Exeter-based Flybe cancelled all flights and has ceased trading as of 5 March 2020. As a regional airline, Flybe was particularly susceptible to the recent drop in European travel due to the coronavirus, which has hit the travel industry particularly hard.
Flybe was bought by a consortium in 2019 that invested £135 million in Flybe, but this has proved to not be enough. Virgin Atlantic was part of the consortium. What happens now?
All flights were cancelled so if you have an upcoming flight, do not go to the airport.
Can you get Money Back?
If you bought a Flybe ticket for a flight that has now been cancelled, you may be able to get money back. Here's how:
- If you bought a Flybe ticket through a travel agent: You should be protected by Atol, the travel industry insurance fund. You can read more about Atol here.
- If you bought a Flybe ticket direct from Flybe: You won't get a refund from Flybe, nor will they reschedule you onto another flight, but you could get money back if you paid by credit card. Read more about how MasterCard handles charge backs here. Some debit cards will also cover this situation. Travel insurance that specifically covers End Supplier Failure or Scheduled Airline Failure would be a last resort.
Will Travel Insurance Protect Me?
It depends. Policies that include cover for End Supplier Failure or SAFI (Scheduled Airline Failure) should provide protection for the Flybe collapse. Some higher-end travel insurance policies include one of these as standard; alternatively they can sometimes be added for an additional premium. But they aren't a feature on many travel insurance plans.
End Supplier Failure is broader and covers the collapse of airlines, hotels, etc. while Scheduled Airline Failure only covers airlines. In this case, either would help in this situation.
What happens to my Flybe Spend&Fly Miles?
Unfortunately, any miles you've accumulated by flying or spending on a Flybe credit card are likely to now be lost.