The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a website for customers who had booked a holiday with the now-defunct British travel firm Thomas Cook. The CAA is asking people who had booked a future holiday with the now-bankrupt travel agency to make a claim for reimbursement online.
The CAA announced their new website in a tweet which read:
“We have launched a new, simplified online process. This process will allow us to deal with the high number of #ThomasCook refunds in a timely and efficient manner.”
At the time of the collapse, it is estimated that around 800,000 people had future holidays booked with the former high-street travel agent.
This latest announcement comes as the remaining holidaymakers stranded after Thomas Cook failed are being repatriated back to the U.K. by the British government.
Any Thomas Cook customers who did not take advantage of the flights the Civil Aviation Authority laid on will need to make their own arrangements to get home.
If you were unable to take one of the CAA flights and are making your own way home, you may be covered by the Air Travel Organiser’s License (ATOL) scheme that will compensate you for your expenses.
Most Thomas Cook customers are covered by insurance
The vast majority of Thomas Cook’s holidays were covered under the Air Travel Organiser’s License scheme.
Head of the Civil Aviation Authority Dame Deirdre Hutton said when speaking to the BBC she was “deeply relieved” that “Operation Matterhorn”, a two-week operation to get 150,000 holidaymakers back to the U.K. was now over.
“Staff worked like Trojans, 24 hours a day to help everyone, but that was only task one, now it’s task two,” she said, referring to the refunds.
It could take as long as 60 days to receive a refund
The Civil Aviation Authority started its online refund application process after realizing how many people were affected by the travel agency’s collapse. The CAA said the online refund system had been developed due to the large numbers of people affected by the firm’s collapse.
The CAA now has to compensate 360,000 customers, which is a massive undertaking; far larger than anything they have had to deal with in the past. Thomas Cook customers will have to wait 60 days for their refund according to the CAA, but those that paid by direct debit will receive a refund by October 14th.
The CAA claims that out of the 360,000 Thomas Cook customers, as many as 100,000 paid for their holiday using a bank debit card.
Thomas Cook staff has not been paid
Employees of the collapsed travel firm have not been paid for September and will need to apply to the Civil Aviation Authority if they hope to recoup their salary.
After the now-bankrupt travel agency failed to borrow money to keep them in business, 9,000 UK workers have been left with no job.
An inquiry into why Thomas Cook failed has been launched by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee and has members of parliament looking into how the company was managed.