Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is Thomas Cook in good health?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
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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