Troubled regional airline Flybe has collapsed and all its flights have been cancelled after a final bailout plea was rejected.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging those due to fly not to go to the airport and to make alternative travel arrangements.
Unlike with the collapse of Thomas Cook, very few Flybe passengers will be covered by Atol protection, so help won’t be provided by the government.
Most passengers will be able to claim back the cost of any cancelled flight from their bank or card provider, if they paid using a credit or debit card.
For other expenses, such as new flights or hotel rooms, customers will need to make a claim on their travel insurance- although not all policies cover airline failure.
Find answers to your questions about the airline’s collapse from our Flybe Q&A.
Coronavirus contributed to Flybe collapse
Flybe has been in trouble for some time, with increased fuel prices, tough competition on its domestic routes and Brexit all causing problems.
Back in January, the government rescued the company from the brink of administration with a £106m tax deal. But this wasn’t enough to protect it from a huge downturn in flight bookings in recent weeks due to fears around coronavirus.
The latest attempts to save the failed airline were unsuccessful, with the government rejecting a request for a £100m bailout.
As Flybe ran more UK regional flight routes than any other airline, there are concerns that the future of some regional airports and flight services may be at risk. For example, 95% of Southampton Airport’s flight routes were operated by Flybe.
How to get a refund if you’ve booked flights with Flybe
There will be no refunds from Flybe for passengers, but there are a few ways you can get your money back.
If you booked your ticket using a credit or debit card, you should be able to get a full refund.
Bookings made with a credit card may be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the tickets cost £100 or more. Contact your card provider to make a claim.
If you paid with a debit card, or the amount was less than £100, you can ask your bank if you can claim using chargeback.
Some ticket agents offer Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) when you book, so check your travel documents for this. You should also check your travel insurance policy to see if it covers for an airline going bust – although you might have to pay an excess fee.
Find out more from our guide on what your rights are if your airline goes bust.
Are my Flybe flights Atol protected?
Most Flybe bookings are ‘flights only’ and won’t be covered by Atol protection. The CAA has said very few Flybe passengers will be protected.
Atol protection covers package holidays booked with registered travel companies if an airline goes into administration.
If you booked your Flybe flight and accommodation at the same time, using the same travel company, check whether your booking confirmation contains an Atol certificate.
If so, you’ll be able to claim back the cost of your holiday through the Atol scheme. You’ll need to contact your travel company for more information on how to do this.
How have you been affected by Flybe’s collapse? Do you have more questions? See our Flybe Q&A where you can tell us your story and we can answer your questions.