Primera Air was not ATOL protected
Primera Air has gone bust leaving thousands of passengers stranded, sparking a potential surge in claims.
The Danish airline declared bankruptcy and said that it had ceased all operations on 1 October.
Although British Airways has stepped in to support stranded customers, a spokesperson said: “We know how frustrating it must be for Primera Air customers to lose their flights, so we are offering discounted fares to anyone still left abroad to help them get home.”
Delta has also said that any Primera Air customers impacted in London, New York, Washington, Boston, Paris or Toronto can contact them for help up until the 16 October along with proof of flight, alternative travel will be available until the end of the month.
The insurance industry reacts
The ABI published information online advising passengers to contact their tour operator or travel agent. It said that those with Scheduled Airline Failure (cover that protects against financial failure of a scheduled airline) included in their travel insurance should contact their insurance provider and if they paid for flights with a credit card they may be able to get a refund from the bank.
However, it said that where alternative plans need to be made, travel insurance can normally be transferred to cover new arrangements.
A spokesperson from AXA said: “We have urged holidaymakers affected by the administration of Primera Air, whether they need alternative flights or can no longer travel, to first contact their tour operator or credit or debit card provider.
“If this is unsuccessful, they should then contact us about making a claim. We are also publishing emergency information on our site to try and help our customers. So far we have only received a handful of claims from impacted policyholders.”
Specialist travel insurer tifgroup created a consumer awareness initiative ‘Travel Insurance Explained.’ It said that Primera Air was not ATOL protected, which could leave travellers “out of pocket” as they are not likely to get refunds or flights home.
But like the ABI, it advised those who paid on their credit card to approach their provider for a refund and to check their travel insurance policy for End Supplier Failure to recoup costs.
Fiona Macrae who heads the initiative at Travel Insurance Explained said: “We would urge anyone buying a travel insurance policy to look for one that provides the scheduled airline or end supplier failure. These policies may be slightly more expensive than standard ones but would be a couple of pounds well spent if you are affected by this situation.
“Customers of Primera Air should check their travel insurance policies to see whether they are covered for scheduled airline failure, which would provide cover for the costs of the flight (if they have not travelled) or the cost of a flight home (in the same class they travelled out in if they are already abroad), or end supplier failure, which would provide cover for the costs of the flight (if they have not travelled) or the cost of a flight home (in the same class they travelled out in if they are already abroad), and also things like hotels and car hire, which have been paid for and can no longer be used.”
Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line said: “Holidaymakers who are affected by the collapse of Primera Air should check with their travel agent, tour operator, or credit card provider in the first instance.
“If their flight was booked using a debit card, and costs cannot be recovered from another source, Direct Line customers should contact us as their policy includes cover for end supplier failure.
“Direct Line customers can claim up to £5,000 per person for alternative transport. However, this does not extend to accommodation costs if the customer decides to cancel their trip.”
In August research found that 80% of customers do not check whether their trave insurance provides adequate cover.
Insurance Times contacted Primera Air for comment but received an automated response, it said: “Unfortunately, as Primera Air has ceased operations and all the employees are let go, the press office isn’t available any longer.”
And the airline published this message on its website:
Airline Primera Air and IATA codes PF and 6F have been suspended as of today, October 2nd, 2018.
On behalf of Primera Air team, we would like to thank you for your loyalty. On this sad day we are saying Goodbye to all of you.
Please visit primeraair.com for further updates in the next few days. Tour Operator passengers are kindly suggested to address their Tour Operators and Agents for further information and actions.
Kindly understand that the usual options for contacts (via email or phone) cannot be offered any longer.
Primera Air team
Primera Air is a leisure airline owned by the Primera Travel Group. It provided scheduled and charter passenger services from Northern Europe to more than 40 destinations in the Mediterranean, Middle East and North America.
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