23 Sep

Thomas Cook Group Plc: ABTA media statement

Thomas Cook was one of the UK’s best-known and longest-established travel brands.  

Thomas Cook customers will be extremely anxious about their holiday bookings, ABTA’s immediate aim is to help them to understand what steps they need to take if they are currently away on holiday or if they have a forward booking, and to assist ABTA Member companies in supporting their customers.

Thomas Cook Group Plc operated several businesses that sold holidays and other travel arrangements, including five companies that are ABTA Members:

  • Thomas Cook Retail Limited - ABTA W8361, J8601 & ATOL 0020
  • Thomas Cook Tour Operations Limited - ABTA V6896 & ATOL 1179
  • TCCT Retail Limited - ABTA Y6564, L8164 & ATOL 10585
  • Future Travel Limited - ABTA W6370, G856X & ATOL 5704
  • Freedom Travel Group Limited - ABTA W6417, G8381 & ATOL 6042

The Group also included an airline business which is not a member of ABTA.

The vast majority of holidaymakers’ arrangements are covered through different types of financial protection: the majority are flight packages covered by ATOL plus a smaller volume are packages without flights and accommodation covered by ABTA.  Flights booked directly with Thomas Cook airlines and some accommodation booked through Thomas Cook retail, with third parties, are not covered by ATOL or ABTA, so in these cases customers will need to contact their card issuer and they may be entitled to a refund.

As there are a number of different companies involved, and different types of arrangement, what customers should do next will depend on whether they are currently away or have a forward booking; who they booked with; and what they booked.  ABTA has developed specific guidance for each situation which is available at abta.com/thomascook.  

Mark Tanzer, ABTA CEO said: “Along with many others in the industry, I am extremely saddened by today’s news about the demise of Thomas Cook.  It is one of the UK’s most iconic travel companies and today thousands of staff are facing losing their jobs.  For customers and other travel businesses working with the Group, this will be an extremely worrying time.  ABTA has developed detailed advice to support customers and ABTA Members about what to do next.”

Visit abta.com/thomascook for customer information 

The Civil Aviation Authority also has a dedicated webpage with information for customers and travel businesses affected at: https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/