Families hit by Airline chaos

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

FAMILIES have faced an anxious time worrying about their holidays following the collapse of Monarch airlines.

For Faye Hopkins’ family from the Builth Wells area the collapse of Monarch could cost up to £5,000.

On November 1, 42 members of Faye’s family are supposed to fly out to Gran Canaria for a week for a double celebration.

There they are hoping to celebrate the 40th birthday of Faye’s sister, Claire, and also her son, Kyle’s, 18th birthday.

The family originally booked their holiday and flights in February and the last installment was only taken by Monarch last week.

They found out on Monday morning that the airline had gone under.

The family got together later that day to deal with the crisis and save their holiday

Faye, from Llanelwedd, said: “We’re absolutely gutted that this has happened.

“We’ve tried to phone Monarch – but the lines are dead.”

“We’ve been able to book flights with other airlines but it’s cost another £140 on top of what we paid Monarch.

“Some of the family have already paid an extra £58 for luggage to be stored in the aircraft hold.

“We’re not sure if we’ll get any of the money we’ve paid back, we used debit rather than credit cards.

“It’s 50/50 whether we’ll receive anything back.”

The Civil Aviation Authority has said that flights booked from December 15, 2016 are not protected by ATOL (AIr Travel Organisers Licence) and that customers needed to contact their credit/debit card providers, PayPal or insurance to find out if they can claim a refund.

Faye added: “One of my cousins will be making a claim through his bank.

“Once we see how that pans out we’ll know if we can proceed that way or if we may need advice from others such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.”

The change of flights also means a change of airport.

She continued: “We’re also having to fly from Gatwick rather than Birmingham.”

“My sister Lucy, who has young children, has booked a hotel in Birmingham for the night before the flight.

“So she’s worried that she won’t be able to cancel that.”

When the news about Monarch broke on Monday, Faye and her sisters got together to try to plan a way to save the holiday. They contacted other airline firms to look for flights and also holiday companies in Gran Canaria for help.

Faye added: “As a single mother I’ve been saving really hard for this holiday.

“My youngest son, Jayden, was really upset and burst into tears.

“He’s been looking forward to the holiday and it would have been a first time for him to go abroad.

“By the time he came home from school we had managed to find alternative flights.

 

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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