WOW Air begins refunds on ex-Delhi flights

Update: Today WOW Air India support team called and has initiated refund process of my affected tickets. And refund has been processed within days- Good work WOW Air. At least they don't have super complex 36 field complicated form filling marathon like AirAsia does

Below original post is now for reference purpose only- I would like to withdraw any accusations I might have made in the post. If you had a booked ex-New Delhi beyond Jan 20, contact WOW Air Support.

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Now it is widely known in public domain that WOW Air is not planning India flights after Jan 20- Not just India, they are returning all their A330s and stopping flights to Los Angeles, Chicago and many destinations world wide.

I've written about it in detail in this earlier post and dozens of news websites and blogs have also covered this topi, even citing WOW Air founder.

But adding insult to injury is WOW Air's support teams not being authorized to confirm to affected passengers what airline's management has admitted to news outlets. Though WOW Air has no intention of operating flights to and from India (and other A330 destinations) from end of Jan 2019, no official communication has been sent to affected passengers (who have booked flights on WOW Air for travel beyond Jan 20)

This means those who had their flights would continue to assume that their flight is as per plan (unless they are actively tracking airline news) and will be shocked with cancelled flight info too late- may be sometime late January- leaving them too little options and all alternate flights by then would be costing a lot more, compared to what they cost today.

If WOW Air sends out communication to affected passengers right now, may be they can save a bit on hotel cancellations or on alternate flights- WOW Air is not giving its customers such option by withholding and delaying service disruption communication.

Even when I proactively contacted WOW Air support to initiate refund of my affected flights, WOW Air support is insisting that flights are as per plan. This is out right lie and unethical business practices by WOW Air.
May be the support staff themselves are worried about their job, as WOW Air is looking to fire half the staff and cut costs- I don't hold anything personal against them. They are simply following instructions from management. But if the airline is planning to survive, recover and eventually grow, it needs to be honest and upfront with its customers. Holding customers who trusted the airline and booked tickets hostage is not the right way forward.

If you're an affected passenger on WOW Air, you're now at the mercy of the airline, with your money stuck, uncertainty on their flights and a dishonest/incapacitated customer care which isn't allowed to process your refund.

Knowing that WOWAir is not going to fly out of Delhi beyond Jan through external sources, at least I am able to reduce additional money I would have spent on the trip-hotel, siteseeing etc and think of plan B/alternative destinations to visit. Those who aren't following the news will be up for more expense and inconvenience.

I hope WOW will have money to refund affected passengers when the news will be eventually revealed to affected customers.

This is a common practice in airline industry- Airlines delay cancellation announcement till the last minute, so that they can bag as many bookings as possible and pocket the money, then take their own sweet time to refund, leaving affected passengers stranded. Though there're many laws to protect passenger interests, airlines either disregard them, find a loophole or in most cases are just bankrupt to honor any commitments. Don't think many affected Kingfisher passengers got their refunds- are you aware if Jet Airways is processing prompt refunds to passengers affected by cancelled flights? If WOW Air goes bankrupt n doesn't honor refunds, will the government/DGCA step in?

Since WOW Air is operating Delhi flights till 20 Jan, I guess they don't want to lose any possible bookings till that date by admitting their dire state of affairs. Primea air was even worse, even on the day of their bankruptcy they were accepting bookings. Norwegian is also on the brink of crisis. Even crisis laden Jet Airways tries to put up a brave face infront of customers, as they need to show confidence to garner booking by concerned passengers who doubt airline's reliability.

God bless airline industry in 2019

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