Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said:
“This is terrible news for Flybmi passengers, who will be seeking urgent advice on what steps to take. Some customers have claimed that tickets were being sold in the hours before the airline went bust, knowing full well those tickets would never be honoured, and passengers will rightly be outraged if this is proved to be the case.
“As all future flights have been cancelled, Flybmi customers should explore their options for refunds. If you purchased your flight as part of a package you should be ATOL protected, which means you should get a refund. However, if you didn’t book as part of a package you may be able to claim the cost back through your travel insurance or credit card issuer, but it depends on your circumstances. You can visit which.co.uk for more advice on your rights.”
Notes to editors:
For the latest advice, visit:
If you are currently abroad with return flights booked with Flybmi:
- Visit the CAA advice page: https://www.caa.co.uk/News/Advice-to-UK-consumers-on-British-Midland-Regional-Limited-(FlyBMI)-suspending-operations/?catid=4294967428
- If you have Atol protection You’re guaranteed a refund if an airline collapses, and must be found an alternative flight home if you’re stranded abroad at no further cost to you.
- You need to contact your travel agent immediately to arrange this.
- If you are abroad without Atol Protection In most cases you’ll need to book flights back with another alternative airline and pay for it yourself.
- Some airlines offer reduced ‘repatriation fares’ for stranded passengers. These are usually available by telephone only within a few hours of an airline going bust (but maybe not immediately) and last for around two weeks.
- Make sure you discuss your options and potential reimbursement with other airlines or you insurance provider before booking flights home.
- You can try to claim the cost of your original flight back, but it may be a few weeks before your claim goes through and you get the money back.
If you are a Flybmi customer holding a ticket for future travel:
- Your rights depend on whether your booking has Atol protection, or not.
- Atol protection means that you are guaranteed a refund if a company collapses, and you’d be found an alternative flight home if you’re stranded abroad.
- But, you won’t automatically have Atol protection if you’ve a flight booked – it will depend on how you booked it.
- I booked with a travel agent The Atol scheme applies if you book a package holiday that involves a flight.
- When you make a holiday booking, make sure your travel company has a licence. Firms must display their ATOL licence number on websites and brochures.
- I booked flights directly with the airline If you book your flight and then book hotel accommodation through an airline’s website, this may not be covered, unless it’s a linked travel arrangement.
- For more information on Atol, read our guide find out whether your holiday is Atol protected?
- If the airline has gone bust before you depart you need to contact your travel agent to make sure your booking is still in place.
- If it is, then your travel arrangements should continue relatively unaffected, although your flight times could change. It’s important to keep all your booking information should there be any problems.
Can I recover my costs if I don’t have ATOL protection?
- You could claim against your credit card company under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
- To be eligible, you need to have paid more than £100 for your flights or holiday, and used your credit card to book direct with the tour operator or airline – usually this means it needs to be either the airline or holiday company listed on your credit card bill.
- But, some credit card companies will give a refund even if you’ve paid via a travel agent and it’s the agent’s name listed on your credit card bill.
- If you book a return flight, the total value must be at least £100 – if you book flights individually, each must be at least £100. See our section 75 guide for help.
- Flights costing less than £100 booked on a credit card, or any flights booked with a debit card, may still get some protection via the chargeback scheme. See our chargeback guide for more.
- If neither of these approaches works you’ll have to join the list of creditors, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get any money back.