Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Thomas Cook: What are my consumer rights?

The British tour operator could leave a possible 180,000 people stranded abroad - most of them Brits - if it were to collapse. Credit: PA

As the future of Thomas Cook hangs in the balance, customers who have booked with the firm are questioning what their consumer rights are.

The tour operator was meeting with the firm’s biggest shareholder along with creditors at City law firm Slaughter & May on Sunday in a final bid to piece together a rescue deal.

The company is at risk of falling into administration unless it finds £200 million in extra funds.

It was feared the collapse would leave up to 150,000 UK holidaymakers stranded.

The British tour operator could leave a possible 180,000 people stranded abroad - most of them Brits - if it were to collapse. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

What happens if Thomas Cook was to file for administration while I'm on holiday?

If you’ve booked a package holiday with Thomas Cook, then you will be protected under the ATOL scheme if it goes into administration (the protection doesn’t apply if you’ve only booked flights).

This means you can continue your holiday as normal and arrive for your return flight as normal unless told otherwise.

If your return flight is affected, then the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will do what it can to ensure you can finish your trip and book you on a flight as close to your original departure as possible.

If you incur additional costs, then make sure you keep a record of receipts and submit a claim to the CAA, which will refund reasonable expenses.

Which? has a template letter available online to help you make a claim.

For those who just have a flight with Thomas Cook, contact your travel insurance company to check if you are covered. Or you can make a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you paid more than £100 using a credit card.

What happens if the company was to file for administration before I'm due to fly?

If Thomas Cook goes bust before you travel, contact it to find out if you’re holiday is still going ahead.

We also recommend contacting your accommodation or flight provider to check your booking is on their records.

If your holiday is no longer going ahead, then you should be entitled to a full refund and you can make a claim under the ATOL scheme.

As above, for those who only booked a flight with Thomas Cook, contact your travel insurance company to check if you are covered. Or you can make a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you paid more than £100 using a credit card.

Will I be entitled to a full refund, and who do I go to?

If you have been told by Thomas Cook that your holiday is no longer going ahead, then you should be entitled to a full refund from the CAA.

Ensure you read the ATOL certificate you were given when you booked carefully before making a claim, as it will explain who is protecting your flight and what to do.

Which? has a template letter available online to help you make a claim.

However, if you've booked car hire or excursions separate from your holiday package, it's likely these will not be covered - check with your holiday insurer as to what you can claim back.

Similarly, if you've booked flights only, then these will not be covered.

Can I cancel my booking with Thomas Cook now because of the uncertainty? And would I be entitled to a refund?

As the company is still trading as normal, cancelling now may mean you have to pay a fee.

According to its website, cancellation fees will apply depending on how far in advance you cancel.

You should check the terms and conditions you signed up to to see what the fee might be if you cancel and how much of a refund you might be entitled to.