Published on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Agents given January 2020 deadline to return Thomas Cook payments

Travel agents have been given until the end of January 2020 to return all pipeline monies for Thomas Cook bookings to the Air Travel Trust (ATT).

In order to avoid delays processing customer claims for refunds following Thomas Cook's collapse on September 23, the Civil Aviation Authority advised agents to hold on to any pipeline monies - payments made by consumers that had not yet been passed to Thomas Cook.

Today, ATOL has sent further instructions to travel agents that sold Thomas Cook packages, advising them to return all pipeline monies to the ATT.

Providing pipeline monies have been returned to the ATT by January 31, agents will be able to invoice the ATT a handling fee of £50 (+ VAT) for each booking to help cover the associated administrative costs.

Travel agents that were awaiting receipt of their commission from Thomas Cook will not be able to deduct this from the pipeline monies owed to the ATT.

Any claim for commission must be submitted to the Official Receiver as a claim in liquidation.

Head of ATOL Licensing Michael Budge said: "We are grateful for the cooperation from travel agents over the past weeks. The impact of Thomas Cook's liquidation is far reaching and we want to ensure that consumers' refunds are processed efficiently.

"We will now recover pipeline monies from travel agents and, while we are not able to honour commissions agreed with Thomas Cook, we will be able to pay a handling fee for the return of pipeline monies to the Air Travel Trust.

"The Civil Aviation Authority recognises the scale of this situation and in these exceptional circumstances, to minimise disruption to the industry while agents continue to support their customers, we have extended the period in which agents should return pipeline monies to 31 January 2020."

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