Thomas Cook goes bust – Here’s how it will affect your travel plans

Here are all the latest details for anybody who has booked a holiday with Thomas Cook

thomas cook aeroplane pictured before company went bust

September 23, 2019

Britain’s oldest travel agent, Thomas Cook, has gone bust. It entered compulsory liquidation and went into administration yesterday (22nd September 2019), and stopped trading with immediate effect, leaving more than 150,000 British holidaymakers stranded around the world.

Here is everything you should know about Thomas Cook going bust, including useful information for those who have booked a future trip with the company or are currently on a Thomas Cook holiday.

I haven’t travelled yet – what happens now that Thomas Cook is bust?

If you haven’t set off for your holiday yet, the chances are that your holiday has been cancelled and you should not go to the airport – there is nothing that anybody there will be able to do to help.

Packaged holidays – Is my holiday cancelled? Will Thomas Cook customers get their money back?

If you booked a package holiday with Thomas Cook then your holiday is cancelled and you will receive a full refund in the coming months as all Thomas Cook packaged holidays are ATOL protected.


What is ATOL protection?

ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) offers financial protection to those who have purchased packaged holidays from registered tour operators. It makes sure that you are not out of pocket if your holiday arrangements are affected due to the collapse of a travel company.

Visit ATOL's website to find out more about making a claim.


If your packaged holiday includes flights with an airline other than Thomas Cook Airlines, you might still be able to catch your flight, but all other arrangements (such as accommodation) will likely be cancelled. If you are unsure whether or not your plans will be affected, you can contact them directly to find out.

A service designed to take care of all ATOL refunds for Thomas Cook customers will be in place by Monday, September 30th.

I’ve booked a flight with Thomas Cook Airlines – what do I do?

If you booked your holiday without the use of a travel agent then you might be okay – just make sure that neither your outbound nor inbound flights are with Thomas Cook Airlines, as any future flights with Thomas Cook airlines have been cancelled.

If your holiday is flight-only then you are unlikely to receive ATOL protection, but might be covered by your travel insurance policy for a flight cancellation refund with Thomas Cook if you have taken one out – check the terms of your policy for cover against “scheduled airline failure” to see if you are covered.

Some travel insurers also offer add-ons to reimburse you for any further expenses such as accommodation and car hire.

Purchases made between £100 and £30,000 with a credit card might also be protected by your card issuer.

 

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