United States

Passengers Stranded After Discount Airline Shuts Down

A woman visiting from England looked for her flight on airport display boards and found that it wasn't there

Multiple airline passengers reported being stranded at airports, including Washington Dulles International Airport, this week after a discount airline filed for bankruptcy and stopped all flights.

The Danish airline Primera Air, which offered low-cost flights from northern Europe to the United States, announced their closure on Monday after 14 years of operation. 

Traveler Clare Robson visited New York from Birmingham, England, last week for a drag queen convention and went to Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday. Looking for her flight on the airport display screens, she was shocked to see that it wasn't there. 

Robson, 39, had not heard the news of the bankruptcy. Primera Air didn't send her anything, she said, and she was angry. 

"Just the fact that there was no correspondence from Primera Air that said 'Your flight was cancelled,'" she said by phone. 

Airport employees told Robson she would need to find another way home. 

She was stranded for five hours and finally boarded another flight after spending more than $800 for the cost of her new one-way plane ticket, a taxi to John F. Kennedy International Airport and a train ticket home. Primera offered one-way tickets for $199

There is no sign that Robson will receive any refund for her cancelled flight, and she discovered that her insurance would not cover the cost. 

Other passengers said they were stranded at Dulles, in New York and in Paris. One woman was stranded at Dulles and forced to ask for money from friends and family to try to get home to England, she told Business Insider

A Canadian woman was in line to board a plane from Paris to Toronto when she heard an announcement saying the flight had been cancelled. She and her husband also scrambled to find another way home, she told the BBC.

Primera Air said in a statement that the day of their closure was a "sad day" and an "enormous disappointment." They cited trouble with financing, the loss of an aircraft because of corrosion problems and delayed deliveries of new planes.

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