Thomas Cook recently announced a £1.4 billion loss after revealing their half-year results, but the company has been reassuring worried customers that their holidays are safe.
But what should you do if the firm go bust, and how can you check if your money is protected?
Thomas Cook holidays are ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) protected, so if the company splits, sells and closes, ATOL protected holiday makers should not be left out of pocket.
What is ATOL?
“Package holidays and city breaks which are booked directly through a travel firm, and include a flight, are covered by the Air Travel Organisers’ License (ATOL) scheme,” explains MoneySavingExpert.
ATOL protection means that in the unlikely event that the holiday firm you’ve booked with stops trading:
If you haven’t travelled yet, you’ll be given a full refund or a replacement holiday.
If you’re already on holiday, the scheme will make sure you can finish your trip and return home.
“If you book an ATOL-protected holiday, you’ll receive an ATOL certificate along with your booking – make sure you double-check you’ve received it,” adds MoneySavingExpert.
However, The Sun reports that some holidaymakers may be caught out if they have booked on Thomas Cook’s airline, as this is separate from the travel firm and sells flight-only trips, some of which are not ATOL protected.
MoneySavingExpert explains that, “If you book flights with hotels and/or car hire from a travel firm, you may also have some level of ATOL protection – even if you don’t buy an official package.
“It applies when you book flights with hotels and/or car hire during a single website or shop visit, or a single telephone call, even if you pay for them in separate transactions.
What should I do if Thomas Cook splits, sells or ceases trading?
If you are due to go on holiday, you should directly contact the travel company to make sure that your booking is in place.
Due to Thomas Cook being ATOL protected, customers will be entitled to a full refund or replacement holiday if the company collapses before your scheduled departure time.
If this happens, you should contact:
- Thomas Cook’s tour operator or agent
- Your accommodation provider
- Your flight airline
If you booked through a travel agent and your tour operator goes out of business, you should contact your agent for assistance.
The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations also requires organisers of package holidays to provide protection for your money.
They regulations company said, “You have the right to expect the package holiday you paid for. If it’s not, the company you booked with is responsible for putting things right or you can claim compensation.”
This article was originally published on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.