Your rights depend on whether your booking has Atol protection, or not.
Atol protection means that you are guaranteed a refund if a company collapses, and you’d be found an alternative flight home if you’re stranded abroad.
But, you won't automatically have Atol protection if you’ve a flight booked - it will depend on how you booked it.
I booked with a travel agent The Atol scheme applies if you book a package holiday that involves a flight.
When you make a holiday booking, make sure your travel company has a licence. Firms must display their ATOL licence number on websites and brochures.
If the airline has gone bust before you depart you need to contact your travel agent to make sure your booking is still in place.
If it is, then your travel arrangements should continue relatively unaffected, although your flight times could change. It’s important to keep all your booking information should there be any problems.
If you have Atol protection You’re guaranteed a refund if an airline collapses, and must be found an alternative flight home if you’re stranded abroad at no further cost to you.
You need to contact your travel agent immediately to arrange this.
If you are abroad without Atol Protection In most cases you’ll need to book flights back with another alternative airline and pay for it yourself. In some cases this can play out differently, for example the UK government footed this bill for the first two weeks when Monarch went bust.
Some airlines offer reduced ‘repatriation fares’ for stranded passengers. These are usually available by telephone only within a few hours of an airline going bust (but maybe not immediately) and last for around two weeks.
Make sure you discuss your options and potential reimbursement with other airlines or you insurance provider before booking flights home.
You can try to claim the cost of your original flight back, but it may be a few weeks before your claim goes through and you get the money back.
If you have a Linked Travel Arrangement you will benefit from insolvency protection. That means if your airline goes bust, you'll get your money back, but you may not qualify for any assistance if you're already abroad.
The rules only apply to holiday packages sold or offered for sale in the UK since 1 July 2018.
A Linked Travel Arrangement is when you buy one service from a tour operator and are then prompted to buy another - but your information and payment details aren’t transferred.
For example if an email with your flight information has a link to a hotel site which you then book, but you have to re-enter your travel dates, location, personal information and payment details.
You must also buy these services within 24 hours of each other for them to be considered a Linked Travel Arrangement. These arrangements are sometimes also known as 'click-throughs'.
It's the responsibility of the first travel company to tell you that you’ve been sold a Linked Travel Arrangement.
You could claim against your credit card company under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
To be eligible, you need to have paid more than £100 for your flights or holiday, and used your credit card to book direct with the tour operator or airline - usually this means it needs to be either the airline or holiday company listed on your credit card bill.
But, some credit card companies will give a refund even if you’ve paid via a travel agent and it’s the agent’s name listed on your credit card bill.
If neither of these approaches works you’ll have to join the list of creditors, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get any money back.
Unfortunately, airline financial failure or insolvency is rarely included on most travel insurance policies.
There isn’t a single rule for this and you should talk to your travel insurance provider to check their approach to airline failure (it may be under ‘supplier failure’).