MSE News

Flybe stops trading and cancels all flights – what you need to know

Airline Flybe has ceased trading this morning and all flights have been cancelled. Here's what you need to know.

The regional airline relaunched under new ownership in April 2022 after collapsing in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. It operated flights from Belfast City, Birmingham and Heathrow to airports across the UK and to Amsterdam and Geneva.

But in a statement on its website today, it said: "On 28 January 2023, the High Court appointed David Pike and Mike Pink as Joint Administrators of Flybe Limited ("Flybe"). Flybe has now ceased trading and all flights from and to the UK operated by Flybe have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. If you are due to fly with Flybe today or in the future, please do not travel to the airport  unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline. Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers."

The UK Civil Aviation Authority says Flybe customers who still need to travel will need to make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.

I had a booking with Flybe – how can I get a refund?

Check first if you are ATOL-protected, though it's likely very few in this situation will be (see How to check for ATOL protection). If you do have ATOL protection as you booked your flight as part of a package holiday, contact your travel firm – it should arrange alternative flights or give you a full refund. If you don't have ATOL protection, here are a few ways you may be able to get your cash back:

  • Booked on a credit or debit card? Try chargeback. This is where you ask your debit or credit card provider to try and recoup what you paid from Flybe's payment processor. The chargeback scheme isn't a legal requirement, it's just a customer service promise. But it's worth trying and when other travel firms have collapsed previously, we've seen people successfully claim using this.

    You may be covered by the Visa, Mastercard or American Express protection schemes. You can usually start the process by calling your bank or card provider to dispute the transaction – see our Chargeback guide for full details.

  • Paid on a credit card and flight cost more than £100? You can also try Section 75. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you pay on your credit card for an individual flight costing more than £100, the card company's equally liable and you may be able to claim from it. See our Section 75 guide for more info and template letters.

    We'd still suggest trying chargeback first even if you could claim under Section 75, as card firms may prefer this because then they don't have to pick up the bill themselves. But in practice, the process is likely to be the same either way – go to your card provider.

  • Check your travel insurance. See if your policy will allow you to claim – either for the cost of the flight, if you can't get it back any other way, or knock-on costs for your trip, eg, hotels or car hire. You may be able to claim if your policy includes cover for 'scheduled airline failure', known as SAFI.

The CAA says more information will be available on its website in due course.

Can I get a refund for hotels, car hire etc?

It's likely many passengers with cancelled flights will also have separately booked accommodation or other elements of a trip.

If you need to change your plans as a result of Flybe's collapse, first check if you can amend or cancel your hotel or other bookings. Even if officially it's too late to do so, it may be worth contacting the firm, explaining the situation and asking it to make an exception.

If you still can't cancel without paying a penalty, check with your travel insurer to see if you're covered for this kind of 'consequential loss'. Some policies may cover this – but unfortunately many won't.

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