23rd September 2019
The failure of Thomas Cook Group (TCG) is very sad news and especially worrying for their employees and for their customers, ether waiting to travel or who are currently on holiday with the group or booking to fly with TCG.
Travel insurance is designed to protect travellers against a variety of different risks including cancellation, medical emergency or illness and sometimes airline failure. However, consumers need to check the cover they buy carefully because not all polices, include cover against airline failure and most will not cover tour operator failure.
Following TCG’s failure, people affected should check the Civil Aviation Authority’s website as they may be able to offer help about what to do next. The UK Government and the CAA have confirmed that they will be bringing everyone back even if not ATOL protected and have provided a dedicated webpage for Thomas Cook customers: https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/
For customers with future bookings, the CAA refund line will not open till 30th September as they are focusing on getting people back from their holiday. Their advice is to have all the paperwork ready to make a claim for a full refund and they will endeavour to refund within 60 days of having all the correct paperwork.
For people who are still in the UK, booked but not yet departed, you should try to get a full refund from your tour operator or travel agent. Your travel insurance may pay for the cost of your flight ticket if you can’t get a refund elsewhere (for example, from your credit card provider, PayPal, ABTA or ATOL).
For people currently abroad you should ask your airline or tour operator to rebook your flight. However, your travel insurance may pay you the cost of a one-way ticket to get you home as long as the return journey is for the same class as the original ticket. The Civil Aviation Authority has said it will repatriate people and you can find out more here.
BIBA member brokers have access to cover for their customers from our accredited travel scheme through DTW and Medical Travel from All Clear which provides comprehensive cover including medical expenses cover, cancellation, curtailment and some cover for irrecoverable costs following airline failure. To access this cover find a BIBA broker at www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance
BIBA members can read about the position of our member Holiday travel scheme from DTW here
and about our medical travel scheme from All Clear here