On 5 March 2020 it was announced that the airline Flybe has gone into administration, with the loss of thousands of jobs and putting in doubt the future of several regional UK airports.
Flybe was owned by Connect Airways – a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and the hedge fund Cyrus Capital but they have now pulled out funding.
On 14 January 2020 the Government had announced a controversial series of measures to help the beleaguered airline, including a potential loan and deferral of Air Passenger Duty
All flights have been grounded and the Flybe UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect.
What can you do if you have a Flybe booking?
ATOL and Flybe
Most Flybe flights will not be ATOL protected, as ATOL covers package holidays.
If you are not ATOL protected (flight only or accommodation only) then look at your travel insurance which may cover you. If you paid by credit card then you can make a Section 75 claim for a refund.
You may have booked a church, reception room or additional transport as part of your travel plans. The ATOL protection does not cover you for these. You will need to look at the terms and conditions of any bookings regarding cancellations. If you are not able to get a refund this way you may be able to claim through your travel insurance, depending on your cover.
Excursions paid for should be refunded if you booked them as part of the package.
If you have a booking sold by another airline that includes travel on a Flybe flight, contact the relevant airline or travel agent to clarify if there is any impact to your travel plans.
Rail operators and EasyJet come to the rescue
All First Rail train operators, including Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast, have offered Flybe passengers free travel if you flight was to and from a UK destination. Contact the rail company for more details of how to benefit from this offer.
EasyJet has offered rescue fares for passengers and free flights for Flybe staff who need to get home.
EasyJet says it will fly FlyBe staff home for free during 5-6 March. It’s also offering a ‘rescue fee’ for FlyBe customers until the end of May: £65 + hold bag on presentation of the original FlyBe booking reference. Phone EasyJet on 0330 365 5030 but bear in mind they will be extremely busy so be patient!
How to get a refund for your Flybe flight
If you are not ATOL protected there are some ways that you can try to get a refund:
- Travel insurance – check your policy, you will need scheduled airline cover.
- If you paid by credit card and the flight cost more than £100 then you can claim from your credit card which is jointly liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
- If you paid by debit card you may be able to claim from your bank under Chargeback which is a voluntary scheme to which some banks are signed up.
The coronavirus is affecting many airlines. Whilst the bigger ones are probably safer make sure you are protected when you book your holiday this year. Buy on credit card and take out adequate travel insurance.