Recently, I bought a ticket through my debit card for an airlines that got bankrupt a few weeks later (Cobalt Air). Anyone with a similar experience and managed to get their money back? Or what are the chances that I will be able to get a refund on my cash?

  • Are you an investor who bought stock in the company or loaned it money? Or did you place a deposit on goods or services from that company? Laws are different for each one. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 10 '18 at 19:53
  • I'd recommend changing your question to mention airline bankruptcy specifically. I suspect there are people on here who don't know about general company bankruptcy but have had the misfortune of dealing with a bankrupt airline and they might be able to give you a better answer. – Greig Nov 11 '18 at 10:58

With a credit card, you can simply call the card issuer, and claim the seller did not deliver the bought 'good' (here a flight), and is not willing to discuss it (by being bankrupt). The credit card company would reimburse you without any discussion, and it's their issue to discuss with the vendor, or suck the loss up. [I did that twice already, successful]

With a debit card, you might or might not have such protection; talk to the bank tat issues the debit card, and tell them the situation - vendor bankrupt, contract not fulfilled. There is a chance, although I wouldn't hold my breath.
Another reason to never use a debit card.


As an unsecured creditor, I'm afraid you're quite far down the pecking order when it comes to being paid your money back. Ordinarily, I'd say that you'll be waiting months (possibly years) to see a fraction of your money back.

However, this is an airline bankruptcy and there are more possibilities.

As Aganju pointed out if you booked using a credit card then the card company is jointly liable with the airline and will normally pay you your money back. It doesn't help you just now, but it's worth remembering for big-ticket items in future.

If you booked via a travel agent or a ticketing agent then it's worth checking if you're covered with them. Many of them have ATOL insurance or an equivalant for your country and you'll be able to get your money back from their insurance. I checked and a direct booking with Cobolt is not ATOL protected.

Check your travel insurance documents. Unfortunately, airline failure is a rare inclusion in travel insurance, but it's worth checking with your provider in case it's under something like 'supplier failure'.

A surprising number of packaged bank accounts also include an element of travel insurance (it's an easy add-on for them) and I would check to see if your bank account has that and if you can claim there.

If none of that checks out then I'm afraid you're back to the insolvency process. The next step is to find out which company is administering the process and they'll have a registration form that you can fill in to make your claim. But, as I mentioned above, that process can really drag on and you might not get anything back from it.

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