Belgian customers warned against paying money to Thomas Cook
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    Belgian customers warned against paying money to Thomas Cook

    Global travel company Thomas Cook Group plc declared bankruptcy on Monday 23 September. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

    The Belgian Travel Guarantee Fund advised customers of Thomas Cook Belgium on Tuesday not to pay any more money to the company as the fund cannot guarantee that customers who make payments from Tuesday onwards will receive a refund.

    Thomas Cook Group plc declared bankruptcy on Monday morning in a press release after negotiations on Sunday failed to resolve the company’s financial problems.

    Although the Belgian branch of Thomas Cook is not officially bankrupt, on Tuesday the Travel Guarantee Fund noted the “financial insolvency” of the group, meaning that the fund can begin to step in for clients of Thomas Cook Belgium.

    The fund gives priority to travellers abroad. Currently, the fund’s focus is on the 350 Thomas Cook Belgium customers in Tunisia whose return flights were cancelled by Brussels Airlines.

    Other cases will be processed chronologically, according to departure dates. The fund invites anybody who is concerned to consult its website which currently explains that although it will take care of all the files, “processing them will take time”.

    People who have booked a future trip with Thomas Cook can now apply to the fund for assistance.

    Customers currently abroad are advised not to organise their own return flights separate from the fund. In such cases, the fund cannot reimburse customers for new tickets. The fund reminds passengers that under no circumstances should customers have to pay again for their travel.

    In case of any problems with “your hotel or other travel service provider”, the Foreign Affairs Crisis Centre can be contacted at 0032/2.501.40.00.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times