Friday 5 October 2018

Finance Fridays - What happens when my airline goes bust?

We were talking about umbrella companies in last week's Finance Fridays. This week another airline has gone bust. With the sudden demise of Primera Air it has left many people stranded away and others unsure of future travel plans. Where does this leave their customers and those who had booked for the future?

What are the signs that a company can be in trouble? - Of course no business likes to publicly admit they have financial problems as it will further affect future business. Companies that are doing well will be happy to continue with their tried and tested methods but if things are going badly they will try a radical new approach. Earlier this year Primera Air had started to offer low cost long haul flights in order to attract new customers. This is in a market that is already trying to compete for small profit margins. There was already a warning in August from Primera Air when they stopped flying short haul flights from Birmingham. The lure of being able to fly to the US for only £149 is tempting but before you book check out the airline company first.

Am I covered by ATOL? - Most likely not. ATOL is the Civil Aviation Authority's protection scheme but it only covers package holidays where flights and accommodation are booked together. Scheduled flights and those booked directly with an airline will not be covered. ATOL also only covers British firms and Primera Air was based in Denmark.

Will I be covered by my insurance? - This is something you will need to check as it's not an automatic inclusion. The section of cover is known as Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI).

I paid by credit card so will I get my money back? - As your ticket was probably over £100 you could be protected if you paid by credit card. Under 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 your credit card is jointly liable for the provision of goods and services you have bought with your credit card. If you have paid by debit card you will need to contact your debit card provider and see if they are able to perform a chargeback. When this happens the debit card requests a refund of the money that was originally paid by you. However, if a company has gone bust they may be able access the funds.

How do I get home? - Even if you do get your money back it won't be automatic so you will need to book tickets with another airline yourself and pay for them. If you think you will be covered by insurance do not go mad and start booking first class tickets when you only had economy before – the insurance company will not pay for such upgrades or any other expenses it doesn't think is reasonable.

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 9th October 2018 to join in.

Finance Fridays

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