Monarch – all you need to know (situation, rights and refunds)








What has happened?
On the 2nd October 2017 Monarch Airlines and Monarch Holidays went into administration including those companies trading as:

  • Monarch Airlines Ltd
  • Monarch Holidays Ltd (ATOL Number 2275)
  • First Aviation Ltd (ATOL Number 4888) previously trading as Monarch Airlines
  • Avro Ltd (ATOL Number 1939)
  • Somewhere2stay Ltd

Customers were informed at 4.00am on the 2nd October. The administrators, KPMG said it had to wait until all of the airline’s planes had landed before issuing the statement, as it does not itself have a licence to operate planes and therefore could not take control of the company until aircraft had landed.

How did this happen?
In the year to October 2016, Monarch made a loss of £291m compared with a profit of £27m for the previous 12 months. It carried 5.7 million passengers in 2015 a 19% drop from 2014.

On the 24th October 2014, Monarch Holdings was acquired from the Globus Travel Group by private investment company and turnaround specialist Greybull Capital for a nominal sum just hours before Monarch’s licence with the Civil Aviation Authority expired.

Security threats and terrorism in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey has contributed to the downfall of the airline, there aren’t enough bums for seats in the highly competitive short haul market.

On the 25th September 2016, there were numerous online rumours about Monarch Airline’s imminent bankruptcy. And in the days that followed, Monarch obtained additional funds from shareholders, and on 30th September 2016 its Civil Aviation Authority ATOL licence was temporarily extended until 12th October 2016. Monarch Airlines retained it after Greybull Capital provided £165m in investment funding.

However, it wasn’t enough to save the airline. On the 30th September 2017, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) extended Monarch’s licence for 24 hours due to financial issue but on the 2nd October 2017 at 4.00am the airline went into administration.

What now?
The airline’s website is now managed by the CAA, and corporate and staff affairs directed by KPMG.

What about passengers?
110,000 Monarch passengers were/are stranded overseas and 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled. Although the CAA is keen to point out that passengers are not stranded as they have plans to bring everyone home.

What to do if affected
From The CAA website:

“Flights booked directly with Monarch Airlines from 15 December 2016 onward
Customers with these bookings are not ATOL protected and are not entitled to make a claim to the CAA. You are advised to contact your card issuer, insurer or PayPal for advice on how to claim a refund.

Flights booked on or before 14 December 2016 directly with First Aviation Ltd trading as Monarch Airlines
If your flight was booked with Monarch Airlines on or before 14 December 2016 and you received an ATOL Certificate stating that your flight is protected with First Aviation, you are ATOL protected. We are making arrangements for refunds to be made as soon as possible to these UK customers.

We will be providing more information on how you should claim shortly. You will be able to submit a claim when we make the Monarch claim form available. Please do not submit a claim until advised to do so.

Bookings made directly with Monarch Airlines from 15 December 2016 onward are not protected by ATOL. For further information please read how do I know if I am ATOL protected.

Holidays booked directly with Monarch Holidays
Customers booked directly with Monarch Holidays are ATOL protected and will have received an ATOL Certificate when they made their booking. We are making arrangements for refunds to be made on these bookings as soon as possible, and we aim to complete this by the end of 2017 at the latest. We will be providing more information on how you should claim shortly. You will be able to submit a claim when we make the Monarch claim form available. Please do not submit a claim until you are advised to do so.

Monarch flights and Monarch Holidays booked through another travel company or travel agent
If you booked a flight or holiday with another travel company or travel agent you should contact them directly about your arrangements.

Stranded overseas?
The UK Government has requested that the CAA charter more than 30 aircraft to bring UK passengers home at no cost. It is expected that holiday makers will not have to cut short their holiday.

Yet to go, what are your rights?
Don’t go to the airport as there is no point.

  1. Tour operators must use an ATOL License for package holidays abroad. So your package should be covered by ATOL so you will be able to claim a refund
  2. If you have booked a hotel (worth up to £200) or car hire (worth up to £300) with the flight you should be able to get a refund under ATOL . This is known as a Flights Plus booking, protected by ATOL when booked through a tour operator. Flight-Plus is part of the ATOL Regulations 2012
  3. If you did not receive an ATOl certificate and you are not covered by ATOl (see above) then you are not entitled to any refund. However, if the flight cost was more than £100 you may be able to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. If you purchased the tickets on a debit card or they cost less than £100 you may still be able to claim from the bank under their voluntary Chargeback scheme.
  4. You may be able to claim on your travel insurance but it would need to be a high level cover policy.

