It’s been two-days since Thomas Cook collapsed and, despite the Civil Aviation Authority working tirelessly to arrange the repatriation of 150,000 people, some holidaymakers abroad are being hounded by hotels.
There have been reports that hotels in Tenerife, Tunisia and Cuba have been holding holidaymakers hostage and asking them to pay thousands of pounds in costs.
Those who are currently abroad will have already paid Thomas Cook the total cost of their holiday. So, why are hotels asking for additional payments from holidaymakers?
Travel companies have working relationships with hotels across the globe. Every year a certain number of rooms are booked by these travel companies and then sold by their travel agents. Holidaymakers pay the travel agent for their holiday and the hotel is then paid around 90-days after the holiday has ended.
Thomas Cook’s financial crisis only became public knowledge days before it’s collapse, and hotels are now understandably concerned that their outstanding invoices will not be paid. But this doesn’t mean they should be taking additional money from guests.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have written to hotels who formally worked with Thomas Cook and confirmed that, as Thomas Cook was ATOL protected, any outstanding bills will be paid by them. However, the priority at the moment is to bring holidaymakers who are abroad back to the UK.
Holidaymakers are being advised by the CAA to not pay any hotel invoices, unless they say otherwise. If holidaymakers do pay the hotel invoices, they may struggle to reclaim this money.
As well as holidaymakers, the CAA are also helping Thomas Cook’s cabin crew return home. Crew were flown on outbound flights, despite Thomas Cook knowing it was going to cease trading. Crew members are now struggling to find transport home, with British Airways quoting crew stuck in Las Vegas $10,000 for a one-way business class seat back to the UK. According to the Independent Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have come to their rescue.
It is understandable that holidaymakers abroad, who have been asked to pay outstanding invoices, will be anxious. They are advised to check the CAA website for any updates and to contact them directly if there are any issues.
More on Thomas Cook can be found here.