BMI Baby shut down - will your travel insurance cover it?

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Since BMIbaby’s transfer to International Airlines Group (IAG) last month, the company is now preparing to close down this year. This comes after IAG announced that BMIbaby and BMI Regional were not part of their long term plans and that they cannot sustain the company running at a loss.

This has left thousands of holidaymakers’ plans ruined. With the first of the route closures beginning part way through next month (11th June), it gives holidaymakers little time to reorganise their plans. Passengers have been offered either a refund or the chance to be booked on to an alternative BMIbaby flight where available, but not on to a British Airways flight as previously thought would be the case. Where holidaymakers are unable to rebook, a refund is of little consolation if left with pre-booked non-refundable accommodation, car hire and activities.

BMI has openly stated on their website that they will not be held accountable for any holiday expenses over and above flights. As they have given over 2 weeks’ notice of the changes, they are not obliged to offer additional compensation under EU Regulations. The major issue for many travellers is that basic travel insurance policies do not cover airline failure or closures. Insurance giant, Aviva, has spoken out about this, to inform customers that their insurance policies will not be covering them in this instance. Furthermore, insurance companies who do cover airline "failure" may deem this circumstance as a "voluntary closure" by BMIbaby. In this situation, they too will not cover loss of expenses.

On the bright side, anyone booked on a BMIbaby flight as part of a package needs to check if it is "ATOL-Protected." If this is the case, the tour operator is obliged to supply a substitute means of transport or refund for the "entire" holiday.

Any passengers with questions regarding their travel can contact the BMIbaby call centre: 0844 245 0055.


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