Flybe grounded:  What are your rights now?

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.

Flybe aeroplane

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.

Onward Flights

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.


Share this

Royal Mail fails to deliver on service as stamp prices rise

On the 23 March 2020 the cost of postage stamps goes up yet again. And it will be by a staggering amount too.

  • A first-class stamp for a standard letter will rise by 6p from 70p to 76p.
  • A second-class stamp for a standard letter will rise by 4p from 61p to 65p.
  • A first-class stamp for a large letter will rise by 9p from £1.06 to £1.15.
  • A second-class stamp for a large letter will rise by 5p from 83p to 88p.

The rise is vastly over the rate of inflation (currently 1.8%).

One wonders if Royal Mail would have put the price up even more had Ofcom not imposed a price cap? The 65p second-class stamp is the maximum possible under the current price cap.

red post box

Royal Mail said that the changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service. But it says a similar thing every year and yet we don’t see any improvements in service! Perhaps, if they kept the price down, people would use the postal service more. And yet again, of course, it is the vulnerable who are the hardest hit as more of the elderly rely on snail mail rather than using email and couriers.

Stephen Agar, managing director of letters at Royal Mail, said: “We are operating in a tough market at present, under the threat of making a loss by 2021.” But why are they threatened with making a loss? Is it because they keep wasting money? I reported on the stamp price rise last year in Avoiding a right Royal Fail at the Royal Mail which talked about the poor service, lack of strategy and changes in service. Nothing much has changed since then. It appears that Royal Mail again needs to put up prices to cover repeated mistakes by its management.

I reported that there seemed little cohesion of national policy and procedure implementation. There is no strategic vision as different offices can operate in different ways. Really basic stuff! Making decisions which are quickly overturned over and over again such as posties being on foot, then their own cars, then trolley boxes, then bikes and then in pairs in vans. All this over just a few years. Ridiculous, and shows just how poor the leadership at Royal Mail is.

Royal Mail was privatised in 2013 and wants to be seen as working to keep costs down for consumers and making service improvements. But it needs to do a lot more work, listen to consumers and stop repeating mistakes and wasting money!

For anyone interested, here’s a table showing the effect of price increases over the last decade.

Cost of second class stamps             Cost of first class stamps 

Yearcost% rise on previous yearYearcost% rise on previous year

[ Full details of all price rises can be found on the Royal Mail website. ]



Share this