/ Travel & Leisure

Flybe collapse: your questions answered

Troubled regional airline Flybe has gone into administration and has cancelled all its flights. Have your plans been affected?

All Flybe flights across the UK and Europe have been cancelled with immediate effect after the airline ceased trading.

Thousands of travellers now need to rebook new flights for their upcoming trips in order to return home. 

If flights were booked using a debit or credit card, travellers can ask their bank if they can claim the cost of their flight back.

Because most Flybe passengers book flights only, many won’t have Atol protection and won’t be entitled to a refund through the scheme.

We’ve put together this Q&A to answer the questions you might have if your flight has been cancelled.

Our guide on what happens when an airline goes bust covers a lot of advice on what you can do next.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also published information and advice for travellers.

Your Flybe questions

You can ask questions in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

We’ll also continue to update this guide regularly as new information comes in.

My Flybe flight has been cancelled, can I get my money back?

There’s no right to a refund because Flybe has gone bust, but if you booked your tickets with a credit or debit card you should be able to get a refund from your bank.

If you spent a total of £100 or more on tickets with your credit card, in the same transaction, you can claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

If you paid using a debit card, contact your bank and ask if you can claim using chargeback.

It might also be worth checking your travel insurance policy to find out if you’re covered for the cost of the flights and any other costs caused by cancellations in the event your airline goes bust. There may be an excess fee to claim though.

Some ticket agents also offer a Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) policy when you book, so see if this is included in your travel documents. This would cover the cost of any travel you have to rebook.

I’ve had to rebook my flights and will need to pay to change my hotel and other transport bookings. Can claim these costs back?

You won’t be able to claim for these costs back unless your travel insurance covers you for this.

I’m currently abroad, will there be any replacement flights to bring me home?

Unfortunately you’ll need to make your own arrangements to return to the UK.

I booked flights with another airline, but a connecting part of my journey was with Flybe. What do I do?

Contact the airline or travel company you made the booking with. It should be able to reroute your journey.

I booked flights with a different airline, but my flight was operated by Flybe. What should I do?

Get in touch with the airline or travel company you booked with. It should be able to make alternative travel plans for you.

I booked Flybe flights through a third party ticket or travel agent, do they need to rearrange my travel?

Yes. If you booked flights or a holiday through a third party, get in touch with them directly. They should be able to make alternative travel arrangements for you.

Am I protected by Atol? 

Most Flybe bookings are flight-only and don’t qualify for Atol protection. 

However if you did book a package holiday (flights and accommodation) that included Flybe flights, you might be covered.

Check your travel documents for an Atol certificate, or get in touch with your travel agent.

I paid for my flight with gift vouchers, am I entitled to get anything back?

You can register as a Flybe creditor, but it’s unlikely you’ll get your money back. Flybe owes a lot of money – sadly those looking for gift voucher refunds won’t be considered a priority.

If you booked through a ticket or travel agent, you can always contact them and see if they’re able to rebook you, but there are no guarantees.

We’ll be updating this page regularly as new information becomes available.

If you have a question that we haven’t covered here, do feel free to ask it in the comments.

Comments
Jack white says:
28 March 2020

I was in Amsterdam when Flybe collapsed, I ended up getting my own flight home as this was one of the options from loveholidays. I had to pay my own transfer from the hotel to the airport and then transfer from Gatwick to my departure airport in Southampton. I have only been credited for the flight. What are my rights to claim the rest?

Jack – Your questions are generally answered in the Introduction to this conversation.

If Loveholidays organised your trip as a package holiday they were responsible for ensuring your return to your departure point so I would suggest you submit a formal claim to them.

If you had travel insurance it might cover it but otherwise I suggest you lodge a claim with the administrators so that you become a creditor.

Flybe went into administration on 5 March 2020 and immediately ceased trading. You could submit a claim for the additional costs you incurred in order to return home but customers are unsecured creditors and I doubt there will be much money left to .meet such claims after the costs of administration and payments to preferential creditors [e.g. employees] and secured creditors [e.g. banks and other lenders with a charge on assets like aeroplanes] have been met. It could also take a long time to resolve.

