Passengers booked on Primera Air flights have condemned the airline’s lack of communication after it was announced that it had ceased trading ahead of filing for bankruptcy.
The Danish airline said it was a “sad day” for staff and passengers after 14 years of operation, citing that “several unforeseen misfortunate events severely affected” its financial standing.
The number of Primera Air passengers left stranded by the collapse is reported to be in the thousands, while those who have booked on tours have been urged to contact their agents.
Canadian Tara Noe and her husband Remy were due to fly to Toronto with the airline next week for a two-week trip to see family members and so she could take part in her first marathon in the city.
The 42-year-old, who now lives in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, said she is in “shock” over the announcement, and that the service from start to finish has been “horrendous”.
“You can’t contact them, they have shut down the phone lines and the website is inaccessible. Everything is shut down, you can’t get anywhere,” she told the Press Association.
Discovering the news online as the couple headed to bed on Monday night, she said it has been “chaos” since.
After spending £750 on their return flights, the couple have had to fork out another £368 for her replacement ticket, with her family stepping in to cover the £400 for her husband’s fare.
“We were looking to save money using them,” she said, revealing they have never flown with the airline before.
“It has actually been a nightmare, I have had a lot of problems with the airline since. I tried to change the date on my ticket and it took three weeks.
“It was terrible … I had a bad feeling about these guys, I really did. There was something about this airline that was not going well at all, you could tell … I should’ve switched.”
After spending more than two years losing four stone in weight and training to take part in her first marathon, Mrs Noe said she is glad she will still make it to the start line on October 21.
“But there is still the fallout of this,” she said.
“I still have to try and find out if we can get our money back, or if we are going to spend the next month or two paying back this money. I don’t even know.”
Stansted said on Monday that travellers due to fly with the airline should not travel to the airport, from which Primera operated flights to Spain and the US.
Birmingham Airport referred customers to the Civil Aviation Authority advice, which urged those expecting return flights to the UK with the operator to make fresh arrangements home.
Nikki Mart, from Newcastle upon Tyne, was due to fly home into Stansted from Toronto with Primera Air on October 14.
The 27-year-old and her partner landed in Jamaica on Monday for the start of a “dream holiday”, only to find out the airline had gone bust hours later.
She said: “I checked my emails – no communication or advice at all, which is irritating. I checked their Twitter and that’s when I saw their pathetic sign off about going bust.
“I’m trying not to let it ruin our trip, especially as it’s happened so early on … the lack of communication, advice or empathy from Primera Air makes it so much more stressful.”
The collapse of the airline comes almost a year to the day after travel firm Monarch went to the wall, leading to the redundancies of nearly 2,000 employees.
More than 110,000 Monarch passengers were left overseas and the Civil Aviation Authority helped repatriate stranded holidaymakers in what Transport Secretary Chris Grayling called an “unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation”.