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Thousands of former Thomas Cook customers urged to claim refunds for cancelled holidays - here's how

Former customers of the now defunct travel firm Thomas Cook have been urged to submit refund claims for holidays they lost out on when the company went under in 2019. The Government's Official Receiver - which is administering the winding down of Thomas Cook - set-up a claims portal in November 2021, but it says thousands of eligible holidaymakers still need to submit refund requests.

Below we explain how to get your money back.

If you're planning a trip and want to make sure your booking is financially protected, see our Holiday Rights and Cheap Travel Insurance (including Covid cover) guides. 

If you're a former Thomas Cook customer you may be able to get your money back - here's how

If you haven't yet submitted a claim for a refund from Thomas Cook, or you've submitted a claim but not heard back yet, you can now do so.  

Consumers who'd booked with the following brands (you can find out which brand you booked with on your booking confirmation) are those most likely to receive a full or partial refund: 

- Thomas Cook Airlines Limited.
- Thomas Cook Group Treasury Limited.
- Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations Limited. 
- Thomas Cook Money Limited.
- Thomas Cook UK Limited.
- MyTravel Group Limited. 

The Official Receiver said other Thomas Cook brands may pay out to consumers eventually if they get funds owed to them as part of the liquidation process, but this isn't guaranteed. However, the Official Receiver added that it's worth submitting a claim nonetheless.

You can submit eligible claims via an online portal 

In order to get a refund you'll need to complete a form on the Thomas Cook Claims website, which has been set-up by the liquidator and special managers. The Government's Official Receiver is the liquidator while AlixPartners and Interpath Advisory have been appointed as "special managers" to help with the process. 

There currently isn't a deadline for submitting new claims and you can submit more than one claim. But while you can't amend claims once submitted, you can withdraw and then resubmit them if need be. 

Be aware that you might be asked for evidence of your booking, such as proof of payment or a booking reference.

Once your claim has been registered, you'll get a letter with login details to access your refund if the brand that owes you money has the funds to pay you back.  

If your claim is rejected you've got 21 days to appeal it - though bear in mind you may not get all of your money back

The Official Receiver said you may only get a partial refund, depending on how much cash is available once the companies have gone through liquidation.

It also couldn't give a timeframe for when you might expect to receive your money back - though you can either choose to be paid by bank transfer or cheque; just make sure all of your details are correct when you fill out the claims form.

You can appeal a decision within 21 days from the date your claim is rejected. 

If you've made a claim but haven't had a refund, you might want to consider a Section 75 complaint

If you've made a claim and the brand you booked with can't pay out, your claim will be held on file until the liquidation process is finalised - but there's no guarantee you'll get your money back. In this situation, you may want to consider claiming to your card provider instead - see below for more on this.

Paid by credit card? You may be able to claim from your card provider

If you can't get your money back by submitting a claim - for example, because the Thomas Cook brand you booked with doesn't have enough cash to make payouts or because you didn't book with one of the eligible brands - you could still have some protection if you paid for some or all of your booking using a credit card.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means if you pay for something costing £100 to £30,000 on a credit card, the card company's equally liable if something goes wrong. For more info on how this works, see our Section 75 guide - though be warned that if you paid a travel agent, and not Thomas Cook directly, you may not get your cash back.

This is because for Section 75 to work, there must be a direct link between the debtor (that's you, the customer), the creditor (the credit card company) and the supplier (in this case, Thomas Cook). If you booked via a travel agent, it's likely that relationship could be deemed broken, though complaints arbitrator the Financial Ombudsman Service told us it would come down to the exact nature of your contract with the travel agent.

Unfortunately, you're unlikely to be able to claim under similar chargeback rules for credit card purchases costing less than £100, or for debit card purchases, as there's a 120 day time limit to do so. See our Chargeback guide for full details.

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