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Thomas Cook and what can you do if you are affected?
The collapse of Thomas Cook has attracted worldwide publicity over the last few days.
Here at Total Guide to…we don’t feel the need to comment on the sequence of events except to offer support to those in our own communities who find themselves suddenly without a job or without their holiday.
We’ve asked our clients and friends for their positive comments and advice around this major loss from the UK travel and holiday sector.
For those who have lost flights or holidays – it does seem that banks, credit card companies and others are rallying around to sort out refunds and alternatives as quickly as possible.
Hadi Brooks from Rays Ice Cream had booked flights for a short holiday. Her advice is to do all you can to get your money back and then wait for the ‘dust’ to settle.
“Our flights were booked with Thomas Cook airlines so were not ATOL protected, and were booked on a debit card. Our insurance policy excluded insolvency so we weren't covered on there. Our accommodation was booked via another provider.
“My advice is – don’t panic! I had a look when the news broke and could have bought replacement flights at a cost of £1700 to replace the flights that we had paid £750 for.
“I nearly did it, because I really want a holiday! However my husband pointed out that that would make our 'cheap getaway' expensive.
“So I've cancelled everything, fortunately at zero cost to us, and made a claim through the bank for the cost of the flights (we they say will be successful). I've got all the money back and am going to wait a few weeks for everything to die down and then book something else.
“It's a real shame, and I'm very disappointed, but there are people out there in far worse positions than us.”
Paul Holmes from PCH Business Support had also booked a break through an online provider with flights with Thomas Cook.
He said: “I’ve been impressed so far, I quickly had an from Expedia which said ‘we’ve been informed Thomas Cook airline has ceased trading with immediate effect. We notice you have booked a holiday package that includes flights from Thomas Cook, you have two options alternative flights at no additional cost or full refund of the whole holiday.”
Consumer organisation Which? and the CAA are offering extensive advice to anyone affected by this collapse.
For those who have lost their job:
Jamie Martin of Correct Careers Coaching, based in Swindon has some top tips for those who have suddenly found themselves out of a job this week:
1. Get on to other travel agents in your community straightaway to see if there are any vacancies as your skill set will be attractive.
2. Update your CV and get professional help if you find this difficult or it’s been many years since you have done so. Times have changed. Employers care more than ever now about mindset so make this a key feature. They want your achievements, your interests, your educational background, your passion.
3. Update your LinkedIn profile to match your CV – often this is even more important than a traditional CV as often recruiters and others will hunt for you on this platform.
4. Maximise your opportunities by registering on job sites (like Zoek or similar) and with recruitment agencies and sign up to their job alerts so opportunities drop into your inbox. Respond to those which are suitable in a timely manner.
5. Be proactive, ask around your circle of contacts to see where job opportunities are and think about all the skills that you have – don’t limit yourself.
Which? has information on what to do if you are a holiday maker with a holiday or event booked with Thomas Cook - https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/09/whathappens-if-thomas-cook-goes-bust/
There is also information here from the CAA - https://thomascook.caa.co.uk
Jamie Martin from Correct Careers Coaching has created a free guide to updating a CV and you can download that here (Jamie sending that over to me).