Thomas Cook collapse – what you need to know

Thomas Cook customers who were due to return to the UK by 6 October have been repatriated. If you have a future booking with the firm, you may be entitled to a refund

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Following the collapse of Thomas Cook on Monday 23 September, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) mounted a huge, two-week repatriation exercise to bring home customers at the end of their package holidays.

This operation ended on Sunday 6 October.

The CAA has now opened a website for customers with future bookings with the firm. It provides advice on how to apply for a refund.

There is additional information available elsewhere on the CAA website for those who are returning to the UK on or after 7 October.

Q. I’ve booked a package holiday with Thomas Cook – what’s going to happen?

A. All Thomas Cook holidays due to start on 23 September 2019 and thereafter have been cancelled.

If you’ve booked a package holiday that includes a flight, you’ll have protection under the ATOL scheme. This will ensure you receive a full refund. The refund process is being managed by the CAA.

If you paid by direct debit, you should be refunded automatically by 14 October.

If you paid by another method, you can apply for a refund via the website above.

If you have a package holiday that does not include a flight, you will be protected under the ABTA scheme – again, you’ll get a refund.

Q. I bought different parts of my holiday arrangements separately. Am I protected?

A. This is a complicated area. Money Saving Expert has information on the various scenarios and how your situation may be resolved.

Q. I’ve only booked a flight with Thomas Cook – how am I affected?

A. All flights booked with Thomas Cook have been cancelled. As your flight was not part of a package, you will not have ATOL protection (unless you booked through Thomas Cook Tour Operations – in which case you should have an ATOL certificate).

If you booked using a credit card, you may be able to claim your money back from your credit card provider under the terms of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (provided the amount is over £100 and below £30,000). This might not apply, however, if you bought through a travel agent rather than through Thomas Cook.

If you used a debit card, you may be able to claim the money back from your card provider under what’s known as the ‘chargeback’ scheme. Bear in mind, though, that this scheme has no legal footing and is a voluntary arrangement run by the card providers.

You can find more information about protection through your credit card by clicking here.

Q. I bought travel insurance through MoneySuperMarket. How can you help me?

A. When you bought your travel insurance through MoneySuperMarket, you will have received policy documents and other communications from a separate travel insurance company. If you have any queries regarding your policy and the cover it provides, you should contact them direct. Their contact details will be available on the email they sent you, and on the policy literature.

Q. Can I claim on my travel insurance?

A. If you have no protection under the ATOL or ABTA schemes, check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance or speak to your travel insurance company.

Some policies – usually the more expensive ‘premium’ options – include cover for ‘scheduled airline failure’ or ‘provider failure’. If this is the case, contact your insurance company for information on how to proceed.

If you have booked additional trips for while you are away, you may be able to claim for the cost if you are unable to travel. Again, you need to check your policy and contact your insurance company.

Q. I bought a Thomas Cook-branded travel insurance policy – is it still valid?

A. Yes. The company behind Thomas Cook’s travel insurance policies, White Horse, says it will honour all existing policies until they expire or come up for renewal, at which point customers will be invited to shop around for their next policy.

For information on Thomas Cook gift cards and pre-paid cards, along with other information for those abroad and with future bookings, please visit Money Saving Expert.

 

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