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For the last year I've been saving to take the Missus to Las Vegas for our 25th Anniversary in Feb 2008.

As an extra treat, I also decided to book the US based business class only airline Maxjet. So in November, I duly paid £1300.00 via my debit card.

You may be aware that Maxjet have just filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the US. (In effect the equivalent of Creditors Voluntary Liquidatin in the UK).

I have no recourse to a credit card as I used a Debit Card. My Travel insurance doesn't cover an airline actually ceasing to trade. As they are a US based company they don't appear to have the ATOL/ABTA bond/security requirements.

To say the wife is a bit upset woud be a massive understatement.

Has anyone got any suggestions as to what I should do to try and get my money back?

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You should try and find out if Maxjet were ATOL protected, as you may be covered under that scheme.


Have you contacted Maxjet directly regarding the situation? They have a contact number on their website of 01279 216 428 , which appears to have been set up to deal with enquiries from passengers such as yourself who have booked and paid for flights but have not taken them.

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ATOL Information.


Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL)


Also under the auspices of the Civil Aviation Authority, ATOL is the largest travel protection scheme in Britain. It covers almost every flight and holiday sold by travel firms in the UK. If the company that sells you a holiday or flight goes out of business, the ATOL scheme will refund you in full.



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As Maxjet were a US based carrier they don't appear to be members of ATOL or any other UK regulatory authorities. I booked direct with them and not via a Travel Agent.

The phone line on the website is just a recorded message with no further real help and the email address just sends an unhelpful auto-reply.

Very frustrating.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anybody heard of the Visa Debit Card Chargeback scheme?

I've read that this little known scheme in effect offers the same protection as a credit card would to someone who uses a debit card and then for some reason the supplier fails to deliver.

Anyone know anything?

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Spoke to my bank this morning (Barclays). Suffice to say that the Customer Service guy I spoke to had never heard of it but managed to escalate it up to a level where there was some acknowledgement of its existance. They won't actually embrace any claim until such time as the date I was due to take the flights has elapsed (6 Feb) but will process the claim then.

This is quite an encouraging step (I think).

Amazing how little is known about this scheme. Its almost the same level of protection as a credit card potentially yet its not widely publicised. Why is that?

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check out this link-

Lloyds TSB - Debit cards


it seems the card has some kind of travel insurance.

Also get a copy of the card Terms & Conditions and read all the small print.

written entirely without prejudice to my whole rights and pleas in law and may not be founded upon in any proceedings.:lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update time:

Managed to finally track down "Debit Card Services" at Barclays who sent me a form for signature which was pretty much just a disclaimer giving them certain rights if we're making a fraudulent claim etc.

Form duly signed and returned to them together with supporting documentation.

So hopeful of resolution over the next 10 days.

Fingers crossed...

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  • 1 month later...

After several weeks of phone calls and providing more info my bank account was fully credited today!


So a after a bit of perseverance it would seem that in some circumstances the Visa Chargeback scheme actually provides some protection akin to that of a credit card.


I'm very happy with the outcome.

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Well done :-)

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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