REYKJAVÍK, Iceland — Thousands of travelers were left scrambling and disappointed Thursday after Iceland-based budget airline WOW AIR posted it was shutting down all operations.

A notice on the airline's website reads 'WOW AIR has ceased operations.  All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled.'

WFMY News 2 reporter Jessica Winters was supposed to fly out of Baltimore on a trip to Iceland Thursday evening.

"I was blindsided by this thing," she says. "I’m still refreshing my emails and nothing, not a peep. I called their customer service line, it just hangs up on you right away. No answers. No word if we’re going to be getting a refund even."

Winters says she's out about $600 for the flight, plus all other reservations she made for accommodations and.  She says re-booking a flight at this point would cost about $2,000.

"I’m just going to be on the phone nonstop trying to cancel everything," she explains. "It’s such a headache - and headache isn’t even the word for it. This is a nightmare."

The advisory on the airline's website, explains that travelers should look into booking on other airlines.  It doesn't give a reason for the abrupt shutdown, although other reports indicate the company was dealing with bankruptcy.

It also says affected travelers should reach out to their banks about refunds.

In the past, 2WTK has reported on when you should opt for travel insurance.

According to travel experts at, you should consider travel insurance for trips totaling more than $450.   And a side note here: the insurance should be 10% or less than the total ticket price.  

Travel insurance protection could also help pay for accommodations or tours that had been booked, even if you can't make it to your destination.

"This was something I was really looking forward to, my whole entire life I just wanted to see the northern lights," Winters says. "This was a dream trip for me and right now I could cry."