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Tuesday 23 April 2019

'It was supposed to be a treat after my cancer all-clear’ - passengers heartbroken after WOW Air collapse

Jennifer Shreve, from Annapolis, Maryland, USA, who was booked on cancelled WOW Air fllight to Baltimore USA via Reykjavik this morning, pictured with her rebooking confirmation made this morning for a flight on 30th March. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Jennifer Shreve, from Annapolis, Maryland, USA, who was booked on cancelled WOW Air fllight to Baltimore USA via Reykjavik this morning, pictured with her rebooking confirmation made this morning for a flight on 30th March. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Lynsey Bennett who was supposed to travel to Iceland with WOW Air

Claire Murphy and Fiona Dillon

A mum-of-two, who is recovering from cancer, was devastated to discover a ‘bucket list’ trip to Iceland had been cancelled when Wow Air collapsed.

Lynsey Bennett (30) from Enybegs in Longford said she was really looking forward to the holiday with a friend in April after treatment for cervical cancer. 

Lynsey Bennett
Lynsey Bennett

“It was supposed to be so special. It was supposed to be the trip celebrating that I had the all clear,” she told Independent.ie

“I have only spent five weeks out of the last two years and three months where I haven’t been in hospital.”

Lynsey has been in hospital all week receiving treatment and said she was “really disappointed” with the news.

“In January 2017, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer even though I had a smear the previous year, which said I was fine.

“About nine months later I had all different operations including a hysterectomy. Then doctors said my cancer was gone, but by September 2017, I wasn’t feeling well again.  It took until March last year that the biopsy showed it was back again.”

Lynsey said that she received chemotherapy and radiotherapy and she finally got the all clear from doctors two weeks ago.

She and a friend had booked a holiday to Iceland with WOW Air to take their minds off the tumultuous year and to celebrate the good news.  

The beauty therapist has two young daughters Zoe (10) and Hailee (5) and she had arranged for them to be looked after while she went away.

Now they are looking at what alternative options are available - but everything is extremely expensive as it is short notice.

She had contacted WOW Air for confirmation that the flights would go ahead just a few days ago but they confirmed that there were no flights cancelled in April.

She has yet to receive any email from WOW Air and found out the news via social media.  

“I am very disappointed as to what happened,” she said.  “This was supposed to be a treat.  My friend treated me to the holiday in Iceland.  

“It was a bucket list trip. That and Ibiza. I turned 30 in July and it had been in my bucket list to celebrate my 30th - but because I was recovering from chemotherapy and radiation, we just had a small party in the house.”

Lynsey said she is still hoping to go to Ibiza with another girl that she met in hospital – via her Instagram page ‘Cancerwithgratitude’ .

Jennifer Shreve from Annapolis in Maryland was also in tears this morning over the sudden collapse of Wow Air.

She found out about her flight being cancelled by email, and ended up travelling to Dublin Airport to try and find out what was happening.

“It’s awful, it’s awful. I have been to Thailand, China, Japan, Canada. I have been all over the world. I have never in my wildest dreams, come up with scenario, that my airline disappeared in the middle of my travels,” Jennifer told Independent.ie

“We were due to fly back to Baltimore, Washington with Wow. Everything connects through Iceland,” she explained.

If the flight had gone ahead as scheduled, she would have had a two- and- a half hour flight to Iceland,  followed by break for two hour, before travelling the final leg of the flight home to the States.

She said that she got an email from the airline at 6am when she woke up, and it said her flight was cancelled, “which I wasn’t really concerned about because these things happen.”

Jennifer said she called Wow Air to find out what was going on. She understood that her money would be refunded or her flight could be rebooked for March 30 at 10.45am.

She and her travelling companion Kelly Freeburger, her former college roommate, were initially excited because they would get a bit more time in Ireland – they had done a mini-European break taking in a number of cities.

“Then we find out there is no flight.” The website now says that it has ceased operation, and all flights are cancelled.

“I have been in tears, after I realised that I have no way home.”

“I don’t know what we are going to do,” said the mum-of-one.

 She said that she had booked the flight originally on their airline’s website.

Her travel companion, Kelly, was this morning back at their hotel on the computer trying to work out something, while Jennifer went to the airport to try and get information. But she said that she had not found any representation from the Wow airline on the ground.

She said that staff at another airline was left dealing with angry people, and she felt bad for them because they were doing the best they could, and it was not their fault.

“I just want to know how I am going to get home and then I will be okay. I am due back to work on Monday, and I planned to have a few days at home, so I have a little cushion before I am back to work.”

Also at Dublin Airport, Ursula Collins and Jim O’Brien, had been due to depart with Wow Air to Reykjavik in Iceland this morning, having booked it last December through a travel agent.

 They were hoping to see the Northern lights and do some trips. “We are a bit in the air now, ” said Ursula.

“We came up from Cork last night, and stayed in the Clayton hotel because our flight was relatively early. When we arrived at the airport this morning we went to the information desk to check where the Wow check-in desk is.”

It was then they found out the news about the airline.

“That was the first we heard of this.” Ursula said she couldn’t believe this was happening.

“There was no indication this was going to happen.”

Their travel agent was today trying to sort out another booking for them to leave today for their trip. “Hopefully we can get something sorted,” she said.

However, Ursula said that she was not happy with the lack of notification. “Even if we had been told yesterday, we could have stayed put and done our homework. We wouldn’t have incurred the extra cost of the hotel, and parking. So really it’s the lack of notification from Wow Air that would be my biggest issue.”

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