The Travel Guarantee Fund is expecting Thomas Cook’s collapse to cost over €30 million in total, its director Mark De Vriendt revealed on Friday.
This sum includes the compensation paid to the customers affected and the costs for their temporary hotels and repatriation. The first trips should be refunded by the end of November.
This is still only an estimation of the total cost.
Around 82,000 Belgian customers were affected when British travel agent Thomas Cook went into liquidation, according to the Travel Guarantee Fund. Around 13,000 of them were actually on holiday at the time and had to be repatriated. Others saw their holiday plans fall through completely.
They will all be able to submit a claim on the Fund’s internet site. Just over 24,000 have already done so and another 2,000 are expected to do so soon.
The claims are being handled at a new reclamation centre. 16 former Thomas Cook/Neckermann employees are currently working there. De Vriendt hopes that the first refunds will be issued by the end of November. The claims will be dealt with in chronological order, according to the departure date.
The Travel Guarantee Fund says many of the claims are incomplete: the attached purchase orders are occasionally incomplete, the reservation number is incorrect or the receipt is not legally valid. He also said only the cost of the trip itself (so not visas, separate travel insurance etc) would be refunded.
The Travel Guarantee Fund was put in place by the travel sector. It is funded by tour operators and travel agencies.
The Brussels Times