THOUSANDS of WOWAir customers have been left stranded after the budget airline announced that it has gone bust.
The Iceland based company cancelled all flights earlier this morning leaving passengers in travel chaos and out of pocket.
Brits could fly from the UK to the US and Canada with the airline for as little as £145 each way, with previous flight deals offering London to New York for just £99.
Rumours that the airline was struggling began last year after it reduced its fleet from 20 to just 11 planes.
Discussions with Icelandair Group about a possible takeover collapsed and WOWAir cancelled 20 flights on Monday.
Here are your rights to compensations and refunds when your flight is cancelled:
What are my rights if my flight is cancelled or delayed?
Passengers flying with an EU airline or a non-EU airline flying from a EU airport are protected by the Denied Boarding regulations.
This means that the airline must offer you the option of either being reimbursed for a cancelled flight or rerouted on either the next possible flight or on an agreed date.
It must also provide you with meals and phone calls and hotel accommodation and transfers if the rerouting involves an overnight stay.
If you opt for a full refund instead then the airline has to give you the money back for the part of the journey that wasn’t made and any parts already made that are then useless.
You are also entitled to the earliest possible return flight.
In instances where a flight is cancelled due to reasons beyond the airlines control, they are not legally obliged to provide compensation[/caption]
You may also be able to get some money back if your flight is delayed by three hours or more and you were flying from or to a European airport, or with an EU-based airline such as Ryanair or British Airways.
In the case of strikes or computer glitches, like the one which affected BA passengers in 2017, you can claim compensation from the airline for cancellations and delays of more than three hours.
Thousands of people are also set to receive refunds and compensation after flights were cancelled at Gatwick following two illegal drones were flown over the runway.
Can I get compensation if the airline has gone bust?
Earlier this year, Flybmi announced it was going into administration.
Your rights depend on whether or not you booked your flights through a site that is Atol protected.
Atol protection means that you’re guaranteed a refund if a company goes into administration and an alternative route home will be found for you.
Your booking will be Atol protrected if you booked ta package holiday through a travel agent, booked flights directly through the airline.
If you booked through another company that isn’t protected and paid with a credit card you may be able to claim through your provider under the section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
If this doesn’t work then you’ll have to join the list of creditors who are owed cash and you’re unlikely to get your money back.
Can I get a refund if my connecting flight is cancelled?
EU rules mean passengers caught up in delays on a connecting flight outside the UK can now claim compensation of up to £530 – but the rules are complicated.
Before, you could only apply for a payout if your flight was leaving an EU country or you were flying with an EU-based airline, and it was delayed by more than three hours.
So if you were flying from London to Sydney with a stop off in Dubai, and the second flight was delayed or you’re stopped from boarding, you couldn’t claim any money back.
This is because the second flight isn’t leaving from the EU.
But under the new rules, you’ll be able to claim a payout because you checked-in at an EU airport.
It’s not clear how much money you will be entitled to, but if it’s the same as flights leaving Europe then you can claim up to €250 (£229) for short-haul flights and €400 (£367) for mid-haul flights and €600 (£530) for long-haul flights.
Will my insurance cover me if my flight is cancelled?
If you can’t claim compensation directly through the airline, your travel insurance may refund you.
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According to comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com, if you’re delayed at a snowbound airport then a standard travel insurance policy would usually cover you.
Policies vary so you should check the small print, but a delay of eight to 12 hours will normally mean you qualify for some money from your insurer.
Remember to get written confirmation of your delay from the airport as your insurer will need proof.
If your flight is cancelled entirely, you’re unlikely to be covered by your insurance.
How can I find out if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
In unusual conditions you are advised to check the status of the flight with the relevant airline before setting off for the airport.
You can also check today’s live departures boards for Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports by following these links.
Earlier this year, Heathrow Airport were forced to cancel around 100 flights because of severe weather warnings.
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