Closethorntonbanner
Close Thornton

Monarch Collapse – How Customers Will Be Affected

Monarch Collapse – How Customers Will Be Affected

British airline Monarch has collapsed, leaving 110,000 passengers abroad and around 750,000 people with flights they have paid for, but will not be able to take.

Monarch's administrators, KPMG, said that the "vast majority" of people should get their money back in one way or another - full details of customers' rights are available on the dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk

However here are some of the answers to the most common questions.

What does this mean for customers currently on a Monarch package holiday?

The Atol scheme refunds customers if a travel firm collapses and ensures that those holidaymakers are not stranded. However, while Monarch package holidays are protected by the Atol scheme, those who booked flights only are NOT protected. This is because Monarch withdrew from flight-only protection last year.

Despite this it looks as if most of those who booked a flight only will still be flown home by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), along with those who are fully Atol-protected.

The CAA says customers currently overseas should check monarch.caa.co.uk for confirmation of their new flight details, which will be available a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their original departure time.

What if I am abroad, having booked a flight only?

You will be covered by the CAA rescue scheme, provided your return flight to the UK is on or before 15 October.

What if I am due to return home after 16 October?

If you were on a Monarch package holiday, your booking is Atol-protected, and therefore you will be flown home free of charge. If you had booked a flight only, you are not covered, so you will have to make your own arrangements to fly home. You will then need to try and reclaim your money, using one of the other methods detailed below.

How about customers who have not flown yet?

Holidaymakers who bought a package holiday through Monarch will be Atol-protected, and will get their tickets refunded.

Most customers with flight-only bookings will need to seek a refund themselves. The only exception to this is if you booked your flight before 16 December 2016. In that case your flight is likely to be Atol-protected and you could receive a refund.

What if I booked with a credit card?

While some airlines still charge extra for using a credit card, Monarch abandoned that policy last year, meaning a higher proportion of its customers may have booked with a credit card, giving them extra protection.

Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, anyone who booked flights costing more than £100 will get their money back automatically from their credit card provider. However, each single flight needs to cost more than £100. So if you booked five flights, each of which cost £99, you would not be covered under the act. Even if you paid less than £100 per seat though, you can still use something called the Chargeback process, described below.

What if I used a debit card to pay?

In many cases debit cards, such as those issued by Visa, Mastercard or American Express, will cover the loss, under what is known as the Chargeback scheme. But, unlike with credit cards, you do not have a legal right to a refund.

UK Finance is advising those who paid in this way to contact their bank. The bank will then apply to the administrators, KPMG, for a refund, but may give you your money back anyway.

What about claiming on travel insurance?

This will depend very much on the terms and conditions of the insurance. Most policies do not cover airline failure as a standard part of the cover.

Passengers unable to claim any money back will remain as creditors of the collapsed company, but they will be well down the queue for compensation.

If you would like advice and information about claiming travel or holiday compensation please contact Shaun Burke on 01325 466461 or email shaun.burke@close-thornton.co.uk

Close Thornton