Collapse of Thomas Cook – Protection For Consumers

As of 23 September 2019, Thomas Cook ceased trading with immediate effect. This means that all holidays and flights provided by this company are now cancelled. For everyone who is currently travelling or due to travel with Thomas Cook, the most important question is; what happens next?

If you are currently abroad and due to return before 6 October 2019, the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority (the CAA) are working together to provide return flights as close as possible to original travel dates. A website has been set up to provide more information for travelling customers at

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018

If you are due to travel with Thomas Cook, you may be able to apply for a refund under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (PTR).

The PTR protects consumers’ rights by requiring package holiday operators to provide insolvency protection for their customers. In the case of package holidays including flights, this insolvency protection comes through ATOL.

ATOL is a UK financial protection scheme and it protects most package holidays sold by travel businesses that are based in the United Kingdom, which means that any customer who has ATOL protection is entitled to a full refund on their holiday arrangements.

Travel Insurance

If your travel arrangements are not ATOL protected, you may still be able to make a claim via your travel insurance or alternatively, your credit card issuer. If your travel insurance policy includes cover for “scheduled airline failure insurance” or “supplier failure”, you will likely be able to make a claim.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1975

Alternatively, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1975, if you purchased flights that cost more than £100 from a company that has gone into liquidation, you will be entitled to claim compensation from your credit card issuer. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1975 is essentially there to create a layer of protection for consumers when they are unable to pursue the first defendant, as is the case here with Thomas Cook.

How to make a claim for compensation

To make a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 you will need to contact your credit card company. If your credit provider proves to be difficult or evasive, contact the Financial Ombudsman and make a complaint.

Bartons’ dispute resolution department is experienced in dealing with a wide range of consumer contract disputes including claims against package travel providers arising from misleading brochures and claims against credit card providers for faulty goods and services purchased using credit cards.

About the Author

Emma Sheridan is a solicitor in Bartons’ Dispute Resolution department. She has worked in law for 6 years, qualifying as a solicitor in 2019. She specialises in contract and property disputes.




Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash