MSE News

One in three Thomas Cook refund claims still to be paid

One in three Thomas Cook refund claims still to be paid

Around one in three of the first set of Thomas Cook customers to claim refunds after the holiday firm collapsed will not be paid within the 60-day target, the aviation regulator has said.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) launched its refund programme – to give cash back to Thomas Cook customers whose holidays were protected via the ATOL scheme – on 7 October 2019. It said it would aim to pay all valid claims within 60 days, which would be by today (Friday).

But now the CAA has said that more than 22,000 people who submitted the online claim form on the opening day of the refund programme cannot be paid until they provide additional information.

It says approximately two-thirds of the 67,000 legitimate claims made on the first day will be paid "by the weekend". This is in addition to 90,000 direct debit customers automatically refunded in October.

The CAA has not received claims relating to about 40,000 of the 300,000 cancelled holidays eligible for a refund, and while these customers have until September next year to submit the online form, they're urged to claim as soon as possible.

See Thomas Cook stops trading – latest info and your rights for full information.

What is the ATOL scheme?

Package holidays that include a flight are covered by the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) scheme.

ATOL protection means that if you hadn't started your trip at the point Thomas Cook stopped trading, on 23 September 2019, you'll get a full refund (though if you booked a package provided by another tour operator via Thomas Cook, it may not be cancelled and you may still be able to travel).

With any bookings made by direct debit, the refund should have been automatic, but for other payment methods, the CAA launched its online form.

I've not had a refund – what should I do?

The CAA insists it wants to issue refunds "as soon as possible".

It says if you haven't heard anything about your refund by the end of today, you should check your junk and spam folder to see if you've been asked for any additional information to support your claim.

If you're really stuck, you can contact the CAA on 0300 303 2800 or on atolclaims.thomascook@caa.co.uk.

What does the CAA say?

CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said: "We thank consumers for their ongoing patience as we continue to do all that we can to work through the UK travel industry's largest-ever refunds programme. I appreciate that this is a concerning time for Thomas Cook customers who are waiting for their refunds, particularly at this time of the year.

"We will have already paid out more than £160 million by this weekend and will continue to pay claims as soon as possible. Where we have had to request further information, we encourage those consumers to respond at the earliest opportunity so that we can finalise these payments.

"I would like to reassure consumers that all valid ATOL-protected payments will be refunded."