Imagine showing up at the airport, thinking you’ll be on your way to a vacation spot, and then being informed that the airline you were supposed to fly with has — that very day — gone bust. Or worse, being stuck abroad with no return ticket home because the airline has ceased operations. That’s exactly what happened to Primera Air passengers on Monday, when Primera Air suddenly shut down after 14 years of business.

The emergence of other budget operators like Norwegian and WOW airlines had cut into Primera’s business in recent years, and its failure to secure long-term financing made bankruptcy unavoidable.

Pavithra Priyadarshini, a student stranded at Washington’s Dulles Airport en route to the UK, told BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire program that when she arrived at the airport, she learned her flight home had been cancelled. “I did not know what to do. Still now, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

On Monday, Primera Air’s website read, “On this sad day, we are saying Goodbye to all of you….kindly understand that the usual options for contacts (via email or phone) can not be offered any longer.”

The sudden collapse of the European airline left passengers stranded at airports across the world. And crew members were no less affected by the unexpected news. One crew member, stranded in Toronto, even asked British Airways via Twitter for help getting home.

While stranded passengers can no longer contact the airline via email or phone, they may still be able to claim compensation via their credit card company for the lost fare.

H/T: Secret Flying