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Monarch collapse: Advice for customers

Here’s a summary of advice for all customers affected by the collapse of Monarch. 

At 4am on Monday morning, Monarch and accountants KPMG confirmed that Monarch has been placed into administration. The collapse means the following companies have now ceased trading:

  • 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

All future holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating. For 110,000 Monarch customers currently abroad and 750,000 customers with future bookings, that has raised a lot of questions.

The important thing is not to panic. A dedicated website has been created to help Monarch customers. You can also call a 24-hour helpline on 0300 303 2800 from the UK and Ireland or +44 1753 330330 from overseas.

Here’s a summary of the advice that has been issued to Monarch customers.

Customers already abroad

Monarch is the biggest UK airline ever to cease trading. At the request of the UK government, the Civil Aviation Authority has launched a plan to bring home 110,000 customers on specially chartered planes. It’s the biggest peacetime repatriation effort in history.

If you are one of these customers and were due to return to the UK on or before 15th October 2017, it’s important to note that plans are underway to arrange your return home. You will be brought home on a new flight at no extra cost to you at the end of your holiday (your new flight time will not be before your original flight time). So try to sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your time abroad.

Customers yet to leave the UK

Unfortunately all future holidays booked with Monarch (via any of the trading names below) have been cancelled - affecting around 750,000 customers.

  • 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

There’s some advice on how you can seek a refund for any money you have lost at the end of this article.

If your booking was through Monarch Holidays...

The CAA is making contact with all accommodation providers in order to make arrangements for you to remain in your accommodation, on the same board basis, for the duration of your holiday at no extra cost to you. If you are asked to make a further payment for your accommodation, you are instructed to pay this and then claim the money back from the CAA once you’re home. Make sure you get a receipt from your hotel or apartment, showing a full breakdown of the charges. You will need this to get your money back.

If your booking included airport transfers, they will be rearranged to match your new flight. A representative at your hotel will confirm the details.

Catching your new flight

  • The CAA will be publishing details of rescheduled flights on this part of their website. In the menu, click on the country that you are in and then select the region or town.
  • If your flight is not listed yet, don’t panic. Flight schedules will be added frequently, so keep your eyes peeled on the website - refreshing the page each time you visit.
  • Do not go to the airport unless your new flight details are confirmed on the CAA website or via a text message or email to the lead passenger on the booking.
  • Once your flight is confirmed, please make a note of the new flight details. Online check-in will not be available and it’s important to arrive at least three hours before your scheduled departure. Take your original flight tickets or flight confirmation as evidence of your original booking.

Flying in to a different airport

In arranging flights at the last-minute for 110,000 passengers, the CAA has said that it’s unavoidable that some passengers will be flown back to different UK airports than they had specified on their original booking. Again, don’t panic. If this affects you, transport will be arranged to transfer you back to your original arrival airport at no extra cost to you. Once you have passed through arrivals after landing, representatives from the CAA will be there to meet you and provide you with details of your transport.

What if you’re returning home on or after 16th October 2017?

The CAA is organising flights for Monarch customers who are currently overseas with a return flight originally scheduled to depart on or before 15th October 2017. If your scheduled departure is on or after 16th October 2017, you will not automatically have your flight rebooked.

Again, try not to panic. If your trip was booked with Monarch Holidays or Monarch Airlines on or before 14th December 2016, the CAA will be making individual arrangements to get you back to the UK. Details will be sent to you by text, email or via your travel agent.

If your flight was booked as part of an ATOL protected trip with another travel company, contact them directly about your arrangements to return to the UK. They are responsible for arranging a new flight for you or issuing a refund for your booking.

If your booking is not ATOL protected and you are due to travel to the UK on or after 16 October 2017, you will need to make your own arrangements to return to the UK. However you may be able to claim a refund. See the end of this article for further details.

How do you know if you’re ATOL protected?

Unsure if your booking is ATOL protected? It’s easy to find out. Visit this page of the CAA website.

Seeking a refund

Understandably you will be very concerned about getting your money back if you have paid for a flight or a holiday that has been cancelled. If your holiday or flight is ATOL protected, the company that you made the booking with is responsible for arranging a new flight, a new holiday or a refund.

If your booking was not ATOL protected, you may still be able to get your money back through your credit or debit card provider. Contact them directly to discuss your case.

You may also be able to claim on your travel insurance, depending on your policy. Some World First policies do cover scheduled airline failure, but only if you have been unable to obtain a refund or alternative plans from other sources - such as your travel operator or debit or credit card provider.

All the information you need is available at monarch.caa.co.uk. If you are a World First customer and have any questions please feel free to call Travel Claims Facilities on +44 (0) 203 829 6761, who will do everything they can to help.

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