/ Travel & Leisure

Have you been affected by the Monarch collapse?

Monarch airlines

Monarch, one of the UK’s most popular airlines, has ceased trading, affecting hundreds of thousands of people both here and abroad. Today, we share our consumer rights guide for those affected when an airline goes bust.

Monarch, Britain’s fifth-biggest airline, has collapsed. By going into administration, 110,000 people were left without a flight home and 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled.

The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have since announced that all passengers currently abroad will be flown home. The CAA has chartered 30 planes to bring affected holidaymakers home and advising those due to fly with Monarch not to travel to airports as those flights will not be operating.

As people started to arrive for their flights in the early hours of this morning, what should have been a time for excitable anticipation as they looked forward to their holidays turned into a scramble for information and a hurry to book other flights.

Grounded holidays

Denise was interviewed by the BBC this morning at Manchester Airport. She said that while she was able to afford another flight (at an extra cost of £600 when she had already spent well over £1,000 on the original booking), others, especially families who would be expected to pay up to three times what she did may have trouble doing so.

As news broke, passengers started to share their experiences and thoughts on social media.



Thankfully, the government has already said that Monarch passengers currently overseas will not be charged for their flights home. This will be a huge relief for those 110,000 people affected. We advise any Monarch customers to visit monarch.caa.co.uk for the latest information on arranging their flight home.

What are your rights?

As all future flights have been cancelled, Monarch passengers should explore their refund options as soon as possible. If your flight has been purchased as part of a package you should be ATOL protected. This means you should receive a refund. However, if your flight was bought separately, you may still be able to claim the cost back through your travel insurance or credit card issuer. This does, however, depend on your circumstances.

Monarch passengers can find out their flight rights now the airline has announced it has ceased trading in our Consumer Rights guide.

Monarch flight rights

Have you been affected by the Monarch news? What have you done about it?


Hi, I’m interested to find out how people get on claiming money back through the chargeback scheme. If you don’t have ATOL protection or travel insurance and paid for your flights on your debit card you can try to claim back up to £100 via chargeback. Is anyone in that position?

Deborah beal says:
4 April 2019

Hi I’m in that position now as Wow airline has gone bust We also paid by debit card… no Atol or Insurance Did u succeed in getting a refund + how did u go about it

Hey Deborah,

You can find out to use the chargeback scheme here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-do-i-use-chargeback.

You can also see all of your consumer rights when an airline goes bust here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/your-rights-if-an-airline-goes-bust

If you do try the chargeback scheme, let us know how it works out.

I saw this comment from someone on Reddit:

‘My son is at Gatwick right now. He booked a flight to Alicante back in April, this is his first time abroad. He literally walked into the airport only to be handed a sheet of paper informing him that all flights were cancelled. I cannot believe this, frankly. They could have to least honoured today’s flights and given a bit more notice. He’s now massively out of pocket and scrambling to get on new alternative flight today, or lose the holiday he’s been waiting all year for. I feel so bad for him.’

And their follow up:

‘Just spoken to him now, they managed to get a return flight booked with BA. They depart 10 minutes sooner than the Monarch flight was due to leave, but the return flight although on the same day, is much earlier. I guess they were lucky to be amongst the very first people to find out, so seats on other flights were available. I fear that may not be the case for lots of other people as the rush begins. I’ve told him to keep every bit of paperwork he has and all the emails, but of course who knows if they will get any compensation. He told me that at the time they were handing out typed sheets of paper at Gatwick, it was not on the Monarch website. It is now, finally.’


Not sure how I’d react in that situation.

It is worth mentioning that the wording on the CAA website is slightly equivocal and some people (i.e. banks!) are suggesting as a result that flight only tickets booked before December 14th are all ATOL Protected and we should claim through the CAA. This is not true as most flight only tickets bought like this through Monarch’s website were not accompanied by an ATOL Certificate so the only recourse is through Travel Insurers (not likely in the most despite headline adverts of Cancellation Fees when you purchase) or the card issuers who seem reluctant to provide me with the appropriate forms etc. so far. I specifically invoked Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. I think this will run and run.

Roger Smith says:
23 October 2017

I am flight only sale ATOL protected with a certificate for tickets purchased before 15/12/2016 but as yet have received no paper or electronic claim form. It is impossible to get anything but recorded messages when you ring the numbers provided which give you no option or advice in what to do in this situation. Is anybody else in the same situation or does anyone have advice/numbers to Contact please ?

I bought 7 flights (not all from the same departure point or with the same airline) and separate accommodation for a family holiday. Santander are refusing to refund the cost of my daughter’s flight because my name is not on the booking (doh!) and they say that the debtor/creditor/supplier link is broken. I can not get them to tell me whether they think that my daughter bought this flight using my card (which she couldn’t) or that gifts are not covered by s75. Anyone else having a similar problem?

What disappoints me is that Which magazine is conspicuously absent from any comment -let alone advice-on this dilemma. As a victim who has been away from UK for 10 weeks I returned to read the September/October/November editions. Not a whiff as far as I could glean from the publications above. Of course it is true that the bankruptcy occurred inconveniently for publication in early October, but even so………………? These ‘conversation’ pages may make interesting reading but almost inevitably lack professional advice on steps to be taking to reclaim the lost monies. I have found my own way to a resolution but do think it most remiss of my Consumer Friend not to have made reasoned comments to aid recompense. And as far as I can see no comment whatsoever.

Hi Robert, thanks for your comments. The purpose of Which? Conversation is to get the community talking about a variety of issues, in this case the Monarch collapse. We had news articles on our website and made people aware of our consumer rights advice on this issue. You can find this here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/your-rights-if-an-airline-goes-bust. These are also linked in the conversation as well.

Deborah beal says:
4 April 2019

Can anyone tell me please how do I go about getting compensation as I was booked on Wow airline to go to Canada in August 2019 + now they have gone bust £1200 has been taken from bank account paid by visa debit card I was not Atol protected as flight was booked online for 3 people No insurance had been taken out as I was going to get that nearer the time No e.mails have been sent out + I cannot get in contact with anyone from Wow as everything has been shut down Any advice please would be much appreciated Thank you