Hundreds of thousands of passengers are stranded overseas after travel company Thomas Cook announced it had gone into administration in the early hours of Tuesday (September 23).
As many as 150,000 UK holidaymakers are reported to be currently abroad on Thomas Cook holidays.
The travel company founded in 1841 and comprising tour operator services and an airline has ‘ceased trading with immediate effect’.
Thousands more people have had their holidays cancelled.
The company’s fleet of aircraft are permanently grounded and all Thomas Cook shops closed after lifeline talks yesterday (September 22) failed to save the debt-burdened travel firm.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it is mounting the biggest peacetime repatriation programme in tandem with the government, codenamed Operation Matterhorn, to bring holidaymakers home.
CAA Advice to Passengers Stranded
Passengers currently abroad are advised to check the CAA’s website to see how they will be brought home.
Compensation for delays and disruption should be directed to ATOL for passengers with ATOL protection.
The CAA said the following to passengers who are not ATOL protected:
“Under normal circumstances, passengers who are not ATOL protected would be asked to find, and pay for, their own way home.
“However, given the scale of this insolvency, the Government has tasked the CAA to assist all impacted passengers in getting back to the UK.”
But they will not be able to claim through ATOL for other support:-
“We (The CAA) recommend you speak to your credit card issuer, bank or travel insurance provider for advice on whether you can claim a refund of any out of pocket expenses (for example accommodation or food).
CAA Advice to Passengers Yet to Fly
Passengers due to fly today or in the future with Thomas Cook have been told not to attend the airport and to make a claim for a refund through the ATOL scheme if they are ATOL protected.
If you are not ATOL protected, the CAA have said people may “be able to claim from your travel insurer or your credit card issuer or bank”.
To find out if you are ATOL protected, click here