Thomas Cook refund website crashes on first day of claims

7 October 2019, 08:50 | Updated: 7 October 2019, 12:41

Customers outside a closed branch of Thomas Cook
Customers outside a closed branch of Thomas Cook. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The Civil Aviation Authority, which operates the website on behalf of Thomas Cook customers, said it had experienced "unprecedented demand".

People have received error messages and been told to "try back again later today" after the Thomas Cook website crashed shortly after opening.

Today is the first day customers can apply for refunds from the travel company.

Many people have taken to Twitter to ask the CAA why the website is down and express their frustrations.

It comes after some 800,000 people are set to apply for refunds after Thomas Cook collapsed earlier this month.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today launches its biggest ever programme of refunds for holiday bookings.

360,000 holiday bookings are due to be refunded under Thomas Cook’s ATOL’s programme.

Customers who had bookings can apply for a refund on a special dedicated website that was launched today.

ATOL protected customers can also claim for the cost of replacing the ATOL protected parts of their trip and out of pocket expenses as a result of delayed flights, the CAA said.

The CAA said it aims to pay refunds within 60 days of receiving a claim.

Operation Matterhorn, the biggest ever peacetime repatriation of British holidaymakers, is due to end today as a final Thomas Cook plane returns to Manchester Airport with 392 passengers on board.

More than 140,000 people were brought back to the UK.

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Operation Matterhorn will shortly be complete. The largest peacetime repatriation ever required an extraordinary effort from all involved. I want to thank everyone who has played their part in delivering this enormous undertaking, including the passengers we flew home for bearing with us as we undertook this complex operation.

“I also want to pay tribute to the many amazing former Thomas Cook employees who worked with us to make this operation a success."

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