Monarch crisis – what compensation can travellers get?
The collapse of Monarch airlines has caused another holiday meltdown, leaving thousands of travellers stranded. Monarch has caused the CAA to step in and rescue over 100,000 people from abroad but has also left many half term and winter sun-seekers without a holiday.
But when does your travel insurance kick-in with a crisis like this, and are there ways to protect yourself from the continuing travel issues the UK is facing? Can you buy travel insurance to protect yourself?
I am not an expert here, so I asked Stephen Howard, director of Postcard Travel Insurance, to advice on what compensation consumers are entitled to and how to claim:
What if I bought a package holiday via Monarch?
Firstly, the package travel industry in the UK is regulated, protecting the traveller.
Anyone who booked a package holiday with Monarch will be fully protected under the CAA’s Atol scheme. This will arrange to bring home anyone who has travelled and is now stranded abroad. For those who have yet to travel, you will be able to claim back the full cost of your holiday.
What if I have purchased my holiday through another tour operator?
If you have booked with another tour operator, who in turn, has purchased flights from Monarch, then you should contact that tour operator as it is their responsibility to make alternative arrangements for you.
If I made my own holiday arrangements, can I get compensation?
Those travellers’ who have Monarch flights but have yet to travel, will have various avenues available to them to recoup their flight costs. They can approach their credit card provider (or if they paid by debit card, their bank) and obtain a chargeback form. Although, they will not be able to claim back any other elements of their trip (hotel, car hire etc) from their bank or credit card company which they have had to cancel because of the Monarch collapse.
But will my travel insurer pay up?
Once you have exhausted all of the avenues detailed above, you can approach your travel insurer, but do not expect to be able to claim under the conventional cancellation, curtailment or travel delay sections of the policy. Most travel policies do not provide cover under these sections for the failure of an airline, tour operator or travel agent. The section you are looking for will be called either Scheduled Airline Failure, or End Supplier Failure.
If your policy has the former, then you will be able to claim back the cost of your flight if you are unable to travel. If you are abroad the policy will pay the cost of a one-way ticket (in the class you originally booked) to get you back home. It will not cover your unused elements of the holiday such as hotel and car hire.
If you have the latter then you get both the scheduled airline failure cover and the cost of any other elements of their trip (hotel, car hire etc.) which you have had to cancel because of the Monarch collapse.
For further information please see link here: https://www.postcardtravelinsurance.co.uk/news/monarch-airlines
Or check out Money Saving Expert’s comprehensive list of things to do: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2017/10/monarch-airlines-stops-trading—latest-info-and-your-rights