Lessons from the Thomas Cook affair

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

For some readers they will have already heard and read as much about the demise of Thomas Cook as they would want to know.

Are policies just a sham if they don’t cover us for the demise of a tour operator?

Those had better look away know then although I would prefer they remain because this story is not really about Thomas Cook but about what we should all be reminded about.

The first, surely, is the need to have travel insurance.

But, according to some, only about a quarter of travel insurance policies have clauses in them whereby you are paid out if a tour operator/travel company goes bust. It means that the vast majority don’t and wouldn’t have covered you in the event of a tour operator going bust. It is then necessary for us as individuals to check before buying a policy that it includes a cancellation clause and to walk away from that policy if there is no cancellation clause. It probably means paying a bit more but readers will be aware after the last forty-eight hours what it means not to have such a clause.

Shouldn’t such a clause be mandatory in all in travel insurance policies?

Secondly, only use a company that is bonded either with ATOL or the Travel Trust Association or which carries sufficient insurance to be able to pay out in the event of a collapse.

Thirdly, if you put together a holiday yourself by buying accommodation (be it a hotel, a campsite, Airbnb or something similar) and a flight be aware that you will probably not be covered by a collapse and that travel insurance is the only answer to peace of mind.

Fourthly when you pay, opt for paying by credit card because – if the cost is over £100 – there is every chance you will get your money back. Paying with cash, a bank transfer or a cheque should not be undertaken as you will have little chance of compensation. Paying by direct debit is probably not a good idea either.

Bringing people home will probably empty the coffers of the bonding scheme so it wouldn’t surprise me if there will be an increase in what you or I pay for our holidays in order to replenish the fund. And surely that is only right and proper.

The British and German governments have been involved in repatriating their own nationals but what is the EU doing? In this cross-border problem they have been singularly quiet in helping to repatriate nations back to their own countries yet at least eight EU countries are facing the problem in returning nations home and many others such as Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal will be facing an economic impact.

If ever there was justification for the EU then this is surely one of the reasons.

It was the EU that was responsible for the Package Travel Directive. To my mind, it is now out-of-date. With more people packaging their own holiday, is it not time for a new directive that offers rights for people who do put their own holiday together using different websites instead of followng a link from one to another even if that means each constituent part of a holiday has a small levy which goes into a compensation fund?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , ,