Following the Thomas Cook collapse on 23 September 2019, the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) would like to offer the following advice to those affected:
- Please check your booking confirmation to see if you are protected by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) scheme. If you are protected, the booking confirmation would include the ATOL certificate. Please read the certificate carefully to see who is protecting you and to what extent.
- Protected by ATOL: If you are currently abroad on holiday and your booking is protected by the ATOL scheme, you are likely to be repatriated with the assistance of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This means they can arrange return flights to the UK for passengers due to return by the 6 October 2019.
- If you are due to return after 6 October 2019, you will need to make your own travel arrangements, with a view to getting the cost reimbursed by ATOL. This only applies to bookings that are protected by ATOL and can be checked on your ATOL certificate.
- To get in touch with the CAA, we suggest you use this contact form and provide CAA with your booking and contact details. In some cases, the CAA will either ensure your stay at the original hotel booked for the holiday duration, or relocate you to another accommodation. If you are experiencing difficulties with an ATOL-protected hotel, we suggest you phone ATOL on +44 1753 330 330.
- Claims under the ATOL scheme can also be submitted to the CAA by emailing email@example.com.
- Not protected by ATOL: If your booking (or any of its parts) is not protected by ATOL, you may need to seek reimbursement of any resulting costs from your bank, credit card company, or make a claim under your travel insurance. Remember that if you have home insurance or pay for your bank account, it may include travel insurance as well.
- If you have not yet travelled, it is almost certain that some or all parts of your booking will be affected. As per CAA, all the flights and holidays booked with Thomas Cook have been cancelled, as of the 23 September 2019. Should you still wish to travel with another carrier because the hotel booking is still valid, you should be aware that you will not be eligible for repatriation.
- If your return flight is operated by an airline other than Thomas Cook, it may still be valid and operational, but there is no guarantee. In addition to this, we have no confirmation if the other parts of your stay (accommodation, transfers, etc.) will be affected. For this reason, you may be best advised not to travel, unless you know for sure that your holiday will go ahead as planned. For those who don’t travel, you may be in a position to claim your refund from your bank, credit card company or under your travel insurance policy.
Claiming from your credit card company under the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
If you have paid for your holiday with your credit card (in full or in part), your credit card company may be equally liable for the breach of contract (which the failure to provide holidays paid for essentially is). It is important to know that even if only partial payment was made with credit card, your credit card company is liable for the full amount paid for your booking.
This can be used to obtain refund of the amount paid, or potentially for paying for the parts of your holiday that were not arranged by Thomas Cook.
If you need advice on making claims under the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, we recommend that you contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, the national consumer advice service for the UK on 03454 04 05 06. Alternatively you can fill out the online form found on their website.
If you require any further clarification, please contact the UK ECC on 01268 88 66 90 (Monday-Thursday, 10 am-4 pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.