Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is Thomas Cook in good health?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Q. I am due to pay the balance of just over £3,000 for a holiday in Crete with Thomas Cook. It will be paid with a debit card. What you think of the security of this travel company?
A. There will not be a problem. Thomas Cook has been in the headlines for a couple of years, but I have continued to book through them. After some drastic cost-cutting, the firm is in better shape than it was 15 months ago, when its share price collapsed.
Even if the company were to fail - which I think is extremely unlikely - you have a couple of layers of protection, of which the most significant is ATOL coverage. You should also be protected by the “chargeback” protocol with your debit card. This says, basically, if you don’t get what you paid for, your bank will repay you. So your money is safe.
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