Thousands of passengers could lose out after paying for Monarch flights with debit cards

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ANY Monarch customers who paid for a flight over €110 with their credit card are legally protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act so they can get their money back.

However, those who paid for the flight with their debit card are not guaranteed the same protection.

It has been revealed that 40 per cent of the 300,000 cancelled bookings were made with a debit card.

According to the airline, as few as 10 per cent of these customers will be covered by the ATOL scheme – which makes sure that customers who bought a package holiday are refunded if a travel company or airline has gone bust.

Debit cards are only covered by the voluntary chargeback scheme which does not guarantee customers the same level of legal protection as those who paid by credit card. Those who made purchases on credit of less than €110 are also not protected.  

Very few travel insurance policies also guarantee protection if an airline goes bust.

However, many banks have insisted that it is likely that customers will be able to claim their money back through the chargeback scheme and have advised them to fill in claims forms as soon as possible.

Monarch had actively encouraged customers to book with debit cards in the past, by charging those who used a credit card an extra three per cent fee, and only got rid of these costs after the EU cracked down on additional airline charges.

Over 30 per cent of the Monarch customers who were overseas when the airline went bust on Monday have already been returned to the UK in what has been called the country’s “biggest peacetime repatriation”.

Any Monarch customers who booked to return by October 15 will be flown back to the UK at no extra cost.  

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