Thomas Cook customers to wait two months for holiday refunds following travel company collapse

30 September 2019, 13:37

Thousands of unimpressed customers have been left stuck abroad
Thousands of unimpressed customers have been left stuck abroad. Picture: PA
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

The travel agent giant collapsed earlier this month an ruined thousands of people's holidays.

Thomas Cook's liquidation has left tens of thousands jobless and hundreds of thousands stranded abroad as a result of the airline and travel agent's collapse.

The terrible news has affected people far and wide and national frustration towards the company has been aired everywhere, with many out of pocked by thousands.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook employees are planning to strike outside 10 Downing Street

The company's closure has affected thousands' lives
The company's closure has affected thousands' lives. Picture: PA

And a week on, hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers have been hit with the information that they'll have to wait ANOTHER week before their refund process can even begin, with them unlikely to receive any money back until December.

On Monday 23rd of September the travel giant announced its closure after a bid for millions in funding didn't work.

Nine thousand UK staff lost their jobs with no warning and other travel companies have been helping with getting them re-employed.

It's estimated around 150,000 Thomas Cook customers were abroad when the company went under and have been getting flown back by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with costs of around £60 million in public money.

Around 60 per cent of those abroad have now been brought home with the remaining holidaymakers expected to be back in the country by October 6th.

As the main focus was getting those stranded abroad back home, the CAA had told passengers to wait until that was all sorted, then the refunds could begin.

They said: "The CAA will be launching a service to manage all refunds on Monday 30 September, once the flying operation has progressed."

Thousands of angry Brits have been left out of pocket
Thousands of angry Brits have been left out of pocket. Picture: PA

However, their website was updated this morning and states: “We are developing a simplified, online refunds form that will be available on 7 October.”

This means that more than half a million travellers who paid by other means have now been told they cannot start applying for a further week.

The CAA’s chief executive, Richard Moriarty, said that around 100,000 bookings made by direct debit should be refunded within two weeks and customers will have the money paid direct into their bank accounts.

The airline still has customers who are abroad and won't be back for another week
The airline still has customers who are abroad and won't be back for another week. Picture: PA

Mr Moriarty said: “Refunds of bookings made by other payment methods will take longer as we do not yet have all of the information we need from Thomas Cook."

They've criticised the travel company for poor quality of passenger data, saying it's a big part of the delay".

The CAA chief executive said: “This will be three times larger than any refund programme we have managed before, and we are implementing new systems to enable us to process these refunds as quickly as possible.

“We hope to pay refunds within 60 days of receiving a valid refund form.”