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Published on Thursday, December 5, 2019

CAA fails to meet deadline for Thomas Cook refunds

The Civil Aviation Authority has admitted it has not been able to process all of the claims from Thomas Cook customers by the deadline it originally set.

It says despite 'working tirelessly' to process payments, only two thirds of claims it received on the first day will be paid by this weekend, within the target 60-day deadline.

The rest of the Thomas Cook customers have been contacted to obtain additional information ahead of payment.

"This has been a challenging operation, due to the potential threat of fraudulent claims and the poor quality and complexity of the data we received from multiple booking systems used across the Thomas Cook Group," it said in an update on Thursday.

"While we would like to process refunds as soon as possible, we are unable to make some payments without verifying all aspects of a submitted claim, and therefore the 60-day claims period is paused while we await the required information.

"This process is in place to make sure the right payments are being made to the right people. We do not expect the requests for further details to cause significant delays to payment once we have received the requested data.

"We also encourage consumers that applied for refunds on 7 October 2019 to check their junk and spam email folders if they have not received contact from us by this weekend."

After reviewing Thomas Cook booking data, the CAA expects the refunds programme will cover around 300,000 cancelled holiday bookings in total.

It has already received around 215,000 valid claims, with the remaining 85,000 rejected as either duplicate claims or invalid claims.

In addition it has already fully refunded 45,000 customers who paid for Thomas Cook holidays solely by direct debit in October.

This means around 40,000 bookings have not yet been claimed for.

Although the claims system will be open until September 2020, the CAA urged these customers to put in a claim as soon as possible.

CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty thanked consumers for their ongoing patience.

"I appreciate that this is a concerning time for Thomas Cook customers who are waiting for their refunds, particularly at this time of the year," he said.

"Where we have had to request further information, we encourage those consumers to respond at the earliest opportunity so that we can finalise these payments. I would like to reassure consumers that all valid ATOL protected payments will be refunded."

But some of those affected have taken to social media to complain of problems getting through to the CAA by telephone and not getting replies to emails.



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