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EUROMANX - Updated advice from the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading 27 May 2008

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is offering to following updated advice to passengers affected by Euromanx cessation of trading on 9th May 2008.

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading has worked with the Department of Transport to clarify the position and would now like to update the guidance it issued immediately after the collapse of Euromanx.

Travellers who hold Euromanx bookings are concerned that they are not always able to secure free replacement flights with Flybe, yet are being offered seats on apparently suitable flights at additional cost. Flybe are making a limited number of seats on each flight available under their rescue deal. These are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Once these free seats are allocated, prospective travellers are offered either the option of choosing to travel on the most suitable alternative flights with free seat availability or the option of buying seats on the flight of their choice at the usual Flybe seat price.

There are also concerns about the availability of seats for travel after the 25th October. The current airline timetables expire in late October and the timetables for the winter season, which starts on 25th October 2008, are not expected to be released until mid-June. Flybe have asked ex-Euromanx passengers to rebook with them by the end of June, so passengers are advised to contact the company in late June or as soon as the new timetables are published.

Chief Officer of the Office of Fair Trading, Nick Black, commenting on the current position, said “We understand that Flybe are helping the travelling public and that this help comes at some cost to the airline. Their advertisements do state that the offer is subject to availability and we would like to make sure that those holding Euromanx tickets are aware of the position. If anyone requires any further information on their consumer rights they should contact the Office on 686500 or visit our website www.gov.im/oft

Passengers who are no longer able to travel still have the following rights:-

Direct Booking with the Airline

There is little protection where flights are bought directly from an airline. However, if Passengers paid directly by credit card and the amount is more than £100 they might be protected by S.75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act 1974. Passengers should check with their card issuer for further advice.

Booking via a Travel Agent

If passengers booked the flights through a travel agent or tour operator, they should speak to the agent who may have airline failure insurance from which they can make a claim.

Travel Insurance

If passengers travel insurance policies cover journeys from the Isle of Man to the UK, they should check whether their policy provides protection for scheduled airline failure. Most policies will just cover the cost of the original tickets purchased and not the additional costs incurred in purchasing new flights.

If protection is in place it is important that passengers obtain and keep all relevant paperwork so that they can make a claim for a refund if necessary.

If passengers are not covered by the protection above then it may be useful to contact the liquidators in writing and register as a creditor of the company. However their position as an unsecured creditor means that they will be one of the last people to be paid out and may only receive a small proportion of the original cost of the tickets, if any payment is made at all.

Passengers should be aware that if they are able to rebook with another airline under the rescue arrangements they should not also try to reclaim money from their credit card provider.

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