Primera Air Collapses Photo by Jay Wen on Unsplash

Primera Air collapse strands passengers

UK holidaymakers affected by the troubles at Primera Air are being advised to contact the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) for help and advice on their individual circumstances.

Primera Air, which operated services from various points in the UK, ceased operations as of midnight on Monday 1 October. This left some passengers stranded and others no longer able to take up their initial flights.

Travellers who didn’t book direct could be protected

The UK ECC says that UK consumers who booked flights direct with Primera Air are likely to have very few options open to them, even if they have already flown and are stranded abroad.

Adam Mortimer, consumer advisor at the UK ECC, said that a UK consumer’s predicament will depend on their precise circumstances.

Anyone who booked flights direct with Primera Air is unlikely to have any protection. Adam said:

“This is already a time of distress and anger for many passengers who are caught up in Primera Air’s troubles. It’s made worse by that fact that the airline is not covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL protection scheme, which only covers passengers booked on a package holiday.

“Passengers who have already travelled will need to make their own arrangements to return home. It is highly probable that they will need to contact their insurer to arrange a reimbursement of any extra expenses for their return home.”

Adam added that if a consumer has booked a ticket but not flown, then all attempts should be made to contact the company directly to request money back for an unused ticket, although the position is currently unclear.

Credit cards and some debit cards may refund passengers

If a passenger had paid for the tickets with a credit or debit card they are advised to contact their bank/card provider to obtain a chargeback.

In some cases passengers could claim on their travel insurance.

People who have booked flights as part of a package or booked through a third party are likely to be in the best position. Adam said:

“If you have booked through a third party, you should speak with them first as in some instances there may be protection through included insurances etc.

“If you have booked flights or a holiday that includes flights with a travel firm that holds an ATOL (and have received confirmation that you are ATOL protected), the travel firm is responsible for your flight arrangements.”

These companies must either provide alternative flights or provide a full refund. For passengers abroad they should make arrangements to bring their clients home at the end of the trip.

It might be difficult to contact the airline direct

Primera Air’s usual channels of communication are no longer available, so any correspondence with the airline should be directed to:

Primera Air Nordic (Head Office),
PrimeraAir Nordic SIA,
Gunara Astras iela 1c,
Riga,
LV-1084,
Latvia.

Primera Air’s website could be updated in the coming days with further information.

UK consumers are advised to contact the UK European Consumer Centre for free advice on their individual circumstances on 01268 886690 or email ECCNET-UK@ec.europa.eu

The UK ECC is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net), which has 30 centres in the EU (including Latvia), plus Iceland and Norway.

The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK.