/ 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

We have 3 return ticket to France booked on a Flybe flight next August. The booking was made with Air France and is a code share flight AF 6415. Does anyone know if we are covered for a refund or will Air France now fly us? I have tried to call Air France but the line is down.

Kerry says:
6 March 2020

What if the alternative flights offered don’t work with our travel plans, are we entitled to refunds if we don’t wish to rebook? I’m traveling specifically for an event which runs Thursday to Sunday and the only flights available to rebook onto would cause me to arrive too late Thursday and leave too early Sunday.

Fingers crossed other airlines will take up the routes from Belfast. This will have such a major impact on Belfast City Airport.

…and Cardiff.

Oh – that is good news! I am guessing they have been talking to other airlines for a while now.

I have Flybe flights for 3 people from Southampton to Amsterdam at the end of April. As Southampton is almost exclusively Flybe I can’t see an alternative being provided. What’s the best way to approach the credit card company that I paid through ? Is there a timescale that is applied to these situations.

I was pleased to see that the Flybe Update received by e-mail a short time ago directs people to Which? Conversation. This is a function that the Conversation team and their colleagues execute very well. The Thomas Cook affair was an excellent example and other emergencies are getting the same treatment to help and inform the public. Good work.

Thanks John, everyone involved really appreciates that.

Peter says:
5 March 2020

Booked an ATOL protected flight and hotel package with Expedia travelling in May. Flights are with Flybe. I assume Expedia need to arrange alternative flights? If so, am I charged for any difference in flight costs?

Ruth says:
5 March 2020

I had Flybe flights for May. My insurance covers airline failure, I also booked direct with a credit card. Who should I approach for a refund?

Hi Ruth, 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.

What is the situation if you paid by PayPal?

I paid for a return flight Edinburgh to Manchester via pay pal and have notified Pay pal as a dispute which shall get escalated during it’s procedures though I’m not confident on getting my money back

Gail Miles says:
13 March 2020

Yes I paid for same flights on my credit card and have made a claim but am not confident as the return flight cost was under £100.

Why do people who are stuck abroad need to make their own arrangements to get back?
When other airlines have gone down alternative flights have been arranged to get people back to the UK.

Packaged holidays including accommodation organised by a licensed tour operator are ATOL-protected, but flights arranged independently or through a travel agent direct with a carrier are not. This seems unjust, but the ATOL protection is in the price of package holidays. People flying independently are presumed to be capable of obtaining insurance or indemnity but for travel policies generally this is not applicable in the case of financial collapse, presumably because this is an unpredictable and unquantifiable risk. Bespoke insurance might be possible but would likely be very expensive. Sometimes other airlines on the route will assist but bookings are not transferable and, in the case of a regional operator like Flybe, they are the only carrier on many of their routes.

Flying to Amsterdam on 30th March with Flybe booked the package with Expedia will they arrange new flights ?

Chris Mitchell says:
5 March 2020

I am booked o Blue Islands to Guernsey from Southampton on the16th march return the following Thursday. On the 23rd go to Jersey from Southampton and return on the Wednesday. Blue Islands are still flying so I should be alright.

ALAN JONES says:
5 March 2020

I booked tickets from Air France which included a connecting flight to Paris operated by FlyBe. As the flight numbers are all Air France flights I assume that Air France are responsible for either honouring the original flights or offering a suitable alternative. Am I correct?

I had a booking on a flight to be operated by Flybe but actually booked it through Virgin Atlantic with a Virgin codeshare. The Virgin website has a comprehensive table describing how various scenarios will be handled. In my case it says I will receive an automatic refund.

My flights with Fly Be were £99.65 each, £199.30 in total paid on my credit card as one transaction. Will I be covered under section 75.

Keith Penrose says:
5 March 2020

Sorry to say… it’s unlikely.

Section 75 of The Consumer Credit Act 1974 insists that each item must cost £100 or more, not that the order value be £100 or more.

From Which’s own guide to Section 75 – https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act...
“However, if you bought two items that together cost more than £100, but each cost less than £100, Section 75 would not apply and the card company wouldn’t usually be liable.”

Marian Mitchell says:
5 March 2020

I am booked to fly from Exeter to Edinburgh just after Easter. Should I try to get my money back through my bank as I paid by credit card, or will Logan air pick up the bookings?

Hi Marian, 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.

Keith Penrose says:
6 March 2020

Grace Birchall, I do not believe that to be true.

From Which’s own guide to Section 75 – https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act...
“…if you bought two items that together cost more than £100, but each cost less than £100, Section 75 would not apply and the card company wouldn’t usually be liable.”

In other words, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act will only help if each individual ticket bought cost at least £100.

Hi Keith, as Lauren has explained below – because the tickets in these cases are for the same service and they’re all affected by cancellation, you should be covered by Section 75. If not, you should still be able to claim using chargeback (if you bought them in the last 120 days).

Gail Miles says:
13 March 2020

I don’t believe Logan Air are picking up bookings made by Flybe but may be offering some of the same routes for you to book. I had booked a return flight from Edinburgh to Manchester with Flybe and note that Logan Air are now doing the same route but the cost is double!

Keith Penrose says:
5 March 2020

The guidance above says…
“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.”

I do not believe that to be true.

From Which’s own guide to Section 75 – https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act...
“However, if you bought two items that together cost more than £100, but each cost less than £100, Section 75 would not apply and the card company wouldn’t usually be liable.”

In other words, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act will only help if each ticket bought cost at least £100.

I met a friend of mine today who worked with Flybe and it occurred to me that you do not seem to have mentioned anything about the rights of the employees.

I would suggest that employment protection and the rights of employees are some way outside the scope of Which?’s consumer purview. Which? is an acknowledged expert on consumer protection, consumer law and consumer rights but might not have the experience or expertise to deal with personnel issues. There are other expert organisations and trade unions that are better placed to help in that area. The administrators of the company have a duty to treat the employees properly. If Which? diverts its attention to other aspects consumers could be disadvantaged and they have few other places to turn for reliable advice and information.

The United trade union has been speaking on behalf of Flybe staff and others for some while now.

Hi Pete, unfortunately this isn’t something that Which? can give advice on.

Norman Landels says:
5 March 2020

I booked flights through Expedia and connection from Aberdeen to London is with Flybe and then onwards & return with Singapore airlines. Will Expedia refund entirely cost if I wish to cancel?

Hi Norman, since you booked through Expedia – they should arrange alternative travel for you free of charge.

Ann nixon says:
6 March 2020

My hubby is due to fly to Belfast on Monday with Flybe was booked on 5 December now what from London city airport

Hi Ann, could you give us some more details so we understand the situation properly, we’d like to help you with an answer?

jeanette says:
6 March 2020

we booked flight only with Virgin. The flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow was with Flybe and Heathrow to New york , was with Virgin. It was all booked with Virgin. Now Flybe have gone into liquidation, where do we stand with the domestic flights. Virgin are saying that we need to organise that, and they will refund that amount, that was paid in the ticket. Please can anyone help us with our next step.

Thanks
Jeanette

I paid for my flybe tickets using Paypal credit. I have contacted paypal who say that I cannot get a refund because it is a service and not goods.Have you any advice for me? It is disappointing that the paypal option was on the flybe website as normally I would have paid for tickets using a credit card.