Thomas Cook passengers who faced cancelled holiday plans have been dealt a second blow one month after the firm’s crash. Around 800,000 customers still remain without the money owed to them after the firm went bust last month cancelling thousands of holidays and leaving 150,000 passengers stranded abroad. The Civil Aviation Authority stated it would be issuing refunds to affected customers under the Atol scheme with a predicted completion date of 14 October. While the majority of direct debit customers have received their repayment, there remains a number of customers still empty-handed.
The CAA issued a statement at the time saying: “We began the process to refund these payments on Monday 30 September and expect them to be received within 14 days of this date.”
A message on the CAA website continues to say that all refunds will be paid “within 60 days of receiving a valid completed claim form. All automatic direct debit refunds are on track to be returned to customers by Monday 14 October.”
Despite this, customers in their masses have taken to social media to inquire why they haven’t received their refund.
A Twitter user named mark asked: “@ABTAtravel I’ve now been waiting 4 weeks for refund from @TeletextHoliday for holiday cancelled after Thomas Cook collapse. What can you do to help hurry this up?”
A woman named Debbie explained how the delay in receiving her payment was causing issues for her next planned holiday. She messaged Barclays bank saying: “@Barclaycard Hi there, don’t want to nag but do you know how long Thomas Cook refunds will take? I used my spending money to buy replacement flights & without the refund I’ll have no money to go away on 5 Nov & will have to cancel holiday.”
According to The Independent holidaymakers who applied for a refund as early as possible could be waiting until early December for their money.
Meanwhile, customers who chose alternative payment methods could be waiting until 2020.
The CAA added: “For bookings made by payment methods other than direct debit, directly with travel agents or where flights are with another airline, the refund process will take longer owing to the numerous and complex data processing systems Thomas Cook employed across Europe.”
Express.co.uk has reached out to the CAA for further comment.
The total bill for refunds is expected to be £420m. The cost will be met by the Air Travel Trust fund, which is made up of Atol contributions, and the CAA’s insurers, though the CAA has not revealed how it will be split.
The CAA also worked with existing airlines and the government on a repatriation effort for holidaymakers who were stranded abroad following the collapse.
However, while customers were promised refunds and flights home, ex-workers of Thomas Cook felt the same courtesy was not extended to them.
An aircraft engineer who worked for the company for 11 years said he went unpaid by the firm and is owed “near enough double” of what he has actually received.
During his interview for Channel 4’s Thomas Cook: The Rise & Fall of Britain’s Oldest Travel Agent’, the father-of-two said: “I’m never going to see it because the company’s in insolvency.
“So we just have to suck it up and take it.”