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Thomas Cook refund delay "ruined my dream vacation"



  Lucy Aydinalp Copyright copyright
Lucy Aydinalp

Caption

Lucy Aydinalp was going to the Dominican Republic with her family in November

Thomas Cook customers may have to wait as long as two months to get a refund for the holidays they have booked with the collapsed travel company.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said direct debit customers would be repaid within 1

4 days but others had to wait for up to 60 days.

Lucy Aydinalp said the delay meant that her "dream vacation" to the Dominican Republic in November was now ruined.

"I have three children who are not on vacation; it is such a sad time."

Aydinalp from Manchester was a Thomas Cook employee for six years until the holiday breakdown.

She is currently on maternity leave, but previously worked in a Thomas Cook High Street store.

The two-week holiday for herself, her partner and three children cost £ 3500, including staff discount.

"Not only have I lost my job with Thomas Cook, I have lost my vacation too. I am currently on maternity leave and will not receive any money soon, which is a major concern for my family. Just living in the moment is not easy. "

Ms. Aydinalp said even when she received a refund, she was likely to have to pay" a significant amount "more for a similar holiday, because prices had now risen.

She said the reimbursement process should be faster.

"I don't think people will be able to rebook the holiday on time (if they have to wait for two months)."

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The Civil Aviation Authority said it had to repay 360,000 customers, three times larger than any previous reimbursement program.

A new online reimbursement system will be launched from October 7.

The new system will provide "an electronic reimbursement form," the aviation regulator said.

"We hope to pay a refund within 60 days of receiving a valid refund form. More information will be available on our website from October 7."

The majority of Thomas Cook vacations are packages. Anyone who has purchased a package holiday with Thomas Cook will be covered by the Air Travel Organizer & # 39; s License Scheme (Atol). Customers who are entitled to a refund would have received an Atol certificate when they booked.

A total of 100,000 Thomas Cook customers paid for future direct debit holidays, with the remaining 265,000 using other payment methods.

In previous cases, where a holiday company has collapsed, the reimbursement process has typically taken 20-30 days, but the huge number of customers affected by Thomas Cook's collapse and the potential risk of fraud have been understood to have made the process much more time-consuming.

Meanwhile, the CAA said it had now brought home over two-thirds of the people on holiday when the tour operator collapsed back to the UK.

It said there were still more than 43,000 people vacationing abroad due to return on or before October 6.

"The scale and complexity of this operation will inevitably lead to some inconvenience and disruption, and I would like to thank the vacationers for carrying us," said Richard Moriarty, CAA Executive Director.


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