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After 178 years of trading, the travel giant Thomas Cook has collapsed. Last-minute investment meetings intended to save the company drew to a close late last night following a recent demand from its banks to raise a further £200m in contingency funding.
This sudden news has led to the government initiating its biggest repatriation effort since the Second World War. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers will be brought home on 45 jets that have been set aside by the government to service 64 routes due to run today, Monday 23rd September.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has urged customers not to panic or cut their holidays short as alternate routes will be organised ‘’as close as possible’’ to their original return dates (These details will be posted to a dedicated website as soon as they are available). They have, however, also admitted that a ‘’small number’’ of passengers may have to arrange their own return journeys and then reclaim the costs.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is offering guidance to customers via phone lines and ask that those scheduled to return to the UK within the next 48 hours or who are having problems with their accommodation or need special assistance contact 0300 303 2800 in the UK or +44 1753 330 330 from abroad. The CAA has also stated that they will be contacting hotels accommodating Thomas Cook customers to reveal that they will be covering any extended stays at accommodations due to lack of return flights. They are covering these costs through the Air Travel Trust Fund and Air Travel Organiser's Licence scheme (ATOL).
Those on package holidays are completely covered by the ATOL, anyone with flight-only deals will need to apply to your travel insurance company or credit card and debit card provider to seek a refund. However, in 2017 the collapse of airline Monarch saw the organisation of flights home for all passengers, whether they were covered by ATOL or not.
Thomas Cook has officially closed their social media channels and has asked all customers to contact their insurance providers or visit thomascook.caa.co.uk or call (Overseas) +441753330330 (UK) 03003032800
Any Thomas Cook customers who have booked a Green Motion rental vehicle part of their holidays, whether the hire is ongoing or in the future, please contact [email protected] or call (From the UK) 03338884000 (From overseas) +44 (0) 2071864000 to discuss your options.