Holidays cancelled as Thomas Cook enters liquidation

Date published: 23 September 2019


Thomas Cook has confirmed that all the UK companies in its group, including the UK tour operator and the airline, have ceased trading as of Monday (23 September), after entering liquidation.

The UK business, which had travel agents in Rochdale and Middleton, has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled.

A dedicated support service is being provided by The Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings.

A statement on the Thomas Cook website says: “Thomas Cook has confirmed that all the UK companies in its group have ceased trading, including Thomas Cook Airlines.

“As a result, we are sorry to inform you that all holidays and flights provided by these companies have been cancelled and are no longer operating. All Thomas Cook's retail shops have also closed.

“The government and the Civil Aviation Authority are now working together to do everything we can to support passengers due to fly back to the UK with Thomas Cook between 23 September 2019 and 6 October 2019. Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines.

“If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Thomas Cook Airlines, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and you will not be able to travel.

“This repatriation is hugely complex, and we are working around the clock to support passengers.”

Rachel Howley, from Citizens Advice Greater Manchester, adds: “The collapse of Thomas Cook is clearly a worrying time for its customers and its staff. Holidaymakers will no longer be able to travel with the company - but you might be able to get a refund depending on what and how you booked.

“If your holiday booking is ATOL protected then the Civil Aviation Authority will arrange a refund.

“For people who have booked their holidays independently, you’ll need to contact any other companies you’ve made any bookings with - hotels, transfers etc - as you’ll still be liable for those bookings. Check the terms and conditions to see if you can cancel without being charged.

“If your booking isn’t ATOL protected, you might be able to get money back through your insurance, credit or debit card issuer or through PayPal. Other elements of your holiday which you booked independently and can still be provided, won’t be covered by these payment schemes but you could check with your insurance provider.

“Staff who work for Thomas Cook need to make sure they seek independent information and advice on their situation. The government has issued advice about claiming money owed.”

For more information about ATOL protection, including checking if your flight is protected, please visit the Civil Aviation Authority:

Customers already abroad

If you are currently abroad and your flight was with Thomas Cook, new flights are being provided to return you to the UK. These repatriation flights will only be operating for the next two weeks (until 6 October 2019).

Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines. Where possible Thomas Cook is aiming for these to be as close as possible to your original return time and date. 

After 6 October, you will have to make your own travel arrangements. From a small number of locations, passengers will have to book their own return flights.

Customers currently overseas should check thomascook.caa.co.uk for confirmation of their new flight details - which will be available a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their original departure time

Customers yet to travel out of the UK

All future holidays and flights booked with Thomas Cook are cancelled as of 23 September 2019.

If you are booked on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight, please do not go to your UK airport, as your flight will not be operating. The Civil Aviation Authority’s repatriation programme will not include any outbound flights from the UK.

If you choose to book a new flight with another airline out of the UK, you will not be eligible for a repatriation flight.

Refunds

The Civil Aviation Authority will be launching a service to manage all refunds on Monday 30 September, once the flying operation has progressed. This refund service will seek to process all refunds within two months of receipt of a fully completed claims form.

If your Thomas Cook flights are ATOL protected by Thomas Cook or any company in the Thomas Cook Group, your flights are now cancelled. You should make a claim for a refund via the ATOL scheme.

If your Thomas Cook flights are not ATOL protected, your flights are now cancelled and you are not entitled to make a claim via the ATOL scheme, but you may be able to claim from your travel insurer or your credit card issuer or bank.

If, however, you booked an ATOL-protected holiday with Thomas Cook but your flights are with an airline unrelated to the Thomas Cook Group, your flights may still be available, but your accommodation and transfers may not be. 

You are advised to check with the airline if you are still able to travel. If you wish to travel, you can do so and make a claim to ATOL for the cost of replacing your other travel services. You are not obliged to use your flights and can instead claim a refund under the ATOL scheme.

If you booked a Thomas Cook flight or holiday with another travel company or travel agent, you should contact them directly about your arrangements. 

Employees

Make sure you ask any questions you have of the administrators; someone should have been in contact with you about the process. More information can be found at: 

Know your rights: You have rights if your employer is ‘insolvent’ and can make a claim for the money you’re owed. Read more information on your rights by visiting the government guidance here: 

If you have not been asked to continue in work, and you haven't been paid your redundancy, use the ‘Claim for redundancy and monies owed’ service on GOV.UK: 

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