The collapse of Thomas Cook has left an estimated 150,000 tourists stranded abroad.
Negotiations to save the firm failed last night after the government refused to step in with a £250million pay-out.
As a result, all holidays and flights provided by the company have been cancelled and are no longer operating, leaving thousands of holidaymakers awaiting rescue in the UK’s biggest peacetime repatriation.
If you’ve booked with Thomas Cook or are currently abroad, here’s what you should do.
Abroad and returning home?
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stepped in and are arranging flights for customers until Sunday October 6.
CAA agents will try and ensure this is as close to original booking dates as possible, however this can be up to 72 hours in advance. They have recommended that travellers avoid airports until flights home have been confirmed.
For some package holiday customers, return flights may not be affected if the flights included are operated by other airlines. There shouldn’t be any disruption to third-party flights but accommodation and transfers will remain at risk.
Booked away longer than the two week reparation period?
Those abroad and due back later than October 6 will have to make their own travel arrangements.
This could mean paying for new flights or arranging a different method of transport.
Package holiday customers will be Atol protected, the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence. Any protected customers who pay for their own return will be reimbursed the costs.
What if accommodation is affected?
Hotels may try and ask for money from customers at this point, however the CAA advise not to pay. They will arrange accommodation and transfers, and where possible ensure that the accommodation remains the same, so that the holiday can continue as normal.
Thomas Cook operates nine hotels, that are each affected. Guests of these hotels may need to be relocated to alternative accommodation.
Will future holidays still go ahead?
No, all future Thomas Cook holidays and flights have been cancelled.
Travellers should not go to airports or attempt to fly, instead they should claim for a refund via the ATOL scheme.
If only flights have been booked and they are not Atol protected, but you still may be able to claim from your travel insurance provider, bank or credit card provider.
How to claim money back
All Atol protected customers are entitled to a full refund, and the CAA will launch a service to manage all refunds on Monday September 30.
This new service aims to process all refund requests within two months of a fully completed claims form.
More information on the service can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority website,here.