Which? response to Monarch collapse

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Home Products and Services,said:

“The Government has said that Monarch passengers stranded overseas will not be charged for their flights home.  This will be a great relief to the 110,000 people currently affected, and we advise that they check monarch.caa.co.uk for the latest information about how to arrange their flight home.

“As all future flights have been cancelled, Monarch 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: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/your-rights-if-an-airline-goes-bust

If you are currently abroad with return flights booked with Monarch:

  • If you are travelling at the moment continue as planned. At least 48 hours before you are due to return home, visit the dedicated website at Monarch.caa.co.uk or call the CAA helpline on 0300 303 2800 (UK) or +44 1753 330330 (overseas) to confirm your new flight details.
  • You may need to speak to your accommodation provider about extending your stay. Do not travel to the airport until your confirmed flight as you will not be able to travel on an earlier flight.
  • You should check in at the airport three hours before departure, there will be no online check in – you will not be able to check in with your old flight details, you will be issued with a new flight and new boarding card.
  • Once on board the plane, you will be asked to provide details of your original Monarch booking. If you are not ATOL protected, this will allow the government to claim the cost of your replacement flight directly from your credit or debit card company. You will not be asked to pay for your flight yourself.

 If you are a Monarch customer holding a ticket for future travel:

  • Are you ATOL protected? 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 will not be covered.
  • For more information on ATOL, read our guide to find out whether your holiday is ATOL protected?
  • 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 1974.
    • 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.
    • 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 is unlikely you’ll be able to get any money back.
  • Will my travel insurance cover airline failure?
    • Unfortunately, airline financial failure or insolvency is rarely included on most travel insurance policies.
    • There isn’t a single rule for this and you should talk to your travel insurance provider to check their approach to airline failure (it may be under ‘supplier failure’).