Today, Thomas Cook announced that it had ceased trading with immediate effect. With around 150,000 customers abroad right now, here’s how it might affect your ski holiday.
Currently on holiday?
Customers with ATOL protection will still be able to finish their holiday and fly home, although this may not be on a Thomas Cook plane.
What is ATOL protection?
Run by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, protection under the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) scheme means UK travellers who have booked an air package trip won’t be out of pocket or become stranded in the event their travel agent collapses.
Many charter flights are also covered, meaning if an operator collapses mid-trip, people can finish their holiday and still be flown home without incurring any additional cost.
If a company, such as Thomas Cook, collapses before a holiday, the ATOL scheme will make arrangements for a replacement holiday of equal value or offer a refund.
ATOL-protected holidays will have clear markings on documents.
Normally, any passengers who are not ATOL-protected would be required to find and pay for their own arrangements getting home. However, the Department for Transport has stated all Thomas Cook customers with a return flight to the UK within two weeks will be returned home free of charge as close as possible to their original return date, regardless of ATOL-protection or nationality.
It may be difficult but still try to enjoy your ski trip as there is no need to cut it short.
Booked a package holiday?
As above, any customers have paid for a package holiday will be ATOL-protected, meaning that your holiday will, unfortunately, be cancelled but you will be refunded.
All elements of the package, such as flights accommodation and excursions will be refunded. See here for how you can make a claim. If you have also paid for airport parking or airport transfers to and from your accommodation, you may need to make a claim with your travel insurer.
Unfortunately, flights are not offered the same level of protection as with a full package holiday and ATOL does not issue automatic refunds to flight-only deals.
However, you may still be able to make a claim through your travel insurance, usually under “Scheduled Airline Failure” coverage. Some policies exclude airline collapses so this may not be a given.
You may also be able to claim a refund from your credit card provider.
Booked a Ski-Lifts airport transfer?
If you have booked with Thomas Cook, it’s important that you contact our customer service team as soon as possible to see what we can do to help. All cancellations should be sent to by email or you can cancel your booking yourself by logging into your account. If you cancel more than 48 hours before your date of travel we should be able to issue a full refund at no additional charge, although we will have to look into each request on a case-by-case basis.