SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Thousands of people are stuck after European airline Wow Air suddenly stopped service. People loved the budget airline for its cheap flights. Now, many of them are forced to pay a hefty price to get home.
That includes a couple from Hampton Roads.
Wednesday morning, Suffolk resident Mary Giunti got a message she was not expecting: her son was stuck in Iceland.
“A gut punch as a mom,“ she said. “To find out or to wake up and find a message that said “the airline that, who we used for travel went under.“
Her son, David Giunti, and his girlfriend, Jess Lutzow, flew from Baltimore to Iceland on WOW Air. They were in a coffee shop when someone sent them a screenshot of the airline’s website.
Mary started looking at flights.
“That was our first mission was get them out of Iceland, and so we managed to do that,“ said Mary. “We lost a few flights trying to get out, but we got them from Iceland to Amsterdam today.“
Mary said getting them tickets for their trip home was discouraging.
“Today flights were $3,000 a piece to get us home,” said Mary. “We were very fortunate, we felt, to get flights at around $1,800 for both of them. So that was a blessing, but there are a lot of people who can’t afford that, so I’m not sure what they are going to do.“
The trip went from costing roughly $1,500 to nearly $4,000 — a hefty price tag but one they had to pay.
“I feel really bad for people who are completely stranded at the airport, my son says he’s seen a lot of that,“ Mary said. “It is really difficult knowing that they’re that far away and there wasn’t a lot we could do about it.“
Other than that banner on the website, they heard nothing from the airline.
Mary says her son is incredibly grateful for the help. All she wants now is for him to have fun and come home.
So how did this happen? The company’s CEO spoke with the Icelandic state broadcaster and said financial negotiations fell through. He went on to say that at this point there’s not much the company can do for people.