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Monarch Airlines collapses – what are your rights?

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Oct 2, 2017


Over 110,000 air travellers are waiting abroad for chartered flights to get them home following the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

The airline’s business model was destroyed, it said, by a collapse in passenger numbers following terrorist attacks in two of the airline’s biggest holiday destinations – Tunisia and Egypt.

Accountants waited until four o’clock this morning, when there were no Monarch planes in the air, to announce that the airline had gone bust and would no longer fly. 

All further flights from the UK have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled, and the airline has now gone into administration. 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an operation to charter planes to bring home those customers abroad who are due to return in the next two weeks. The regulator said everyone would be flown home and no one would need to cut short their holiday, or pay extra for the new flights.

CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees.

"This is the biggest UK airline ever to cease trading, so the government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the UK at the end of their holiday at no extra cost to them.

 

Bringing everyone home

“We are putting together, at very short notice and for a period of two weeks, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines to manage this task," Haines said.

"The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home.”

The government has ordered the CAA to charter 30 planes to fly all passengers home.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling called the operation the “biggest ever peacetime repatriation.”

A further 300,000 Monarch future bookings have been cancelled. 

 

What happens to Monarch now?

Even the website has gone down – Monarch Airlines has ceased to trade. It’s website has been taken over by the CAA, which is using it to post information for passengers.

If you’re overseas – The CAA has made it clear that people’s holidays will not be affected and that planes will be chartered to get everyone home who is currently on holiday.

Passengers are advised to check the Monarch website 48 hours before their return flight is due. Return flights will be announced by departure point, and anyone currently overseas should check for information about their destination here.

Passengers are being advised not to go the airport until their flight home is announced, either on the website, or by text or email to the lead passenger on the booking. 

Once a flight is confirmed, passengers are being told to get the airport at least three hours before departure. The CAA has said that, because of the scale of the operation, there are likely to be delays. 

But holidaymakers are also being told that their holidays will not be cut short as no-one’s flight will depart before the time of their original Monarch one.

If you booked as part of an ATOL-protected package, you may be able to claim refreshments and also for any necessary overnight accommodation. Details can be found here.

As it’s likely many flights home will depart later than original flights, and if this happens passengers can claim for food and drinks, phone calls and, where applicable, car parking.

You may be flow home to a different airport.  Some passengers may find that they are flown home to a different airport from their airport of departure. If this happens, free transport will be arranged to take passengers to their airport of origin.

Payment to hotels – The CAA says it’s contacting hotels to try and arrange for people to stay on free of charge. But where a further charge is made by a hotel, holidaymakers are advised to keep all receipts, and claim from the CAA on their return.

If you have a future Monarch booking ­– As of today, October 2, no further Monarch flights or holidays will operate.

This includes all those sold by:

  • Monarch Airlines Ltd
  • Monarch Holidays Ltd (ATOL Number 2275) 
  • First Aviation Ltd (ATOL Number 4888) previously trading as Monarch Airlines
  • Avro Ltd (ATOL Number 1939)
  • Somewhere2stay Ltd

 

How to get your money back…

If you booked directly with Monarch Airlines from December 15, 2016 onwards – You are NOT ATOL protected and can’t make a claim for a refund from the CAA.

Your only recourse will be to make a claim from your credit-card supplier, PayPal, or your insurer.

If you booked with Monarch Airlines BEFORE December 14, 2016. If you booked direct with First Aviation, trading as Monarch Airlines, and you received an ATOL certificate, then you’ll get a refund for the booking you made.

The CAA says, “We will be providing more information on how you should claim shortly. You will be able to submit a claim when we make the Monarch claim form available. Please do not submit a claim until advised to do so.”

If you booked directly with Monarch Holidays. You are ATOL protected and will have received an ATOL Certificate at the time of booking.

The CAA says it’s making arrangements for refunds to be made on these bookings as soon as possible, and aims to pay out by the end of 2017, at the latest.

Information on how make a claim will be issued shortly, and the CAA is asking passengers not to submit a claim until advised to.

If you booked a Monarch flight or holiday through another travel company or travel agent, you should contact the agent or company direct about your arrangements. 

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