The biggest Atol refund programme ever covering 360,000 people is being launched by the Civil Aviation Authority in the wake of the Thomas Cook collapse.

The refund scheme is targeting people who booked Atol protected holidays with Thomas Cook that have been cancelled.

The first details emerged today, a week after the failure of the travel giant.


MoreThomas Cook chief Fankhauser defends actions and denies ‘fat cat’ claims

Ex-Thomas Cook sales manager joins Travelopia

Comment: Ten things we know about Thomas Cook’s collapse


A total of 106,000 Thomas Cook holidaymakers have been flown back to UK in the first seven days of an emergency repatriation operation.

The CAA’s Operation Matterhorn is using more than 100 aircraft to fly people home.

More than two-thirds of the 150,000 people abroad when Thomas Cook failed have now been returned to the UK in the £100 million exercise.

About 94% of people have flown back on the original days of their cancelled Thomas Cook flight, according to the aviation regulator.

A further 53 flights are due to operate today (Monday) to return another 8,000 people.

CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said: “We are now also turning our attention to the challenge of refunding 360,000 Atol protected future Thomas Cook holidays that have been cancelled.

“This will be three times larger than any refund programme we have managed before, and we are implementing new systems to enable us to process these refunds as quickly as possible.

“For around 100,000 bookings made by direct debit we hope to refund these within the next 14 days.

“Refunds of bookings made by other payment methods will take longer as we do not yet have all of the information we need from Thomas Cook.

“For these claims we will launch a new, simplified online system next Monday, 7 October, where consumers will be able to access an electronic refund form.

“We hope to pay refunds within 60 days of receiving a valid refund form. More information will be available on our website from 7 October.”

He added: “We are pleased with the first week of Operation Matterhorn, but as we start the second week of our flying programme we remain firmly focussed on the enormity of the challenge we still have to deliver.

“We have returned over one hundred thousand people to the UK, but there are still over 43,000 people on holiday abroad due to return on or before 6 October.

“The scale and complexity of this operation will inevitably cause some inconvenience and disruption and I would like to thank holidaymakers for bearing with us.”

Meanwhile, Spanish budget carrier Vueling is offering special rates to passengers affected by Thomas Cook cancellations.

The offer is valid for flights until October 30 with bookings required to be made by October 10 with proof of purchase of a Thomas Cook flight.

The rates cover Birmingham, Gatwick and Manchester flights to and from ten destinations including the Canary Islands and mainland Spain.

The fares start at €159 one-way from Palma in Majorca.

MoreThomas Cook chief Fankhauser defends actions and denies ‘fat cat’ claims

Ex-Thomas Cook sales manager joins Travelopia

Comment: Ten things we know about Thomas Cook’s collapse