The aftermath of the Thomas Cook collapse is a disaster that has left thousands of customers still out of pocket.
Despite £160m already being refunded to customers, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that more than 50,000 customers are still waiting for their refund.
The CAA expected customers who registered by 7 October to have the money refunded within 60 days. However, just two-thirds were refunded within this deadline.
Apologies for the delays have been issued. However, this does not change the impact felt by customers who were relying on this refund.
Although this is the biggest refund CAA has had to do, more organization and management should have been done to make it go smoothly
Customers have stated they believe CAA has purposely delayed the refunds. When submitting claims customers were asked to fill out an ATOL form. However, later on the customers were then told they need to complete more forms, delaying the process further. This invites questions as to whether this was a delaying tactic.
The collapse of Thomas Cook was sudden but the CAA is there to handle situations like this. This clearly shows that better management should be in place so delays like this should not occur again.
Could CAA have done more?
Despite the failure of Thomas Cook, package holidays are in fact in demand due to the security in having them ATOL protected.
EasyJet has recognized the demand and announced that they will be relaunching package holidays and providing more budget holiday options.
The impact on the customers is significant
Normally customers prefer to book with a tour operator as there is reassurance with the holiday being ATOL protected. However, this time the process remains ongoing, undermining confidence in the system.
Thousands of customers were impacted by the sudden collapse of Thomas Cook. This included being stuck abroad and thousands with the disappointment they were no longer going on holiday.
Many customers were relying on this refund as it should have been returned in time for Christmas, leaving many at a loss at an expensive time of the year.
Not only is there huge disappointment because of delayed refunds, there is also outrage among customers due to poor communication from the CAA.