News story

Are you a customer or employee affected by Thomas Cook?

Advice and information if you are an employee or customer of Thomas Cook.

Thomas Cook plane

Credit: Thomas Cook

The Insolvency Service has confirmed that winding up orders were made against Thomas Cook Group plc and associated companies. All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled. All of Thomas Cook’s retail shops will close with immediate effect.

This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers. Government will do all it can to support them.

If you are an employee or customer of Thomas Cook, this page will provide you with the advice and information.

Customers

All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled. All of Thomas Cook’s retail shops will close with immediate effect.

We are working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to help passengers return to the UK. Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines. This will apply to both ATOL protected passengers and those who are not protected.

If you are already abroad you will find all the information you need about your arrangements to return to the UK on the CAA website.

If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Thomas Cook Airlines, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and you will not be able to travel.

Refunds

Passengers with ATOL protection who are yet to travel are entitled to a full refund on any future bookings. Customers without ATOL protection should speak to their credit card provider or the company they booked their holiday with. You can also speak to your travel insurance provider to see if you are able to claim back any of their costs.

The Post Office is offering a full refund on money spent purchasing currency from Post Office Travel Money for cancelled holidays. To qualify for a refund, you need to submit:

  • your currency purchase and receipts
  • evidence that your holiday was cancelled

Be alert to scams

You should be vigilant and on the lookout for scams, particularly if you receive unsolicited contact from companies suggesting you rebook a Thomas Cook holiday through them.

It might be a scam if:

  • it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s significantly cheaper than you’d expect it to be
  • someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly
  • you suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address
  • you’ve been asked to transfer money quickly
  • you’ve been directed away from trusted sites for payment
  • you’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union
  • you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs
  • you haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed

Further advice on what to do if you’ve been scammed and how to report it is available on the Citizens Advice website.

Employees

If you work for Thomas Cook and have been told that you are being made redundant, the Insolvency Service has advice about claiming money you’re owed and information about where you can seek support.

The government’s Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service stands ready to help people find a new job as soon as possible by offering tailored support.

The government also intends to convene a cross-government taskforce to support employees, alongside local stakeholders. The taskforce will consider existing support schemes and will also monitor the impact on local businesses.

Sale of Thomas Cook’s UK retail estate

An agreement has been reached with Hays Travel Limited to acquire Thomas Cook’s entire UK retail estate.

Hays Travel will acquire a total of 555 stores around the UK, providing re-employment opportunities for former employees of Thomas Cook’s retail operations who were made redundant following the appointment of the Official Receiver as liquidator on 23 September 2019.

Following the appointment of the Official Receiver, Hays Travel have recruited 421 former Thomas Cook personnel and there are further offers to former employees.

Former employees reemployed by Hays Travel will not have their eligibility for redundancy payments affected.

Former employees of Thomas Cook interested in job opportunities are invited to contact Hays Travel on 0800 215 5995 or visit Hays Travel website.

What BEIS is doing

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers. Government will do all it can to support them. I will be setting up a cross-government taskforce to monitor local impacts, will write to insurance companies to ask them to process claims quickly, and stand ready to provide assistance and advice.

I will also be writing to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation.

The Business Secretary has written to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation. The investigation will also consider the conduct of the directors.

She has also written to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI), UK Finance and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The National Taskforce for Thomas Cook has now met 3 times with the most recent meeting chaired by Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst on Wednesday 9 October 2019. The Taskforce continues to consider support available for employees looking for new opportunities, and for individuals and families needing access to benefits.

The Taskforce will also continue to review recovery for local communities including Peterborough, where the firm had its retail headquarters, and Greater Manchester, where many employees were based, exploring backing for local businesses and high streets through discussions with local growth hubs and authorities. It will continue to meet on a regular basis.

Published 23 September 2019