Flybe Update: Other Airlines and Rail Companies to the Rescue; Two Airlines Announce Replacement Routes

“Airlines with competing routes sometimes offer special airfares to customers who are displaced or stranded by an airline which ceased operations; and as Flybe had a fleet of 63 airplanes, this scenario could possibly happen — a spokesperson for the government of the United Kingdom reportedly asked bus and train operators to accept Flybe tickets and other airlines to offer reduced rescue fares to ensure passengers are able to complete their journeys as smoothly as possible — but do not count on it.”

Flybe Update: Other Airlines and Rail Companies to the Rescue; Two Airlines Announce Replacement Routes

The paragraph you just read was from this article which appeared yesterday here at The Gate pertaining to the sudden demise of all operations of Flybe which have ceased as of yesterday, Thursday, March 5, 2020, leaving tens of thousands of passengers either stranded or scrambling as to what to do.

Several airlines and rail companies have thankfully come to the rescue for both passengers and employees of Flybe.

Blue Islands

Blue Islands is offering additional services from Jersey and Guernsey to Exeter and Birmingham.

British Airways

British Airways has stepped in “during this difficult time” to assist stranded passengers and employees of Flybe following the suspension of the services once offered by Flybe, according to this announcement which was posted at the official Internet web site of the airline, as British Airways will:

  • Offer customers of Flybe discounted one-way fares to 15 destinations for £50.00 — plus taxes, fees and charges — which includes one piece of hold luggage of a maximum weight of 23 kilograms.
  • Bring any stranded member of a flight crew or cabin crew of Flybe home free of charge upon showing official airline identification as proof.
  • Offer the repatriation fares to all other staff members of Flybe members of staff upon showing official airline identification as proof.

easyJet

easyJet is working to help affected passengers by offering a dedicated rescue fee for customers up until the end of May of 2020. A fare of £65.00 or €72.00 — including a hold bag with a maximum weight of 15 kilograms — will be available on presentation their original Flybe booking reference.

Free flights are being offered to employees and members of the staff of Flybe through today, Friday, March 6, 2020 to get them home.

Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Reduced fares available for Flybe customers between the United Kingdom and Ireland and France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

These fares are only available via the call centre of Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines using the telephone number 0207 660 0337.

Additionally, the following announcement was posted at the official Internet web site of Air France:

We confirm that our codeshare partner, Flybe entered administration on 5th March. All flights have been grounded and the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect.

Any Air France ticket holders booked on cancelled Flybe operated flights will be automatically rebooked on Air France operated flights.

In the event that there are no seats available on Air France operated flights or Air France does not operate flights to/from a specific destination, our operational teams will assist with arranging alternative travel options.

Again, we regret any inconvenience caused and our teams are working to minimise the disruption faced by our passengers.

Ryanair

Ryanair has launched rescue fares starting from £19.99 on five routes in the United Kingdom to accommodate customers who were affected by the collapse of Flybe.

These low rescue fares are on sale now on the Ryanair.com website, for travel until the end of April but must be booked by midnight Sunday (8 Mar).

  • Liverpool – Knock
  • Bournemouth – Dublin
  • Belfast- Stansted
  • Bristol – Dublin
  • Belfast – Manchester

Train Operators

The Rail Delivery Group has confirmed that all train operators in Britain have agreed to provide free travel to Flybe staff and customers unable to travel over the next week.

Please show proof of employment or planned journey — boarding card or flight confirmation — to station staff who will help you get to your destination:

https://twitter.com/RailDeliveryGrp/status/1235505995633262592

Eurostar

Eurostar is offering discounted fares to affected Flybe customers. Customers with a Flybe booking between London and Paris or Amsterdam can call on the telephone numbers below until Sunday, March 8, 2020 quoting their Flybe booking reference.

  • UK 03432 186 186
  • France 01 70 70 60 88
  • Netherlands 0207 16 83 25

Loganair and Eastern Airways Announce Replacement Flight Routes

In reaction to the ceasing of operations by Flybe, plans were formally announced at the official Internet web site of Loganair — which is also known as Scotland’s Airline — to safeguard the regional connectivity in the United Kingdom by launching 16 routes which were formerly served by Flybe.

“The 16 routes — from existing Loganair base airports at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Newcastle – will be launched progressively over the next three months. The majority of these key air routes will commence as early as next week”, according to the aforementioned announcement. “Learn more about the Protected Flybe Routes here. Advice for customers with bookings affected by the Flybe closure can be found here.”