Reports of hotels making holidaymakers pay again
The CAA says “There are a few cases affecting passengers on Monarch package holidays who are ATOL protected. Some hoteliers wrongly think that they will not get their money for the Monarch booking and therefore ask the customer for payment. When this happens the CAA steps in to reassure the hotel that payment will be made. We have done this with two hotels in Lanzarote today and the situations have been resolved.”

All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights for links to posts regarding various issues you may have with flights and holidays. Your rights, guidelines, laws and information on how to complain effectively.

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21 Responses to Monarch – all you need to know (situation, rights and refunds)

  1. Mrs Hannah Penny says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have been affected by the collapse of Monarch. I booked a flight from Birmingham to Lanzarote for 21/7/18 return 28/7/18, presumably not ATOL protected. It was booked through and they are advising me to contact KPMG as administrators to seek a refund. Should I go ahead with this or should I go straight to my card provider HSBC to pursue the claim (it was debit card rather than credit card).
    Many thanks for your advice,
    Hannah Penny.

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Please read the post above regarding what you should do. Monarch will owe money customers will be the bottom of the list.

  2. AC says:

    Hello. My situation is a little different, we were supposed to fly with Monarch this past 22nd of September and they cancelled our flight. Their website at the time said we needed to mail them our claim form since we are entitled to compensation. Since this happened before the bankruptcy announcement, should we still mail out our claim form to their address at Luton airport? Or is that a complete waste of time? If so, what should we do instead?

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      They haven’t got any money! You will be at the bottom of the pile of creditors. taxman, employees everyone they owe money to will come before any compensation. You could try putting it into the administrators but you will be last on the list. Even those who are out of pocket expecting refunds are unlikely to get it from Monarch!

  3. LG says:

    Hi there,
    So I booked a flight for Christmas with Monarch with a debit card and it was over £1000. My bank did say that if I provided proof that I had contacted monarch with regards to a refund I would be entitled to get a chargeback. I’m not sure who to contact and what proof I should provide. Any ideas on what this could be?

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      The proof would simply be the receipt/acknowledgement of your payment and obviously the amount going out to whom would show on your statement. If you asked for a refund by email you show that email. If you did it by
      phone that will be more difficult Always write not phone.

  4. Christine Peasey says:

    We had booked to go to Malaga on 16th October, this flight was with Monarch for me and my husband and 2 grandchildren for half term. We have an ATOL certificate for the flight so at some point will get a refund. We booked a return flight for my son and the grandchildren to return to the UK with EasyJet, and they will not give us a refund. As we had no flight out we could not use the return, my daughter check with their travel insurance and they said no. Can you advise if there is any route to go down.

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Please read the post above. Monarch is in administration it won’t have the funds to pay consequential loss, you can apply to the administrator but you will be at the bottom of the list and unlikely to get anything or find a flight out

  5. Christine says:

    If a flight has been paid with a monarch voucher, is this abta protected?

  6. Creuza Santos says:

    Hi, my name is Creuza Santos. I bought through a website named Opodo UK 2 tickets to Portugal on the 27th of September. On October 2 Monarch Airlines closed the doors canceling all flights. According to information, the form would be sent to request the money back. I have never received this form and whenever I try to contact via email with Opodo Uk, I did not get a response and on the Monarch Airlines website request me an ATOL certificate. I do not know if there is any way I bought it on a website. But I want my money back. Which of these companies has the obligation to return it? I am a Portuguese citizen living in the UK. I Whait you help and understand. Thank you.

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      You should have got the ATOL certificate when you were emailed confirmation and details of your ticket.

  7. Tony Billington says:

    I have 2 flight only atoll certificates for First Aviation.
    I have not yet received my claim form e-mail.I will be out of the country for a few weeks shortly. Is there a time scale limit for claims.

  8. Katy says:

    I had a cheque from Monarch dated mid August.

    I hadn’t cashed it as was keeping it to pay for
    an upcoming bill.

    Am I unlikely to get my money now?



    I had booked a monarch holiday I have a atol certificate but as yet 20th October have still not received a claims form there is no one you can speak to only an an answer phone wth a message how do I get a claims form?

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Contact the CAA and inform them of this, they were supposed to have ensured that everyone was contacted by the 11th October. You’re welcome.

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