The British holiday tour operator Thomas Cook Group plc declared bankruptcy on 23 September 2019. As a result, most of its German subsidiaries also filed for insolvency: Thomas Cook GmbH, Thomas Cook Touristik GmbH, Bucher Reisen & Öger Tours GmbH, Thomas Cook Airport Service GmbH, Thomas Cook Vertriebs GmbH and NeckermannUrlaubswelt GmbH. On 27 November, the insolvency proceedings began.
Your trip was cancelled, you had to pay additional fees to the hotel or had to take an earlier flight back from your vacation with Thomas Cook? Here is a short list how to proceed in order to get your financial damages back:
1. Make sure your tour operator has really declared bankruptcy: You can find this information in the terms & conditions of your package travel. The following companies have gone into bankruptcy so far:
- Thomas Cook Group plc
- Thomas Cook GmbH
- Thomas Cook Touristik GmbH
- Bucher Reisen & Öger Tours GmbH
- Thomas Cook Airport Service GmbH
- Thomas Cook Vertriebs GmbH
- NeckermannUrlaubswelt GmbH
- Thomas Cook Austria AG
- Thomas Cook Nederland B.V.
- Thomas Cook France
- Tour Vital Touristik GmbH
- Thomas Cook International AG (TCI)
- Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics
2. Contact your tour operator and request a refund in writing (e-mail is enough) of the cancelled trip or the reimbursement for the additional costs you incurred because of the bankruptcy.
3. Contact the insolvency administrator of your tour operator with the same request. For most German Thomas Cook tour operators, the insolvency administrator can be found here.
4. If you paid for your trip via credit card, contact your bank for a chargeback procedure. However: Banks are not generally obligated to comply with your request. Ask your bank for more information.
5. Contact the insurer of your package travel. You can find the contact information of the insurer in your travel documents („Sicherungsschein“). For most German Thomas Cook companies, the insurer handles the cases via the service provider www.kaera-ag.de. The insurer is only obligated to refund damages that occurred up to a total of 110 million €.
6. On 11 December, the German government declared that it would reimburse all tourists that were affected by the Thomas Cook insolvency and who were not able to get a full refund from the insolvency administrator or the insurer. The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection provides information on how consumer can benefit from this offer. It is necessary to file a complaint with both the insolvency administrator and the insurer (KAERA AG), only one of those is not enough.
If you are not sure how to proceed in your specific case, contact us via our form. We advise in cross-border cases, when the consumer and the trader are located in different countries of the EU, Iceland and Norway!