UK holidaymakers affected by the collapse of Flybmi should contact the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) for help and advice on their individual circumstances.
The airline, which flew from various airports across the UK and Europe, stopped operating on Saturday February 16, 2019, with some passengers stranded and others no longer able to take up their initial flights. Administrators were appointed on Monday (February 18, 2019).
Adam Mortimer, Consumer Advisor at the UK ECC, said UK consumers who booked flights direct with Flybmi are likely to have very few options open to them, even if they have already flown and are stranded abroad.
He said that the situation of many already-stressed passengers is made worse by that fact that the airline is not covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL – Air Travel Organiser’s Licence – protection scheme, which only covers passengers booked on a package holiday. This means that anyone who booked flights direct with Flybmi is unlikely to have any protection.
Mortimer added: “Passengers who have already travelled will need to make their own arrangements to return home. Some airlines are offering Flybmi passengers ‘rescue fares’. It is highly probable that passengers will need to contact their insurer to arrange a reimbursement of any extra expenses for their return home. This is likely only to apply, however, if they have what’s known as SAFI – Scheduled Airline Failure.”
He said that there may be other avenues open to consumers to get their money back, such as ‘chargeback’ for debit card payments or a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for credit card payments.
For more details, check out the UK European Consumer Centre’s website or contact the UK ECC for free advice on your individual circumstances on 01268 886690 weekdays between 10am and 4pm (or email ECCNET-UK@ec.europa.eu)
The UK ECC is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net), which has 30 centres in the EU, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK.