Late on Monday afternoon, I had a call from a close friend who was visiting the UK from New York and was due to fly home from Stansted with Primera Air having booked direct.
As her only contact within the industry, she wanted my advice on what to do next. Unfortunately, I had to tell her that beyond my help in looking for a replacement flight, she was on her own and was likely to be left out of pocket even if she could recoup her original fare.
The collapse of the airline this week brought back memories of Monarch’s demise almost 12 months ago to the day.
And while the positive news was the relatively small impact on UK travellers and the trade in comparison, that won’t have been any consolation for those who were affected and didn’t have the government’s help in getting home, as Monarch’s customers did.
Despite the differences, another airline falling into administration will once again shine a light on the sector and feed into the Department for Transport’s ongoing review into airline insolvency – including the fact that customers are often left high and dry.
Some Primera passengers will have learnt the hard way this week that airline fares booked independently are not included in the Civil Aviation Authority’s Atol protection scheme.
And as both Atol experts and consumer champions Which? said this week, the ensuing coverage will only serve to highlight what we know all too well.
The best way to get peace of mind is to book with a trusted expert who will help to bear the burden when things go wrong.
Comment from Travel Weekly October 4 edition
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