Thomas Cook, the oldest UK travel company, has collapsed after negotiations failed leaving up to 150,000 holidaymakers stranded and all future flights and bookings cancelled. The 178-year-old holiday firm also puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, with 9,000 of those jobs being in the UK. So here’s what to do if you have booked flights or holidays with Thomas Cook.
“I have a Thomas Cook holiday booked, will it still go ahead?”
Almost definitely not. Although lots of flights are departing the UK to collect Thomas Cook passengers, they won’t be carrying passengers outbound.
“I’ve booked a Thomas Cook holiday – what shall I do now?”
Thanks to ATOL protection, you will get your money back if you’ve booked a package holiday with Thomas Cook. However, this will not cover any extras which you have booked separately such as activities or car hire. If you have travel insurance which includes ‘supplier failure’ then you should be able to claim back these extras through that way. Alternatively, if you booked the holiday or any part of it with a credit card, then you should be able to claim back due to Section 75 of the consumer credit act.
“Is my holiday ATOL protected?”
After booking your holiday you should have received an ATOL certificate with all the other booking documents either via email or post. By law, every travel firm in the UK that sells flights and package holidays is required to hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence. However, this does not apply to people who have booked their accommodation and flights separately. Therefore, we advise you to check your booking documents to check whether you received an ATOL certificate.
“Are TUI holidays affected?”
Some TUI holidays may be affected by the collapse if package holidays included flights with Thomas Cook. However alternative flights may just need to be found. If these cost more, you may be asked to pay the difference. If you don’t agree to this then you could get a full refund for the holiday instead.
“What do I do if I booked a flight with Thomas Cook?”
If you did not book a package holiday and just booked the flight, you don’t usually get the same protection. However, if you have travel insurance then you should be covered. Check for ‘Scheduled Airline Failure’ to see if you can get your money back. Or, if you paid via credit card you may also be covered if you contact your card firm and enquire about a refund.
“I’m on a Thomas Cook holiday – what do I do?”
If you have ATOL protection you will be able to continue the rest of your holiday and get home, just not on a Thomas Cook plane. If you are not ATOL protected then you would usually be asked to find and pay for your own way home. However, the Department for Transport has said that people on a Thomas Cook holiday with return flights within 2 weeks can get home free of charge whether they are ATOL protected or not. These people will be brought home as close to their booked return date as possible with help of a group of aircrafts.