What to Do if an Airline Shuts Down: Know Your Rights

You’re just a few weeks from a much-needed vacation. You’ve book your luxurious hotel. You’ve planned your excursions. You’ve browsed the menus of all of those restaurants you can’t wait to visit.

You’re counting down the days until you’re due to take off, and …

The airline you’re due to fly with goes bust.

It’s a nightmare scenario, but what do you? What rights do you have if this happens to you?

Join The Miles Market as we explore your options.

Bankruptcy vs Failure

While you might imagine an airline would only be forced to stop operating in the event of going bankrupt, this might not actually be the case.

Airlines can be declared bankrupt yet still keep their planes in the air. Even the likes of Delta have experienced bankruptcies in their long tenures without putting a stop to their flights. If the airline you’ve booked with appears close to this process, don’t panic: you could still end up receiving the service you expect.

However, if an airline defaults / fails, that’s the time to consider other options.

Are you Entitled to Compensation?

When Primera Air collapsed in 2018, thousands of passengers were left stranded at Stansted Airport, unable to actually catch their flights to the States.

Customers who purchased their tickets through a credit card were advised to claim from the provider or via travel insurance, though if they booked through a third-party (not the airline itself) they may have struggled to secure their money.

Package vacations were the responsibility of the tour operator. But you are not guaranteed compensation if an airline shuts down, and your chance of actually receiving any at all is slim (to say the least).

This is why taking out travel insurance or paying on credit cards can be helpful, but make sure you choose that offering coverage for cancellations. You may not receive the full cost of your tickets, but some compensation is better than none.

Money can’t take away the heartbreak of missing out on a vacation you’ve looked forward to for months, but in many cases, predicting an airline’s failure can be difficult. Most employees may not even know about it much earlier than customers do.

If you’re stranded abroad when an airline goes bust, with no obvious way to get home, other companies will typically offer reduced-cost tickets. This incurs further expense but is the only option for many passengers.

Sell Your Miles to Other Passengers

Flying with one of several reliable airlines operating reward programs provides you with numerous perks, including air miles. These may even continue during bankruptcies but will become unavailable if an airline shuts down.

These give you access to free flights on certain routes, reducing your risk of losing money if the airline were to experience problems. You don’t even have to hold on to your miles either: you can sell miles to fellow passengers and make real money from your freebies instead.

Want to know more? The Miles Market is here to help!

 

 

 

 

 

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