Neil says:
30 March 2020

Hello I booked a Flybe flight via a third party called Travel2be costing over £100. They have refused a refund ignoring my correspondence. I filed a dispute with AMEX (which I paid for the flight with) who rejected it was between me and Travelbe. As they won’t refund me I filed a Section 75 claim and AMEX rejected that too saying
‘ Unfortunately, we are unable to consider your claim. This is because American Express can only be held liable under Section 75 if there is a direct relationship between American Express and the supplier, Flybe.’
Is that correct? What are my options going forward – should I ask for a deadlock letter? Much appreciate your advice Thank you

Neil – I believe American Express are correct. Under S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 the credit card issuer becomes jointly party to the contract with the merchant [Flybe]. That means booking the air travel through a third party cannot give the protection offered by S.75. With Flybe now in administration your options are limited but you could register with the administrators as a creditor, although customers are not high up the priority list for payouts being neither secured nor preferential creditors.

Neil says:
2 April 2020

Thank you for clarifying and quick response. The booking I made via Travel2be was a Flybe flight but booked under a Virgin Atlantic flight code. Would I be able to claim from Virgin? See below.
Your flight itinerary:
——————————————————————————————————————-
Outbound
FLIGHT: VS 8361 – Virgin Atlantic 12/04/2020
DEPARTURE: Paris, FR (Charles de Gaulle) 12/04/2020 09:40
ARRIVAL: Manchester, GB (Ringway Intl.) 12/04/2020 10:10 BOOKING CONFIRMED: , Economy OPERATED BY: FlyBe, BE

Neil – You might be able to – it’s worth a try if Virgin Atlantic cancelled the flight.

I booked with a credit card, but via Lastminute.com so fall foul of the same S.75 issue as above. Can I challenge the booking agent for proof that they have paid Flybe as if they haven’t or cannot prove it then surely they can only legitimately retain the part of my money that was for their booking service?
Secondly would there be a way to reclaim the taxes for the flights or would these never have been paid by Flybe so not be reclaimable?

Pete – I feel you should certainly challenge the booking agent for proof of payment to Flybe; obviously the administrators will be busily chasing up all outstanding credits.

The Air Passenger Duty payments will probably be in the hands of the administrators but they can apply them to other creditors as part of the winding-up process, nevertheless you should put in a claim for them as well as a claim for your lost travel costs. The government will have no claim on the APD payments because no flights took place but that does not mean they will automatically revert to the passengers.

Alison Denmark says:
3 April 2020

Hi… I had flights booked 7 March and managed to claim a full refund via my credit card. However, my hotel was booked via Booking.com who have declined any request to change the date or refund the fee, as have the hotel when I contacted them directly. The webpage for booking the accommodation was branded Flybe and stated it was powered by Booking.com therefore I wondered whether I could claim under consequential loss with my credit card provider?

Alice says:
5 April 2020

Hi, I want to book flights to US (from UK) in October. I will buy these using my AMEX. The flights are through Delta but operates by virgin Atlantic. If the airline goes bust before October, will I still be covered under section 75 considering the flights are being booked amongst the Covid-19 scenario in hope travel can resume by October? Flights will be in £400s. Thanks

Alice – I would suggest you contact American Express to check whether s.75 will cover a Delta airlines flight if operated by Virgin Atlantic, and what their policy is on accepting s.75 claims during a pandemic.

It is too early to forecast when normal service will resume for international, or even inland, travel. I would advise caution and not make any financial commitment for the time being. You will also need to consider the ongoing virus situation in America which might have a different trajectory to Europe’s.

Hi I booked flights from Manchester to Cornwall for 19th to 23rd March flights with Flybe through third party Opodo been in touch with credit card company ,they say try Opodo no joy !!cannot get through on phone no reply email paid180pounds ,is there anything I can do ??

One of the problems with making a flights-only booking through an intermediary, such as Opodo, is that your credit card company does not have a direct relationship with the supplier – which is the basis on which s.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 works – so does not have a joint liability for the performance of the contract. Therefore your credit card issuer’s response is correct to advise contacting Opodo. The same is true with booking flights-only through a high street travel agent although some have alternative protection schemes.

I think the only thing you can do is to keep trying to contact Opodo by phone and seeing if there is a monitored e-mail address. Being an on-line-only operation Opodo might not publish a physical address to which you could send a formal claim. Carefully check any documents you have received from Opodo to see if there is a correspondence address.

If you cannot make contact with Opodo, check with ABTA to see if they are members and, if so, request ABTA to intervene on your behalf.

