprise the family and @wowairsupport goes and cancels all flights,” one person tweeted.

“Stranded in Iceland because of #wowair. Anyone have a private plane to get us out of here? icelandair is booked unless we pay $5000+” another tweeted.

“Thanks to @wow_air, I’m officially stranded in another continent for who knows how long. This shouldn’t be tolerated,” another said. “Wow Airlines gave me a good flight coming over, and hell coming back.”

The fall of WOW follows months of economic struggles. In January, the airline announced it would cut its number of U.S. destinations to just four as it attempted to return to stable financial footing.

WOW launched in 2012 and expanded to the USA in 2015. It grew rapidly here, making headlines with sales that regularly dropped fares to Europe to less than $100 one-way.

In 2018, however, WOW ran into financial turbulence that raised questions about its survival. A cash crunch created pressure for the airline and it lost a potential lifeline when a planned acquisition by rival Icelandair fell through.

USA TODAY has reached out to the airline for comment.

Contributing: Ben Mutzabaugh

More: Struggling WOW Air optimistic about talks with Frontier parent

More: 20 amazing last-minute spring break destinations on a budget

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