What Should I Do If My Airline Collapses?

As of Thursday 5th March 2020, airline Flybe has ceased trading with immediate effect and passengers have been advised not to travel to the airport.

When an airline goes bust, it can leave you in an awkward position, whether you’re waiting to fly out or you’re stranded at your destination.

Read on to find out what you should do if you’re owed a refund due to your airline going bust, or if you’re stranded abroad with no way home.

What Do I Do If I Have Booked My Parking With SkyParkSecure?

As you can probably imagine, we are inundated with calls and emails from concerned customers and we are working through them as quickly as possible.

Due to the high volume of calls we are currently experiencing, we request those who are not currently abroad or were not due to fly in the next two weeks to please delay getting in contact for a couple of days.

This will prevent you from experiencing extended waiting times as we process those customers in need of urgent assistance.

We are working to provide a suitable resolution for everyone and thank you for your patience.

Help! My Airline Has Gone Bust and I’m Stranded Abroad

Some say they’d love it if they couldn’t get home from a dream holiday, but the reality isn’t so rosy.

If you’re on holiday and your flight home has been cancelled, there are a number of measures you can take:

Check if You Have ATOL Protection

ATOL holiday protection is a scheme which prevents you from losing your money or being stranded abroad, which means you’ll be protected if an airline collapses.

Flybe has stated that they unfortunately cannot arrange alternative flights for passengers and so ATOL will be the best way to go to claim for your travel plans. If your holiday is ATOL protected, you will have received a certificate included within your documents when you booked. This entitles you to compensation which you can use to book a new flight.

If you were travelling on another airline that included travel with Flybe, they have advised you contact the relevant airline or travel agent to confirm any disruptions to your onward travel.

Contact Your Travel Insurance

If you opted to take out travel insurance (something we do recommend), you may be covered for an airline collapsing and grounding your flight.

Travel insurance can be a confusing one to work out sometimes, so the best thing to do is check your policy documents and give them a call if you’re unsure. You’re looking for something along the lines of ‘Travel Firm Failure’.

If this was included in your policy, your insurance provider should be able to help with booking of alternative flights, or get you your money back so you can book them yourself.

Compare Flight Prices to Find the Cheapest

At the end of the day you need to get home, and that might require you booking new flights and sorting out the money you’re owed when you get there.

Compare flight prices to find the most cost-effective solution; don’t fall into the trap of panicking and booking the first ones you find.

easyJet have stated they are working on helping affected passengers by offering a rescue fee of £65 (€72) which includes a 15kg hold bag. This service is available to customers with an original Flybe booking reference number and will be offered until the end of March 2020.

easyJet customer services can be contacted using the following numbers:

If calling from UK & elsewhere: +44 (0) 330 365 5030
If calling from France: 0806 141 143
If calling from the Netherlands: 0900 506 0900

British Airways have also offered to help get stranded passengers home by providing a special £50 fare to customers. This is plus taxes, fees and charges and includes one checked bag up to 23kg per person.

When Primera Air went into administration, other airlines were also offering rates for people who were stuck without a way home. These airlines were: NorwegianRyanair and Virgin Atlantic, so it may be worth seeing if they can help now as well.

The CAA has said they will NOT be offering a repatriation programme for any travellers stranded in Europe and have advised that passengers should make alternative plans to return home. Other options include substitute airlines, rail or coach operators.

Just remember that it’s still worth comparing regular flights from other airlines as well in case they end up being cheaper.

How Do I Get My Money Back If My Airline Has Gone Bust?

If you’ve booked with a collapsed airline and you’re due to go away, you’re now landed with the predicament of booking new flights.

As always, we would recommend comparing flight prices with various airlines, however the more pressing issue is getting your money back.

And this also applies if you’ve returned safely home but are still out of pocket.

Here are the steps you should take:

Contact the Airline for a Refund

Your first port of call should be phoning or emailing (or both!) the airline you booked with.

More often than not they’re going to be inundated with calls from other unhappy customers so it’s a case of perseverance with this one.

However, a visit to the airline’s website might look something like this:

In which case…

Check if You Have ATOL Protection

As above, you should see if you’re able to claim back your money via ATOL protection.

If you put together the elements of your holiday yourself, you may be covered depending on how you booked. For full details, refer to MoneySavingExpert’s guide.

If you don’t have ATOL protection, consider the following:

Use Credit Card Section 75…

If you paid more than £100 on a credit card (rather than debit card) for your flights, you should be able to utilise Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

This little piece of legislation means that your credit provider must take responsibility if something goes wrong with a purchase, including a flight.

Get straight on the phone to your credit card provider to get your money back.

…Or Chargeback

If your flights were less than £100 and you paid with a debit card, your bank might have chargeback protection in place.

Chargeback entitles you to the full amount of your purchase back, however it isn’t a legal requirement like Section 75 so your bank isn’t obligated to adhere to it.

But it’s always worth a try!

But What About Accommodation & Other Services I’ve Already Booked?

This is a tricky one.

When it comes to things like accommodation, car hire and any activities you booked for when you were meant to be on holiday — and you can now no longer use — you’re at the mercy of each provider.

Even if you only need to amend your booking rather than cancel, they won’t be obligated to help you out even though the flight cancellation isn’t your fault.

But try making contact and explaining the situation, and seeing if there’s anything they can do to help.

For more information on this, check out the following article: What to Do If You’re Going on Holiday During a Strike.