We booked flights and a hotel in Jersey, flying from Cardiff on 27th March. The holiday was booked in January with Fleetway Travel.On 5th March Flybe collapsed and we had a call offering alternative arrangements or a refund. We asked for a refund and were told it would take up to 14 days. Obviously no refund has been received and today I finally got a reply to an email. It basically said they were waiting for the government to pay. The trip was ATOL protected but this is worthless. The credit card company won’t help and I can’t get through to my travel insurance with Nationwide. What do I do next?

Irene – Because your trip was a package holiday UK law says it must be protected and you have stated that your booking had ATOL protection.

ATOL stops you losing money if your travel operator collapses; in particular, if the business collapses before you travel, the scheme will provide a full refund for the holiday you booked. So if your ATOL certificate names Flybe as the travel organiser I do not think the ATOL protection is worthless and that you should submit a claim for a full refund. Since Fleetway Travel have earned commission from you for this holiday I feel they should be supporting you in making your claim.

See the following Which? Guidance on package holidays –
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/package-travel-regulations

For more information on ATOL protection see the following from the CAA website –
https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/Checking-for-ATOL-protection/

I had a package booked with Expedia for return flights with Flybe from Manchester to Edinburgh plus accommodation, covered with ATOL certificate. I received an email from Expedia stating that I was entitled to a refund, with a link to complete request. It was acknowledged and gave a timeline of 5 days for when I could expect refund. I’ve been trying to chase it up, and got an email yesterday telling me that Air France owned the tickets and they were offering to reboot flights. I’ve replied by saying Air France doesn’t fly direct from Manchester to Edinburgh, so they cannot offer the same journey, neither can any other airline.
Am I right in thinking I’m entitled to a refund for flights and accommodation – and that Expedia should be arranging this? It’s been suggested that I phone Air France and the hotel myself!

Gill – Yes, your agent/tour operator, Expedia, should provide the refund for you. It is their responsibility to chase round the providers of the package elements but that should not hold up the refund.

Rachel Thomas says:
21 April 2020

We booked a package of flights+hotel to Paris for August with Expedia, two days before Flybe went under. Our flights were Air France operated by Flybe. Due to booking as a package we received an ATOL certificate. Trying to get a refund via Expedia is proving difficult as despite speaking to several people when the Flybe situation first happened we are yet to receive a refund. We’ve been told by some that we are entitled to a full refund, and by others that we aren’t. The hotel that we selected was a ‘non refundable’ booking but we believed that as it was booked as a package, we would be protected for the hotel if the flights were no longer and vice versa. I’m also confused as to whether ATOL protection here would only ensure a full refund if Expedia went bust as opposed to one of the companies providing the end service? I’m generally confused and frustrated by a lack of ability to speak to Expedia. We booked by credit card who said the flights could be considered for a chargeback but the hotel couldn’t as Expedia haven’t broken conditions of sale. But if they sold us a package and we can’t fly to the hotel anymore as part of that package surely that should result in a full refund? Any advice very gratefully received.
Thank you!

Rachel – If Expedia was the tour operator [as seems likely] then they are responsible for making a full refund for the entire package. Please check your ATOL certificate and make sure it names Expedia as the tour operator. That will confirm your right to seek recompense from them.

See the following Which? guidance on the Package Travel Regulations –
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/package-travel-regulations

Rachel Thomas says:
22 April 2020

Many thanks for your reply. It is very much appreciated.
I have checked and Expedia is named on our ATOL certificate. My confusion comes from the wording on there that we are protected if Expedia stops trading. Expedia haven’t stopped trading but one of the elements within the package is no longer available due to Flybe stopping trading. Flybe are not mentioned on the certificate as they were Air France flights operated by Flybe. It says that our package to Paris is protected then lists the flights. I’m the second page it gives the package details including the hotel.
I’ve looked at the link you provided above-again Thank you! The pet that concerns me there is mention of costs incurred by the provider. As the hotel booking is a non refundable booking. Had we booked that alone then I wouldn’t query it. It’s the fact it was part of this package that makes me believe we should be entitled to a refund.
Thank you. Any further advice is gratefully received.

I booked a package holiday that included flights by Flybe, I have an ATOL certificate, how do I claim a refund, and who from?

