Travellers who only bought a flight have no special protection if the airline goes bankrupt. In practice, you have little chance of getting your money back, unless you paid for your flights with a credit card. If your credit card was issued in Finland, the creditor shares the liability for refunding you. You must purchase new flights yourself and any return transport you may need.
Credit card provides security if the airline goes bankrupt
If you used a credit card issued in Finland to pay for your flight, you can address your claim to the credit company, which under the Finnish law shares the liability for the refund and/or possible compensation with the airline. The credit card company cannot ask you to first contact the airline, and you can choose to which party you address your claim for a refund.
The credit card company will not refund you for more than the payment it received from you. For example, if you ask for a full reimbursement of the price, you will not receive compensation for any costs exceeding it, such as extra travel or hotel costs caused by the bankruptcy. Ordinary travel insurance policies do not usually cover the costs of an airline’s bankruptcy. If your credit card was issued in another country, check the laws and conditions that may apply.
You have little chance of getting your money out of the bankruptcy estate
When trying to get their money back from an airline’s bankruptcy estate, an individual passenger usually has little chance of success. This is because the debts are paid out of the estate in an order of priority, and when the ordinary passengers’ turn comes, there rarely are any funds left in the estate.
If you wish to pursue your claims, follow the instructions given first by the airline and then the receiver appointed for the bankruptcy estate.
Special protection for packages
If you have purchased a package tour and the tour operator or the airline used by them goes bankrupt, the tour operator is responsible for fulfilling the contract with you. This means that your claims and, for example, your repatriation have special protection under the law.