/ 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

I booked flights with Expedia for a trip to US ( New York and Nashville) this summer. The flight from Aberdeen to Heathrow was with Flybe. Expedia have said my flight has been cancelled. After a 70 minute wait to speak to customer service they were unable to tell me whether this was just the Aberdeen to Heathrow flight or all of them. (All of the flights were booked with Virgin Atlantic but operated by Flybe, VA and Delta). Do Expedia have to organise alternative flights from Aberdeen to Heathrow for me ?

I’m in exact same situation with Lastminute.com – we are going to New York. Can’t seem to get a straight answer!! They have told me someone will get back to me in 7 days . So far my flights beyond London are still on my itinerary when I log into Virgin – just getting to London is the problem. Have you checked that out?

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

Laura macfarlane says:
6 March 2020

I paid for three flights with Flybe with PayPal .. I rang their customer service and they set something up to see if I can get a refund ..
Not sure what’s happening

This might be an ignorant observation, but the travel trade has known for a long time that Flybe was on the slippery slope and yet it does not seem to have prepared itself for the financial collapse [which was reliably forecast some days before it was confirmed] and has carried on facilitating the use of the airline for interconnecting flights. I appreciate that for a number of locations Flybe might have been the only available airborne carrier but I feel that the risks should have been advised to potential travellers and that alternative arrangements should have been offered. Companies that process payments should also have anticipated the flood of enquiries that would arise in the event of the collapse.

If I p[aid less than £100 for my tickets using my credit Card can I still get my money back from the credit card company

For the sake of the many travellers who might need to request a chargeback refund I hope the scheme applies in the case of a company in administration.

It is worth noting that, in order to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, you don’t need to have paid more than £100 or the full amount on your credit card – the card company is liable even if you made only part of the payment (a deposit, say) on your card.

I wondered whether chargeback would work if a company was in administration but decided to post after reading this: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/company-administration-help/

The critical part of the Money Saving Expert interpretation is that “ unlike with credit cards, this isn’t a legal protection, but a protection from firms’ internal rules. It’s designed so that if you pay for something, and that order isn’t fulfilled or a mistake is made, your bank can do a Chargeback from the bank that collected the payment“. I fear that is not as watertight as people might like. It implies some lapse or error on the supplier’s part, and falling into administration could be deemed such, but since Flybe is now under the control of an administrator whose purpose is to secure all available funds for the creditors – of whom prospective passengers are one class – I could see an expensive legal argument if a consumer contested a bank’s refusal of Chargeback or their denial of any liability in such circumstances. I hope those who follow the Chargeback route will let us know how they get on.

In Richard’s case there is little to be lost by trying. As far as I know, the success of chargeback claims is not dependent on the bank managing to reclaim the money. Here is another page on the Which? website: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-can-i-get-my-money-back-if-a-company-goes-bust

Agreed. I would certainly recommend making a chargeback request.

I had booked a Virgin holidays package holiday due to fly in July to Cuba. The Edinburgh to Heathrow leg was operated by Flybe. Virgin have been in contact by phone and email offering BA flights for a further charge of £442. I then threatened to cancel and it was reduced to £221. Having looked at the ATOL/ABTA rules it seems they should be arranging the change in travel arrangements at their expense? I challenged them on this however I was advised that I would have to pay. The booking conditions are fairly vague on what constitutes exceptional circumstances which would allow me to cancel despite the increase being passed on to me being below the 8% threshold.

Can you advise if it is up to virgin to foot the bill for any price increases involved in the new arrangements and if so what rule or regulations I can quote from ATOL/ABTA?

Thanks in advance

Kierran

Called back and challenged them today, quoted ABTA/ATOL again and stated as it was a package deal they should be paying it. Back on hold then advised they could cancel and refund the flight price (£130) and would deduct any additional cost from the price of booking. Had to book the new flights myself as they could not get the cheapest rates on the market due to their system linking with BAs selected seats. Worked for me however anyone less computer literate or more trusting would have ended up paying £441 or more with worse flight times/longer layovers. Horrible service from Virgin Holidays who would have taken an 8% hit on the cost of my holiday, well within the discounts they can offer!

We have also paid Flybe by credit card for return flights to Berlin and back in July. Is the best way to get a refund from the card companyby claiming under Section75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974? Jill.

Hi Jill, yes, 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.

Alex says:
9 March 2020

Hi everyone, my husband is a UK citizen but we live abroad. We bought a couple of FlyBe tickets, obviously with my Italian credit card, I suppose there’s no way we could claim the refund via the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974? We’ve already checked, and my credit card does not offer any kind of refund/insurance in case of missed flights…

eleanor tanner says:
9 March 2020

I had a compensation claim ongoing since November last year due to flybe cancellation flight. Now they have gone bust and compensation is not yet awarded, will I still receive the entitled compensation? Aviation ADR have said that I will not. Thanks

Hi Eleanor, unfortunately you are unlikely to get compensation now, but you can always register as a creditor. The administrators should release details on how to do this soon.

Malcolm says:
9 March 2020

I booked Flybe flights costing £175 with a credit card. We used the outgoing tickets, but Flybe filed for administration before the return date. I understand Section 75 applies if the transaction is over £100, but can I claim if half the £175 transaction was fulfilled?

Hi Malcolm, if the transaction was under £100, you can contact your bank and ask if you can use chargeback instead.

