How to find out if your holiday is Atol protected after Thomas Cook collapse

By law package holidays must be Atol protected and it applies to some flights.

Atol stands for the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence and has been around since 1973 following the collapse of a number of high-profile travel business failures.

If your holiday firm goes bust, as is the case today with the collapse of Thomas Cook, you will be supported while you are abroad and you will get financial reimbursement for future travel plans.

Thomas Cook customers will have received a certificate telling them that their holiday is Atol protected. You will have received this when you made payment towards the booking and it usually arrives by post or email.

The Civil Aviation Authority has issued advice on checking if your flight is Atol protected.

Their website says: ‘If the company stated on your Atol certificate is not part of the Thomas Cook Group you should contact that company directly to seek advice on your booking.’

What to do if you have a holiday or flight booked with Thomas Cook.

What happens next after Thomas Cook collapses?

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The numbers behind the collapse of Thomas Cook

  • All of the travel company’s flights have been cancelled – that means the 105 aircraft it operates, according to its website, have been grounded.
  • There are 600,000 Thomas Cook travellers who have been left stuck overseas.
  • More than 150,000 of those are Britons.
  • The airlift is almost twice the size of the repatriation effort required when Monarch went bust in October 2017.
  • In that instance, the CAA put on 567 flights which brought almost 84,000 passengers back to the UK.
  • The final cost of the Monarch operation to taxpayers was about £50 million. The Department for Transport would not put a firm figure on how much it would cost this time around but it is understood it could top £100 million.
  • Dozens of charter planes have been brought in from as far afield as Malaysia to assist with the mass airlift.
  • Only holidaymakers with return flights booked within the next two weeks, between Monday and Sunday October 6, will qualify for a free flight home, as close as possible to their original return date.
  • On Monday September 30, one week into the repatriation process, the CAA will launch a service which will seek to process all refunds within 60 days of full information being received. Further details will be given at

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