What to do next if you booked a holiday through Thomas Cook, as the travel firm collapses

Thomas Cook
(Image credit: LightRocket via Getty Images)

Following the news that Thomas Cook has ceased trading, you might be wondering what to do next if you were planning to travel, or are currently on a holiday through the tour operator.

The news has been officially confirmed across social media, with Thomas Cook posting their final tweet announcing they have ceased treading with immediate effect.

They attached an image to this update with some relevant details.

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The announcement also included a reference to the overseas and UK phone numbers customers can contact, depending on whereabouts customers are currently.

The Thomas Cook website now has information for customers, with instructions on how you should proceed if you’ve been affected by the company’s closure. So read on if you are feeling puzzled about how to proceed....

Thomas Cook customers already abroad:

According to the website, return flights for those still abroad will be operating until 6th October 2019. Holidaymakers will either travel home on a Civil Aviation Authority operated flight, or on another airline, depending on availability. The lead customer will be informed of the new flight by text or email - or, you can take a look at their guidance by destination here (opens in new tab).

The Thomas Cook statement stresses that these flights will only be available for the next two weeks - and that after that period, travellers may have to book their own return flights. However, the Civil Aviation Authority say that you will be able to claim the cost of this back.

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Thomas Cook have a detailed breakdown on their website if you’re currently abroad (opens in new tab), with FAQs listed on the page.

These include arranging a new flight, flying into a different UK flight, and potential delays.

They also explained that if you booked a package holiday with Thomas Cook, but your flight is with another, different airline, you may still be able to fly home with no problems.

Thomas Cook customers due to travel out of the UK for a holiday:

A statement on the website says, 'We are sorry to inform you that all future holidays and flights booked with Thomas Cook are cancelled as of 23 September 2019.'

They added, 'If you are booked on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight, please do not go to your UK airport, as your flight will not be operating. The Civil Aviation Authority’s repatriation programme will not include any outbound flights from the UK.'

If you have a future booking with Thomas Cook, detailed information on what to do now can be found here (opens in new tab).

This includes information on ATOL claims, package holidays, and holidays booked through another travel company.

If you try to access the original Thomas Cook website, you will now be greeted with this information and a redirect to the dedicated website for customers.

Thomas Cook

It reads, 'Thomas Cook UK Plc and associated UK entities have entered Compulsory Liquidation and are now under the control of the Official Receiver.

'The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled.'

Customers whose holiday's were ATOL protected are also entitled to a full refund for their holiday - you can find more information here (opens in new tab).

Equally, if your flights were not booked with Thomas Cook, or are on a separate airline, but your accommodation was, you will need to contact that company directly.

You can find all the information you need HERE (opens in new tab) - if in doubt, contact all companies involved with your holiday booking.

Thomas Cook closure:

Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser this morning delivered a statement, apologising for the company’s liquidation.

He said: “I know that this outcome will be devastating to many people, and will cause a lot of anxiety, stress and disruption.

“First, I want to apologise to my 21,000 colleagues who I know will be heartbroken. You all worked so hard to make Thomas Cook a success.

“Secondly, I would like to say sorry to all our customers, those who are on holiday with us now, and those who have booked with us in the coming months. My colleagues will be working with the CAA to help.”

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Today, the final Thomas Cook Passenger flight landed at Manchester Airport. According to Sky News, passengers have said that staff on this final flight were “quite emotional and crying”.

Speaking to Sky News, passenger Grant said, “This was the first time we booked with Thomas Cook. The staff didn’t know what was happening until they landed, a few of them were crying.

“I take my hat off to them, the way they conducted themselves and went about their business, they were very professional.”

Lucy Buglass

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and Whattowatch.com. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.