Thomas Cook Goes Bust

By Hayley Vesh

British tourists have been left in limbo after the world’s oldest travel company, Thomas Cook, goes out of business. Travellers are desperately scrambling for information on how to get home or recoup the costs of their upcoming trips.

The British Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are working together to support passengers of the now defunct airline and travel company. The companies will only be providing repatriation flights over the next two weeks, cutting some vacations short, or leaving travellers to make their own arrangements.

According to Global News, “The British government has pledged to get an estimated 150,000 stranded British holiday makers home in the biggest such repatriation operation since World War Two.”

For travellers who have yet to embark on their adventures, Thomas Cook has cancelled all future holidays and flights as of today.

For British travellers who are ATOL-protected, this event may be easier to deal with. The Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing scheme (ATOL) was introduced in 1973 to prevent travellers from being left without support or financial loss, in case an event such as this were to occur.

Travellers who opted to pay for ATOL, may be reimbursed for the costs of the affected parts of their trip or repatriation.

What to do if Your Travel Agency Goes Out of Business

Although ATOL isn’t available in Canada, you may have more options than you think if your travel agency, hotel, or tour company goes out of business. Travel insurance may not offer coverage if a travel agency shuts down, but they may cover fees for rebooked flights or accommodations. If you booked your trip through a credit card, your provider may also be able to assist you in recuperating your money through insurance or chargebacks. Finally, you may be able to reach out to the consumer protection agency in your province or territory. Government compensation funds are typically capped, so you may not receive the full value of your trip.

To make ensure you are protected abroad purchase travel insurance. Compare rates from Canada’s leading travel providers at

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