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.

Think I may turn these off given that so many people can’t even say “please” or “thank you” when asking for help!

Retailer in administration – your rights

With the news last week of BHS going into administration following close behind Austin Reed, I thought it would be useful to provide details on your rights. Post updated 14 September 2018 to cover House of Fraser.

Gift vouchers

  • If the voucher is for any amount over £100 and was paid for by credit card then you have protection from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
  • It is possible that if you paid through your bank you could get your money back through Cashback. This is a voluntary scheme and you will need to check with your bank.
  • If the company is taken over by another one it does not have to honour the voucher but always worth checking. They may well be of the opinion that if they honour the voucher that you will return and if they don’t you will not go there ever and tell your friends so!
  • If you have bought your vouchers through a third party website it is worth contacting them. They do not legally have to refund you the money but they may as a goodwill gesture.
  • If the company isn’t honouring vouchers contact the administration company as soon as possible. You will be added to the creditors list, along with staff wages, the taxman etc., so it is highly unlikely that you will get your money but you have no chance at all if you don’t register your interest!
  • Keep hold of your vouchers. Even if the company goes into an administration a buyer may be found which may honour the vouchers.
  • Will your Gift Cards keep on giving? for more advice about gift cards

Still selling whilst in administration

  • Your rights remain the same. If an item has become faulty you are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. However the administrators may just add you to the creditors list.
  • You have protection from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you bought the item on a credit card and the item was more than £100.
  • It is possible that if you paid through your bank you could get your money back through Cashback. This is a voluntary scheme and you will need to check with your bank.
  • The administrators will want to raise as much cash as possible so will continue to sell goods if trader is a retailer. This is where you may find some bargains and if you buy online you should still be able to return within 14 days under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. 
  • Remember though, that if any item you buy becomes faulty you may well not be able to return it if no buyer is found for the retailer!

Half way through a purchase or service

  • If you have ordered a conservatory and it is half built, you might well be stuck. It will be down to the administrators as to whether they will honour the rest of the work or whether you join the creditors.
  • If you have bought an item it may depend on where your purchase is in the system and what the administrators decide to do.
  • See above for claiming from the credit card company or bank. You may also be able to claim for finishing off the work.
  • If you bought an item online before the company went into administration it will depend on the deal as to whether you will get your item or refund. In the case of House of Fraser, if you bought your item before the takeover on 10 August 2018 you won’t get your money or your item. See below. More on what happened with Sports Direct and what it said and is now saying in the Guardian article House of Fraser customers furious as Sports Direct fails to give refunds

Move quickly

  • Soon as you hear a company may be in trouble use your gift vouchers.
  • If you have had that broken item ready to return sitting around waiting to be taken back do it soon as possible.
  • If you need to register as a creditor do it quickly. Remember though that you will be very low down the list and if you do get anything back it will be a percentage of the amount. Some administrators will see giving the majority of people a small return rather than fewer people a large percentage as a fairer way of spreading any money left.row of shops in shopping mall person walking along Administration your rights