Flybe: Will I get a refund for my flight?

Business

After Flybe went into administration on Saturday, many travellers will be out of pocket having bought tickets, while others are stranded in their outbound destination.

Flybe has told its passengers to “not travel to the airport” unless they have arranged alternative flights with another airline.

What are passengers’ rights if your flight is cancelled?

Flybe going into administration is a different situation to when an airline that still operates cancels flights.

Given the company is unable to trade anymore, the cancelled flights will not be rescheduled nor can passengers be rebooked onto other airlines.

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras told Sky News: “While the UK government has stepped in before when larger airlines or travel groups go bust, this will not be the case for Flybe 2.0.

“As Flybe mostly sell ‘flight only’ bookings, travel is not ATOL protected, which means refunds from the company itself will not be provided.

“Anyone with bookings will have to rely on a refund from their credit card or debit card provider, or by claiming from travel insurance.”

He added that if a passenger booked their flights with a credit card and it was more than £100, they are protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

File photo dated 19/03/2020 of Flybe planes, The regional carrier has ceased trading and all scheduled flights have been cancelled, authorities have said. Issue date: Saturday January 28, 2023.

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Flybe went into administration and cancelled all flights after 40 years of operation.

This consumer protection law stipulates the credit provider is equally liable if there is any issue with the purchase – including flights.

For flights that cost less than £100, section 75 does not apply and the card company wouldn’t usually be liable.

Mr Macheras added: “This is why it’s always best to book travel with a credit card.

“If a debit card was used, passengers can try claiming from the card provider under the chargeback system, but it’s often a little more difficult and not a legal right compared with the credit card.”

Some card providers will ask for a negative response letter confirming the position.

The negative response letter will be published shortly according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Mr Macheras said: “There’s also potentially the safety net of travel insurance, as around half of all UK travel insurance policies have scheduled airline failure cover (SAFI) as standard.”

The CAA said: “If you did not book directly with Flybe and purchased your tickets through a third party, you should contact your booking or travel agent in the first instance.”

It said if passengers went via airline ticket agents, they are the first point of call and “they may have provided travel insurance that includes SAFI [Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance] cover”.

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