In the largest repatriation project in recent times, dubbed ‘Project Matterhorn’, the Civil Aviation Authority will see over 150,000 Thomas Cook customers brought home from abroad after the company announced that they are entering compulsory liquidation.
Thomas Cook, founded over 178 years ago, originally operated trips for the Temperance Movement. However, the company has hit financial turbulence over recent years and has unfortunately announced compulsory liquidation as of this morning (23rd September 2019).
This has left thousands of their customers with questions about what they should now do. consumeradvice.scot has laid out this guide, based on up-to-date information supplied by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Travel for consumers already on holiday
Those already abroad, with flights booked up to and including the 5th October will be provided with flights back to the UK. Anyone flying on or after the 6th October 2019 will be required to make their own travel arrangements unless ATOL protected.
The following guidance has been supplied for those on CAA-operated repatriation flights –
- Details of return flights will be made available as soon as possible in advance of original departure time. This will be up to 72 hours in advance of the original flight time. Please continue to check the website regularly.
- Details of the guidance for those seeking new return journeys are available at –
- You can use the menu to select their destination, airport and departure date to see information on new flights home.
- Those affected are advised not to go to the airport unless their new flight details are confirmed on the website or via a text message or e-mail to the lead passenger on the booking where possible.
- Once the flight is confirmed, consumers should make a note of the new flight details and travel to the airport, arriving at least three hours before their new departure time.
Consumers already abroad and experiencing difficulties with their hotel
If the accommodation was booked as part of a holiday with Thomas Cook, there is specific advice –
Consumers currently abroad on an ATOL protected holiday package with Thomas Cook or any company part of the group, the Civil Aviation Authority will seek to guarantee your stay directly with your hotel.
For those experiencing difficulties with their ATOL protected hotel, you should contact the CAA on –
+44 1753 330 330
It may take the CAA a few days to secure these arrangements. While these arrangements are being made consumers should not make additional payments to their hotel unless otherwise instructed by the CAA team. Consumers may need to be relocated to alternative accommodation for the duration of their holiday. In circumstances like this, the CAA will inform other suppliers, such as transfers of the changes in accommodation and flight details.
Thomas Cook owned hotels
Thomas Cook owns and operate nine hotels. If you are on an ATOL protected package holiday with Thomas Cook or any company in the group, then you may be relocated to alternative accommodation.
If the ATOL protection is provided by another company, the consumer should contact them for advice.
The CAA also advise that if your return flights are NOT with Thomas Cook, then they will still be valid.
Consumers yet to travel from the UK
All consumers yet to travel with Thomas Cook are advised that their flights have been cancelled and are advised not to travel to UK airports.
Claims for refunds should be made via the ATOL scheme if the flights are protected by this. If there is no ATOL protection, then no claim can be made under the scheme.
If you have booked through an ATOL-protected holiday with Thomas Cook, and the flights are with an airline unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group, flights may still be available, but accommodation and transfers may not be.
In this instance, anything paid on a credit or debit card can attempt to be reclaimed through the bank. Anything on a credit card in excess of £100, will be covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit act by the card provider. For any purchases made under £100 or via debit card then your bank may be able to help in the form of their chargeback scheme. For more information, you should contact your bank or card issuer.
Failing all of these methods, travel insurance providers can be consulted and failing this, application may be made to the administrators of Thomas Cook (once they are appointed).
More information will be provided on the below website for any refund arrangements by 30th September 2019 –
The ATOL refund service will seek to process all refunds within two months of receipt of a fully completed claims form.
If you would like more advice on any consumer matter, you can contact consumeradvice.scot on 0808 164 6000. We are open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. You can follow us on social media – Twitter: @advicedotscot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/advice.scot, Instagram: @advice.scot, or get ahead by visiting our knowledge centre at www.consumeradvice.scot.