Thomas Cook Holidays | Refunds and Compensation

Thomas Cook Holidays – Can I get a refund/compensation?

| Published on September 24, 2019

As has been all over the news, Thomas Cook has gone into liquidation due to their inability to repay their creditors. As a result, thousands of holidays, flights, and hotel bookings have been cancelled leaving holiday goers stranded abroad or those looking forward to getting away with nothing.

The advice for those yet to travel is simply not to go to the airport. All flights have been cancelled, both from and to UK airports.

However, there may be some reprieve for both those who are already on holiday and those who are yet to travel.

There may also be reprieve for employees of the company who have now found themselves out of a job.


Thomas Cook sold holidays and flights through six companies and depending on the company and the package purchased you may be able to recover any money lost through several different avenues, such as making a claim to the Civil Aviation Authority, a claim to ABTA, a claim through your bank, or through your travel insurance.

The companies Thomas Cook sold holidays and flights through are:

  • Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd
  • Thomas Cook Retail Limited
  • Thomas Cook Tour Operations Limited
  • TCCT Retail Limited
  • Future Travel Limited
  • Freedom Travel Group Limited

It is important to initially determine whether your holiday was ATOL protected, and by whom. If your holiday is ATOL protected you will receive a certificate confirming you are ATOL protected as soon as it is booked. The certificate will confirm, usually at the bottom, who the ATOL protection holder is and the provider’s ATOL number. The number can be checked on the Civil Aviation Authorities’ website to confirm the certificate is genuine.

If you are yet to travel

If you are yet to travel and you purchased a flights included package holiday direct through Thomas Cook Retail Limited the holiday would be ATOL protected by Thomas Cook Retail Limited. It is a legal requirement that all package holidays sold in the UK are covered by ATOL protection. You are therefore eligible to make a claim to the Civil Aviation Authority (‘CAA’), who are managing Thomas Cook’s passengers and customers, for a refund.

If you are already abroad

If you are already abroad an alternative flight should be arranged at no extra cost to you up to and including 6 October 2019. If you have to pay for any additional hotel costs, if for example, you cannot get a flight home until a few days later, then this cost may be claimed from the CAA. Please note that after 6 October 2019 you will be required to make your own travel arrangements.

If you purchased a Thomas Cook package holiday via a tour operator you may be protected by the tour operator’s ATOL protection and eligible for a refund through them.

In the first instance, we would recommend that you locate and check your ATOL certificate to confirm who has protected the holiday.

Not ATOL protected?

If you are yet to travel and your holiday or flights are not ATOL protected as, for example, you booked your flights direct with Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd who do not have ATOL protection, you may be able to recover the cost by making a claim through your debit or credit card provider. This would be done in accordance with Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you paid using an alternative method then a claim may be made to the Administrator.

If you are already abroad and you are not ATOL protected you will likely have to arrange and/or pay for your return flight. However, the cost of this may be recoverable from your travel insurance provider. A claim may also be made to the administrator.

As stated above, if you booked your holiday through a tour operator that offered Thomas Cook Holidays you may be covered under their ATOL protection, alternatively, if it was only the flights that were with Thomas Cook your tour operator may be able to arrange a different airline and your holiday may still go ahead. It is recommended that you contact your tour operator, if you booked through one, to check whether your holiday is going ahead or not.

You may also be able to make a claim to ABTA. Often single element purchases, such as just hotel accommodation, are protected by ABTA and claims can be made to them for any loss suffered.

If you are paying for your holiday through Thomas Cook’s direct debit scheme it is advised that you contact your bank to discuss this further.

It is also always worth checking whether your travel insurance policy covers events like this. If they do you will be able to make a claim through them. If not, a claim could be made using one of the avenues stated above.

You may have also experienced other losses arising from your cancelled holiday, such as payment of excursions or even the cost of a wedding. If this is the case please contact us so that we may advise you of your options of claiming these costs back.


Former employees of Thomas Cook, who have now been made redundant, can apply to the Insolvency Service for redundancy and other payments. The requirements to do so is that the employee had a contract of employment with Thomas Cook and lived in England, Scotland or Wales.

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