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'They helped Monarch passengers; why not Flybmi?'

'They helped Monarch passengers; why not Flybmi?'

Alan Bowen, legal advisor to the AAC, said the group met days before the collapse of Flybmi to discuss the government review. The current system, he said, put agents at risk of chargeback by banks if customers make a claim.


“They [the banks] shouldn’t because the agent has not broken their contract to make a reservation, issue a ticket and pay the airline,” said Bowen. “[But] I’ve found some card issuers more than willing to refund customers and leave agents out of pocket.


“If the review produces a plan, we need urgent implementation. Flybmi and the worries over other airlines means consumer confidence is not as high as we would like.”


SPAA president Ken McLeod added: “It will be interesting to see as the days go by the comparison in response by the government. Why should Monarch passengers get repatriated and Flybmi passengers not?”


The SPAA has long advocated a £1 fee levied on all ex-UK departures. However, McLeod said was the review to advocate such a solution, he foresaw a “robust response” from those airlines “in good health”.


Rob Griggs, policy and public affairs director for Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines, said the existing, voluntary rescue fares regime was working effectively “to assist at very short notice stranded UK passengers without incurring taxpayer liability”.

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