Luckily, Priya Sinh was able to contact her 70 guests via Facebook that she wouldn't make to her 18th birthday, but 4,000 other stranded Air Australia passengers and 300 people who work at the now-grounded airline are still trying to figure things out as the company cancelled all flights due to lack of funds. The Associated Press reports that the budget airline went into voluntary administration on Friday, paralyzing its five-jet fleet and leaving passengers stranded in places like Hawaii and Thailand. Sure, it's hard to feel bad when passengers are stranded in a tropical paradises, and it's also doubly difficult to feel bad when the only "human" story AP found was that of Sinh, who might have to celebrate her 18th birthday in Hawaii due to the Air Australia's problems. "We tried to laugh about it, but it wasn't funny," Sinh said. But the more serious issue, Australia's Telegraph reports, is that Air Australia owes millions and can't refuel its own planes, effectively freezing its employees and stranding passengers across the world with no way of getting home. "We're looking for a white knight but the prognosis is not good on that," voluntary administrator Mark Korda told The Telegraph.
So what does this mean? According to Air Australia's FAQ, "You should make alternate travel arrangements." The AP does note that passengers who bought the tickets via credit card or those who purchased travel insurance may be eligible for a refund.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.