Norman Landels says:
10 March 2020

Flight with BA booked to Vietnam landing on 12 March, visa-exemption ends that day so can’t get into country. BA say flight still scheduled to leave on 11th so won’t reschedule. Can I claim for recompense?

Martin says:
10 March 2020

My family are due to travel to Bergerac from Edinburgh in July. Our tickets clearly state “operated by Stobart Air”. I believe that Stobart Air are still up and running – does that mean that there’s a chance of our flights going ahead?

Hi Martin, if the flight is cancelled, the airline should get in touch with you directly, so it sounds like your flight will still be going ahead. Keep an eye on any updates from the airline and any Foreign Office travel warnings issued for France.

I have booked a package with a travel agent for my whole family – we travel from scotland and were going to fly from Manchester. Now Flybe is bust, the travel agent has offered us flights from Stansted (with 100 pp discount, being the surcharge for ‘regional’ airport Manchester, or alternative flights from Manchester with an extra surcharge of more than £100 pp. We were spending over 6000 for this holiday but I don’t find that acceptable. Flying from Stansted, though it comes with a discount, leaves us with surcharges for our luggage when we fly from Scotland to Stansted. Any ideas?

Hi Trudy, travel agents should offer you a ‘reasonable’ alternative in this situation, which can include helping you arrange transport to get to an alternative airport. It sounds like they’ve offered you a discount, possibly to cover your travel costs to get to Stansted? If this doesn’t work for you, get in touch with the agent and explain the inconvenience, hopefully they should be able to help.

I booked flights from Aberdeen to Port Elizabeth, South Africa through Net Flights, who chose Virgin as our main airline and which included Flybe flights from Aberdeen to Heathrow there and back on the return leg. We are currently still in SA leaving on Tuesday 17th March via Johannesburg and Heathrow so we were here when the airline collapsed. I immediately contacted Net Flights and they have since told me that they cannot do anything for me in regard to the Heathrow-Aberdeen leg and that I must make the alternative arrangements myself.

I have disputed this as my point was that they are my agents and I did not choose Flybe and I paid them and not Virgin or Flybe directly. What are my rights and what are NetFlights responsibilities?

hi, I booked flybe flights out to dublin on my credit card and I also booked a non-cancellable prepaid hotel stay seperately on the same card.
I understand I can get the flight costs back funder section 75 as flybe didn’t deliver, but where do I stand with the hotel booking?
as the flight was on the friday immediately after the collapse of flybe I couldn’t arrange alternative travel, but the hotel could have supplied the service if I’d got there. so where do I stand with that one please?

I booked return flight to Manchester with Flybe with paypal, will I be covered?

Hi Susan,

I regret that PayPal does not seem to insure your purchases in the way that credit cards do. For example see:-https://www.paypal.com/gp/smarthelp/article/i-want-a-refund.-how-do-refunds-work-faq3248

It may be worth you contacting PayPal for clarification, but a quick look at their website suggests that you’ll need to try claiming directly from Flybe.

Thank you

We have been in Taiwan for some months. Flew here with a Klm through our regular travel agent. On Saturday KLM cancelled our flight back on 23rd March with no replacement dates. Our agent is not yet open due to time difference. We have no atol cover apparently. What are our options. China airlines are still flying!

Hey Robert,

We cover this over in the Coronavirus travel conversation:

The airline you booked with has a duty to rebook you on another flight or a ‘rescue’ flight, or help you organise travel home. But it doesn’t seem like many are sticking to this commitment.

If your airline just isn’t helping you, or you can’t get in touch with them, there are a few things you can also do:

  • If you’re on a package holiday, or you booked through a travel agent, get in touch with them. They should be able to advise you further and possibly book alternative travel for you.
  • Check to see if your travel insurance will cover alternative travel costs and any extra accommodation you might need.

Did you book flights only, direct with the airline, and haven’t got travel insurance? You might have to organise and pay for alternative travel and accommodation yourself.

You can also try and get in touch with the British consulate in the country you’re visiting for advice. (Here’s the one for Taiwan: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-office-taipei)

All in, your travel agent will be the best place to start, so I would recommend contacting them first as soon as you can.

Stephanie says:
16 March 2020

Did you get a response as I am in same situation?

Hello, I booked a package holiday with Expedia from Manchester to Paris CDG for May. The outbound flight was operated by Flybe. I have contacted Expedia, who first denied that ATOL covers airline failure, then mentioned only the flight refund. I have contacted them again as I am confident that I am due a full refund of both flights and the hotel under ATOL. In addition, I cannot contact Expedia via phone, because my travel is not in the next 10 days (they refuse to answer in these cases) and they cannot do anything via email due to “system restrictions”. Do you agree that I am entitled to a full refund, and is a chargeback the way to go (I paid with a debit card)? Thanks in advance!

Paul K says:
20 March 2020

Has anyone heard if travel company TRAVEL UP has ceased trading, I have a flight to Thailand booked with them and they are NOT answering telephone calls or emails

I can only assume the same that they have ceased trading as any form of contact is not returned,
ive tried every option but with no joy.

Robert Gault says:
20 March 2020

Re: Flybe collapse,
I sent off an email to recover flight cost against myTesco credit card. To cbk@tescobank.com.
I did not receive an acknowledgment to confirm receipt and that they were dealing with matter.
Can any person offer information, before I resend.
Cheers
Robert