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October 4, 2018

Primera Air suddenly ceases operations,
leaving thousands of passengers and
crew members stranded


Primera Air, a European airline, declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations effective Tuesday, October 2nd. With no warnings, over 60,000 passengers and many crew members were left stranded at airports throughout Europe and parts of North America. Some travelers found out while in line to check in at the airport. Passengers across the world are now left with the tasks of rebooking flights at the last minute with no other choice than paying a premium rate.

Established in 2004, Primera Air was servicing nearly 50 destinations in Europe, United States, Canada, Middle-East and North Africa. This sudden announcement comes as a shock for the industry as the airline had just added new routes in August 2018 including a flight connecting London Stansted Airport, UK and Washington DC Dulles Airport, USA. The airline was also scheduled to open new bases later this month and early 2019 including Montreal, Canada, New York (JFK), USA and Manchester, UK. 


Unfortunately, Primera Air ceased all customer service operations; therefore, their contact methods are no longer in service either. The airline will not be giving any refunds, so compensations or refunds will depend on how you booked the flight and whether you have insurance. The only option to receive compensation from Primera Air is to submit a claim as a creditor - a process which would be very lengthy.

If you booked your trip through an airline ticket operator, travel agent or tour company, contact the customer service department. They should find you an alternate flight or route, reschedule your trip or reimburse you the full cost of the trip.

If you booked the flight above $100 using a credit card, contact your provider as they will be jointly liable due to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you used PayPal, you may be protected through PayPal’s Buyer Protection Scheme. Finally, if you took an additional insurance on your trip, you may be covered for airline failures. 

For travelers who are currently stranded and looking for alternative flights, a handful of airlines, including British Airways, Norwegian, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Airlines, Ryanair and United, said they will offer stranded Primera Air passengers “rescue fares” through mid-October to help them return home. Travelers should call these airlines to find out more about these offers and have their Primera Air booking details in hand.

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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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