Meanwhile, passengers who are booked to travel today — Friday, March 6, 2020 — as well as Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday on flights operated by Eastern Airways should arrive at the airport and check in as normal following the closure of Flybe. Announcements will be posted at the official Internet web site of Eastern Airways pertaining to flights for next week and thereafter. Passengers are requested to ignore any e-mail message received from Flybe which stated that flights which are operated by Eastern Airways are cancelled, as flights operated by Eastern Airways will continue as normal.

In addition to the planned expansion at Teesside International Airport — which was formerly known as Durham Tees Valley Airport — Eastern Airways announced three new flight routes to its network:

  • Aberdeen-Birmingham
  • Southampton-Manchester
  • Southampton-Newcastle

What You Can Do

Unfortunately, there is little else that you can do if you are one of the customers affected by the shutdown of operations by Flybe; but a few possible options do exist.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority — which is the independent specialist aviation regulator of the United Kingdom established as a public corporation by Parliament in 1972 — if you booked your reservations directly with Flybe and paid for your ticket with a credit card, you may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and should contact your credit card issuer for further information. Similarly, if you paid by debit or charge card, contact the issuer of your debit or charge card for advice, as you may be able to submit a claim under their charge back rules.

If you purchased travel insurance which may include cover for scheduled airline failure, you should contact your insurer. If you did not book directly with Flybe and purchased your tickets through an intermediary, you should contact your booking or travel agent in the first instance.

Passengers who booked directly with the company via either a credit card, charge card or debit card may alternatively be able to submit a claim against the provider of their cards. Some card providers will ask for a negative response letter — which is now available — confirming the position. Passengers may also be able to submit a claim against their travel insurer.

As far as the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence:

The Civil Aviation Authority believes that very few Flybe passengers are ATOL protected and those people should make arrangements through their travel agent, who are responsible for providing alternative arrangements. The government has not commissioned the CAA to organise any repatriation flights as there is capacity in the market for people to travel via alternative airlines, rail and coach operations.

Additional advice is given pertaining to this situation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Airlines with competing routes sometimes offer special airfares to customers who are displaced or stranded by an airline which ceased operations; and as Flybe had a fleet of 63 airplanes, this scenario could possibly happen — a spokesperson for the government of the United Kingdom reportedly asked bus and train operators to accept Flybe tickets and other airlines to offer reduced rescue fares to ensure passengers are able to complete their journeys as smoothly as possible — but do not count on it.

Still, you can always ask another airline if you can purchase a ticket at a reduced cost to help you complete your travel itinerary — but even though the worst that can happen with this suggestion is that you will be told “no”, again, do not count on it.

Customers are usually amongst the last in a line of creditors; and although the likelihood of receiving a full refund is almost impossible, a partial refund is likely improbable as well.

In other words, consider what you paid for the ticket to be permanently lost.

Summary

Flybe — which was the largest independent regional airline in Europe that has served the United Kingdom for greater than 40 years of service since Thursday, November 1, 1979 — is the latest casualty in a string of carriers which have ceased operations in recent years which include but are not limited to Primera Air, Monarch Airlines, and Wow Air.

Learning about the demise of a commercial airline is unfortunate news — especially at a time when some airlines had been experiencing record profits due to the advent of ancillary fees.

I would advise against considering legal action against the now-defunct airline due to the ceasing of operations, as that course of action would likely be little more than an aggravating waste of time and money.

If you are one of the customers affected by the sudden shutdown of Flybe, try to look on the bright side: your ticket probably did not cost you much money in relation to those offered by competitors; so your loss should not be substantial — and the cost of travel insurance might not have done much to defray the loss.

To better protect yourself in the future from having a similar situation happening to you, consider patronizing a low-cost carrier which is backed by a larger company — for example, Transavia is operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airways; and both Level Airlines and Vueling are operated by International Airlines Group, which is the parent company of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. I flew as a passenger on an airplane operated by Vueling; and you can read about my experience with Vueling in this article.

I do have to wonder how many people paid one euro to be the majority shareholder of Flybe Nordic back in the fall of 2014, as I warned in this article which I wrote that “if you are interested in becoming the majority shareholder in Flybe Nordic, be prepared to have deep pockets to invest into it one you have purchased it…”

Graphic ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Flybe Update: Other Airlines and Rail Companies to the Rescue; Two Airlines Announce Replacement Routes”

  1. NB_ga says:

    How incredibly kind of these travel providers to attempt to assist stranded travelers and employees. Yay people!

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