Thomas Cook Belgium: "Probable that no holiday-makers will be able to depart this week”

There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the fate of Thomas Cook Belgium’s customers. What is certain though is that none of those that were due to leave for holiday destination today will be able to do so. It is probable that this situation will persist for the rest of the week. This information comes from the Travel Guarentee Fund. Meanwhile, Club Med, Pegase and Expedia holidays that are offered by Neckermann (that is part of Thomas Cook) will go ahead as normal. At least 12 flights will take off today bring Belgian holiday-makers back home. As things stood earlier this morning 1,500 people had requested a refund from the Travel Guarantee Fund. 

Although nothing is certain as yet, it is possible that no Thomas Cook Belgium customers will be able to leave for their holiday destinations or the rest of the week. This will only become clear once an official receiver has been appointed.   Mark De Vriendt of the Travel Guarantee Fund told VRT News that it is the receiver that will be responsible for making these kinds of decisions.  

Today no customers will be able to leave regardless of whether they have booked package holidays including flight, a driving holiday or a hotel only holiday. However, those that have book holidays with other tour operators through Neckermann will be able to depart as planned. The advice is to check your order form and contact your travel agent. 

Mr De Vriendt added "There will be return flights. Those that planned to return today will be able to do so. The Travel Guarantee Fund has booked two extra flights with Brussels Airlines to bring back the Belgians that have been stuck in Tunisia since Saturday. “These passengers are now staying in a hotel at our expense”. In addition to Tunisia they are also return flights planned from Greece, the Canary Islands, Egypt, Spain and Montenegro”. 

 

Refund

In the meantime around 1,500 people have asked for a refund. “However, this isn’t something that needs to be done urgently. You have up to two years to put in a claim”, Mr De Vriendt said. The requests are normal dealt with chronologically according to departure date. “This currently isn’t really our priority. What is a priority are people that are on holiday abroad and whether planned trips will be able to continue beyond the weekend”.

Currently 12,000 Belgians are on Thomas Cook holidays abroad. A further 40,000 have booked holidays with the tour operator before the end of the year.