Monday 23rd September 2019: At 2:00am this morning, it was announced that Thomas Cook had ceased trading with immediate effect.
The holiday firm said that there were a number of reasons that led to its decline, including customers putting off booking holidays because of Brexit, political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey and the prolonged heatwave in summer 2018.
The company entering compulsory liquidation puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide and triggers the biggest ever peacetime repatriation to bring more than 150,000 stranded British holidaymakers home.
A complete breakdown on what to do if you are currently on a Thomas Cook holiday or you have booked to go on one in the future can be found here.
What does this mean for you?
1) If you are currently on a Thomas Cook holiday
If you are already abroad, plans are in place to make sure that you will be flown home and not left stranded. The repatriation plan will involve planes chartered from other airlines, including British Airways.
However, it’s probable that flights will not be available immediately and so initial advice is likely to be that you should not head to the airport until notified. You should be prepared for possible delays and the potential of being flown back to a different UK airport than the one you departed from (and then taken to your original starting point by bus).
If you booked your break as a package holiday through Thomas Cook, your accommodation and return flights will be covered by Atol. Although the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are contacting hotels to assure them that they will be paid, they have suggested that you call them if you are being asked to pay extra.
2) If you have an upcoming holiday booked with Thomas Cook
The good news is, you will get your money back for your holiday and you can find out how to claim your refund on the CAA website. In some cases, especially for holidays booked further ahead, Atol may organise a ‘fulfilment partner’ to provide the holiday instead.
On the other hand, if you have booked a flight-only deal directly with Thomas Cook Airlines, not a package deal, you are unlikely to be covered. However, there are some exceptions, such as:
- If you bought your ticket through an Atol licenced travel agent.
- If your travel insurance policy includes cover for ‘scheduled airline failure insurance’ or ‘supplier failure’.
- If you booked your flight on your credit card, you are covered under the Consumer Credit Act. You need to have spent over £100 for your flight and used your credit card for booking to be eligible.
Please Note: If you are currently on holiday, please check who you are flying home with as some Thomas Cook package holiday bookings include flights with other airlines and therefore won’t be affected. The same applies for any outbound or inbound flights if you are due to go on a Thomas Cook package holiday in the future. Please note, other elements of the package might still be affected, such as accommodation and transfers.
For more information, please visit www.thomascook.caa.co.uk for a complete breakdown on what to do and how you will be affected. Before you contact your insurance provider, we recommend that you get in touch with the relevant bodies regarding any unused or additional costs incurred which are recoverable from:
- The providers of the accommodation, their booking agents, travel agent or compensation scheme.
- The providers of the transportation, their booking agents, travel agent, compensation scheme or Atol.
If you have any questions, please contact your Thomas Carroll Account Executive, call us on 02920 853788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.