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Flybe: Key questions answered over customer refund rights

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Flybe carried about eight million passengers a year between 71 airports across the UK and Europe (Steve Parsons/PA)

Flybe carried about eight million passengers a year between 71 airports across the UK and Europe (Steve Parsons/PA)

Flybe carried about eight million passengers a year between 71 airports across the UK and Europe (Steve Parsons/PA)

All is not lost for Flybe customers who have existing flights booked, the Consumer Council has said.

But your rights will differ depending on how flights were paid for.

Those who booked with a personal credit card may be entitled to money back, Consumer Council director Sinead Dynan said.

"Customers who bought their tickets separately with a personal credit card may be able to claim their money back from the credit card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act," she explained.

"To be eligible, you will need to have paid more than £100 for each separate flight. If the flight was cheaper, or you used a debit card, you may be able to use the 'Chargeback' scheme that card issuers are signed up to. You have to make your claim within 120 days.

"If you bought your flights as part of a package with an Atol travel firm and received an Atol certificate, you should be Atol protected. Contact your travel firm for more information.

"If you booked through an airline ticket agent, you should speak to the agent in the first instance as they may have provided travel insurance that includes Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance."

How many people are affected by the collapse?

Flybe carried about 8m passengers a year between 71 airports across the UK and Europe. The collapse could leave thousands of people stranded across the continent. The company also has around 2,000 staff who have lost their jobs.

What happens to customers already on holiday?

When previous airlines such as Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook collapsed, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was ordered by the Department for Transport to launch a major repatriation operation to fly them home. But CAA says it will not be running such a scheme for Flybe passengers because "there is capacity in the market for people to travel via alternative airlines, rail and coach operations".

Will travellers get a refund?

Some travel insurance companies will cover cancelled flights in the result of an airline collapse, but not all policies provide this coverage. Holidaymakers can apply to their credit or debit card provider to be reimbursed.

Flights bought directly from airlines are not generally Atol protected but those bought through a separate travel company may be covered.

What is the Atol scheme?

Atol provides protection to holidaymakers when travel firms collapse.

What type of bookings are protected?

The scheme protects most trips booked as a package, such as flights and accommodation, or flights and car hire. It also applies to some flight-only bookings.

What protection does it offer?

If a business collapses while you are on holiday, the scheme will make sure you can finish your holiday and return home. Customers who have not yet left home will be given a refund or replacement holiday.

What happens to customers already on holiday?

When previous airlines such as Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook collapsed, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was ordered by the Department for Transport to launch a major repatriation operation to fly them home.

But CAA says it will not be running such a scheme for Flybe passengers because “there is capacity in the market for people to travel via alternative airlines, rail and coach operations”.

– Who would pay for this?

When Monarch Airlines went bust in October 2017, the Government spent £60 million hiring planes to get passengers home while bringing back Thomas Cook passengers has been estimated to have cost even more.

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