Thomas Cook collapse, Tourists face nerve-racking wait as travel firm Thomas Cook.
The giant travel company Thomas Cook is in a race against time to make a deal with its creditors over a refinancing package. Last month the holiday firm appeared to have secured its future. But now the rescue deal appears to be in danger.
These are the key issues for holidaymakers with a booking involving Thomas Cook.
I am abroad on a Thomas Cook holiday. What happens if the company collapses?
Your package holiday will continue as normal, with hotel bills paid and new flights provided by the CAA under the terms of the Air Transport Organiser’s Licence (Atol). All you need to do is to wait to be told when your replacement flight will be departing.
The airlift, codenamed Operation Matterhorn, involves setting up a “shadow” airline that mirrors the pattern of flying of Thomas Cook Airlines. The aim is to replicate as closely as possible the original schedule, though with larger-than-usual aircraft being deployed it may be that – for example – flights to Birmingham and Manchester are combined. In such cases, coaches will be laid on to complete the journey.
If the airlift is needed, the total cost could be as much as £600m – including paying hoteliers to allow holidaymakers continue with their trips.
I am abroad with a flight-only Thomas Cook ticket and no Atol protection. What happens to me?
If you are booked on a short-haul flight to the Mediterranean, Portugal or Atlantic islands, it is likely that you would be offered a seat in the airlift operation. If you are in the US, then it may be you will need to book one of the “rescue” fares that will be provided by other airlines, in particular British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian, United, American Airlines and Delta.
Each airline normally announces its policy within 24 hours of any collapse. Fares are typically £150-£200 one-way, on production of proof of a Thomas Cook booking.
You can then claim back the cost of the original flight from the credit-card provider or travel insurance.
I am abroad on a package holiday from another tour operator, but which uses Thomas Cook Airlines flights. What happens?
Thomas Cook Airlines does “third-party flying” for a wide range of other companies.
Your tour operator has primary responsibility to find an alternative flight for you. If an airlift takes place, it is very likely you would be booked on one of the flights. Otherwise you can work with the tour operator to find an alternative. This should theoretically be at no cost to yourself.