Flybe collapse: How to get a refund on flights and and what customers’ rights are


Flybe collapse leaves 75,000 customers in limbo: your rights regarding refunds and replacement flights

  • Domestic airline Flybe has been placed under guardianship for the second time
  • Thousands of customers had booked flights and are now facing uncertainty
  • We explain how Flybe customers can get their money back

Airline Flybe has collapsed for a second time, leaving 75,000 passengers in uncertainty about how to get refunds or replacement flights.

Flybe was a small scale airline with eight aircraft flying 21 routes to 17 destinations in the UK and Europe.

But the company said it went into administration in a shocking announcement last weekend.

The company employed 321 workers, 277 of whom have lost their jobs, with the rest staying on to help wind down the airline.

A statement from Flybe on January 28 said: ‘Flybe has now ceased trading. All Flybe flights to and from the UK have been canceled and will not be rescheduled.”

However, there are several ways Flybe customers can get refunds or alternative flights.

Collapse: Flybe mainly operated flights within the UK, with a limited fleet of aircraft

Can I get a refund if I bought directly from Flybe?

Yes, but this is not guaranteed and depends on how you paid for a ticket.

If you booked a ticket directly with Flybe using a credit card, you may be protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

If you pay with a credit card for something worth more than €100, your credit card company may be required by law to refund you if that product or service is not delivered or is not as described.

If you paid for tickets with a value of less than £100 by credit card, or paid by debit or debit card, you may be able to make a claim under the chargeback rules.

The voluntary chargeback system ensures that banks return money for money spent on goods and services that never materialize.

Customers may also be able to get a refund if they purchased travel insurance for their Flybe trip.

They will need to check their policy terms, however, as many travel insurance policies don’t cover airline failures, according to financial data firm Defaqto.

Anna-Marie Duthie, travel insurance expert at Defaqto, said: ‘With flights and holidays canceled due to the Flybe collapse, many people’s holidays will be ruined in the coming months.

“While airline failures have become more available under travel insurance in recent years, nearly half of annual travel insurance policies still do not provide coverage.”

What if I bought through a third party?

If you have purchased Flybe tickets through a third party such as a travel or booking agent, the CAA advises that you contact them directly for a possible refund.

When did the first Flybe collapse?

The airline first announced it would shut down in March 2020, costing 2,400 workers their jobs as the Covid pandemic ravaged the tourism sector.

It returned in summer 2021 with a plan to operate up to 530 flights a week on 23 routes, serving airports including Belfast City, Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Heathrow and Leeds Bradford.

What if I bought a Flybe flight with a package holiday?

You may be covered by ATOL – the Air Travel Organizer’s License. ATOL protection covers people taking a package holiday that involves a flight.

The scheme was set up in 1973 to prevent people flying abroad from being cut off if their holiday company goes out of business. It promises holidaymakers a refund or a replacement trip if a holiday travel company fails before their trip begins.

Duthie from Defaqto said: ‘Anyone who has booked a trip with Flybe as part of a package holiday is fully protected by the ATOL scheme and should not lose out.’

Customers in this position should contact their travel agent for reimbursement or alternative flights.

>> ATOL protection: what does it actually do?

Rivals offer cheap flights to Flybe customers

For those looking to book alternative flights, several airlines have launched cheaper deals especially for customers affected by Flybe’s collapse.

British Airways sells £50 one-way fares, plus taxes, fees and surcharges, on routes between London and Belfast, Newcastle or Amsterdam. Customers can make their booking by calling the British Airways contact centre.

Ryanair has deals for Flybe customers from £29.99. These include routes from Belfast to the East Midlands, Manchester and Stansted.

EasyJet sells flights for £49 within the UK and £79 internationally. Customers may be required to present their original Flybe booking reference.