Hi David,

I am sorry to hear about your issue with your package Holiday.

A lot depends on which company you booked your package holiday with.

If your package holiday has not been affected by the current Coronavirus/Covid-19 circumstances and it is planned to go ahead then your Tour Organiser/Operator should book you on to different flights. There should be no charge for the new flights.

If the package holiday will no longer be going ahead and has been cancelled by the Travel Organiser due to the current travel restrictions then you should be entitled to a refund of the full package cost.

I hope the information above is useful. Should you require further tailored legal advice, then please do get in contact with Which? Legal to explore the membership options.

This information is provided by Which? Legal. To join call 01174 054 854 or visit Which? Legal to find out more.

Evgeni Hristov
Which? Legal – Legal Adviser

Craig Faugh says:
11 May 2020

Hi, i had to cancel my flights to the USA on the 13th March because of the lock down imposed by Donald trump. Virgin Atlantic have given my a flight voucher to be used by May 2022. If virgin go bust will I be able to get the value of the voucher back or am i better off booking flights now for next year so that i physically have something to make a claim with should the airline call in the receivers

Craig – There is no guarantee that Virgin Atlantic’s vouchers will be protected in the event of the winding-up of the company. I feel that you should make a formal request for a cash refund in accordance with your ATOL rights.

hi, I know its quite a while since the collapse of Flybe but me and three others are still trying to get out money back for our four return flights to Berlin, We booked though dreams who are not helpful. The credit card company say as we booked though a third party (edreams) they have no responsibility and we should get the money back of edreams. Any thoughts please? Many thanks

Derek – The credit card company’s statement is correct; S.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 does not offer any redress unless the card issuer is a party to the contract.

You will need to lodge a claim with the administrators who are dealing with Flybe’s liquidation through a scheme of administration.

You should also raise your concerns with the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] which administers the ATOL protection scheme and is the Regulator for flights to and from UK airports. The CAA might be able to expedite refunds itself in default of the Administrators.

Sandra Payne says:
10 June 2020

I have a holiday to Menorca booked with Tui but the flights are with Flybe from Southampton airport. I am due to pay the balance and Tui are refusing to let me know what my options are. They just say pay the balance and wait. It looks like I will have to lose my deposit.

Liz says:
19 June 2020

i HAVE FLIGHTS BOOKED TO NEW YORK IN DECEMBER. IF I CANCEL THEM NOW IN EXCHANGE FOR A VOUCHER AND THE AIRLINE GOES BUST BEFORE I HAVE BOOKED NEW FLIGHTS WOULD I BE COVERED BY MY CREDIT CARD OR HOLIDAY INSURANCE? I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT IT MAY BE DIFFERENT RULES THAN IF I HAD AN ACTUAL FLIGHT BOOKED

Catherine Taylor says:
25 June 2020

I booked return flights for me and my husband directly with Virgin that began and ended at Newquay (NQY to LHR to BOS And the same in reverse) Flybe went bust while we were Mid-air on the return journey. We were met with chaos and no flight home to NQY. The Virgin rep At LHR told us to make our own way home, save our receipts and put in for reimbursement. I attempted to do this but have not yet been reimbursed, nor had any acknowledgment of receipt. It has been over 3 months. My other is dying in the USA and I need to fly out – I need this money to pay for that trip. My attempts to contact Virgin by email, get a standard thanks-for-your-email-we’ll-get-bak-to-you Response, The text contact details I was given Are no longer in operation and I w as on hold for over and hour a few weeks ago and when the call finally went to ‘transfer’ to a human, it cut off.
Please can you help ?
Ps I would have filed for section 75 but the price of the Flybe return trip is not transparent on the invoice, it’s all bundled. And I paid for both my husbands and my ticket together on the one card.

Susan says:
20 July 2020

We have a credit refund but we now find out that our company has gone into administration
Do we contact our booking agent or will a refund be automatically given
How long should we wait for a reply x

Mark Osborne says:
27 July 2020

When will tui re open only they owe me money due to a cancellation on a holiday

Janet Robbie says:
29 July 2020

I booked a flight to the isle of Man in February for a return flight on March 14th. This was booked through Directline Flights by Credit Card. I have received two reassuring emails saying my claim has been completed and submitted to Flybe’s card company. What does that mean? I have heard nothing since the 4th April.