On Thursday 5th March 2020, UK airline Flybe announced they had gone into administration, causing major travel disruptions for thousands of passengers. All future flights from the Exeter-based airline have been cancelled whilst more than 2,300 jobs are at risk.
The airline, which narrowly avoided going into administration back in January, was run by Stobart Air and operated 119 routes, many of which were regional.
Flybe’s website is advising customers:
“If you are due to fly with Flybe, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.”
Flights booked on Blue Islands or Eastern Airways who operate some routes on behalf of the failed airline, are still expected to continue operating.
Whilst it is believed coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a negative impact on the airline, with more people reluctant to travel, Flybe’s competitors believe its demise was imminent. Many of the carrier’s rival airlines will potentially be setting up replacement flights for passengers with flights to and from Belfast City.
Flybe then went on to say:
If you have a booking sold by another airline that includes travel on a Flybe flight, please contact the relevant airline or travel agent to confirm if there is any impact to your travel plans.
Customers are also advised to monitor the Civil Aviation Authority website for further information (www.caa.co.uk). If you require any further information or assistance, please contact the Administrators by phone on 0207 951 7801 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of Flybe’s planes have been grounded and as the airline is not ATOL protected, passengers will not be eligible for refunds.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are encouraging Flybe customers to “make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.”
I booked with Flybe directly, how can I claim by money back?
Passengers who have booked a flight, costing more than £100, directly with Flybe, using a credit card may be entitled to claim back the cost under Section 75 of the Consumers Credit Act 1974. If the flight was less than £100 or a debit card was used, passengers may able to recuperate costs via the chargeback scheme. In both circumstance, passengers will need to speak directly to their card provider to discuss their options.
My flight was part of a package holiday, what should I do?
Protection from financial loss is available for passengers who have a Flybe flight booked as part of a package holiday. Their travel agent or tour operator will need to either find an alternative flight or refund any costs. Those who are already abroad, and are due to fly home with Flybe, will need to speak to their travel company as they are responsible for booking them a return flight once their holiday has finished.
Can I claim under my travel insurance policy?
Those who are unable to recuperate costs through another source will need to check their travel insurance policy carefully.
The cover to look for is ‘Scheduled Airline Failure’ or ‘End Supplier Failure’. Some travel insurance companies will offer this as standard, provided the policy was purchased before Flybe announced they had gone into administration.