Thousands of passengers have been left stranded after Turkmenistan Airlines was forced to suspend operations to and from the EU.
The airline’s suspension came into force on Monday 4th February, after European Aviation Safety Agency grounded flights, over issues regarding safety.
The Foreign Office confirmed that all flights were suspended “pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards”.
It’s prompted the CAA to take action too as the company operated some flights to and from the UK, with services from Birmingham and London Heathrow via Asghabat to destinations such as Bangkok and Beijing.
Although the airline could regain its licence to fly to and from the EU in the future, currently it’s left thousands of travellers’ plans thrown into chaos.
Your circumstances will depend on how you made the booking in the first place ie whether it was direct with the airline or through a tour operator.
Here we take a look at some of the options on offer…
If you booked with the airline: Your first point of call should be Turkmenistan Airlines who will be able to advise you regarding potential refunds or compensation. Unfortunately it’s likely that you will have to organise your own way home. Check your travel insurance policy in case you are covered and able to make a claim – if you’re unsure, ring up your provider.
If you booked with a credit card: You may be able to make a claim with your card provider to get a refund – check with your bank. You may also have similar cover if you paid with a Visa debit card.
If you booked with a tour operator: If your flights were booked via a tour operator or a travel agent, they should be your first point of contact as they will be able to advise whether you can get a refund or find alternative flights.
If you booked a package holiday: If your holiday is ATOL protected , it’s the travel firm’s responsibility to sort your flight arrangements. This means they must either make alternative flights for you so your holiday can continue, or provide you with a full refund.