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-   -   Thomas Cook Enters Compulsory Liquidation (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-european-airlines/1988392-thomas-cook-enters-compulsory-liquidation.html)

MSPeconomist Sep 23, 19 2:58 pm

One wonders how many Thomas Cook customers paid with debit cards (or other means of payment) because they were unable to qualify for a credit card......or perhaps they had secured credit cards that don't carry any insurance benefit.

I would think that anyone with good travel insurance is trying to book a flight home on a regular airline flight of their choice rather than taking the repatriation flight to which they're assigned.

BTW, what happens if someone misses their repatriation flight? Would they be rebooked onto the next one or forced to make their own way home, at their own expense?

dhuey Sep 23, 19 3:13 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31555303)
One wonders how many Thomas Cook customers paid with debit cards (or other means of payment) because they were unable to qualify for a credit card......or perhaps they had secured credit cards that don't carry any insurance benefit.

Ouch. Yeah, I'm guessing that with a debit card you have only an unpromising claim in bankruptcy court.

BTW, I just made the chargeback request from Amex using the chat window. Easy peasy.

MSPeconomist Sep 23, 19 3:17 pm


Originally Posted by dhuey (Post 31555372)
Ouch. Yeah, I'm guessing that with a debit card you have only an unpromising claim in bankruptcy court.

BTW, I just made the chargeback request from Amex using the chat window. Easy peasy.

It could be even worse if someone had paid with WesternUnion, PayPal, etc. or even had gone to a Thomas Cook brick and mortar office to pay cash.

Always use a genuine credit card for anything that's travel related if at all possible. Otherwise if there's a problem like this, you'll be with a group of tertiary claimants who might be lucky to get a couple cents on the dollar after a very long process.

Sharice SB Sep 23, 19 3:28 pm


Originally Posted by Boraxo (Post 31555283)

(2) Of course consumers can do chargebacks on their tickets. BUT THAT WON:T GET YOU HOME. That is why you need good travel insurance - so you can call someone and get their assist in paying for an overpriced flight to get home. Assuming airline/travel company insolvency is covered by the policy. Both Amex and Chase provide automatic coverage for airlines booked on their cards - and one of the reasons I book all flights on these cards despite other cards offering higher bonus for airline spend, etc.

Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX *will not* cover you in case of financial insolvency of an airline.

First off- AMEX doesn't offer cancellation insurance, so that's a full stop there.
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/when-to-buy-travel-insurance-versus-when-to-rely-on-credit-card-protections/

Chase Sapphire Reserve DOES NOT cover your airline ticket in case of Financial Insolvency by the Common Carrier. I just called Chase to confirm this fact and they confirmed it. The only way to get a claim is via chargeback not through CSR's insurance.

From CSR benefit page:
What is not covered by Trip Cancellation insurance?

It does not apply to a Covered Loss caused directly or indirectly from: travel arrangements canceled or changed by a Common Carrier, Tour Operator, or any Travel Agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation.

See the comments section here of people who were denied with CSR:
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...ne-bankruptcy/
https://thepointsguy.com/news/credit...ne-bankruptcy/

Other than chargebacks in combination with using the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which offers 45-120 day protection, you really aren't protected by the trip insurance (if they offer it) from any of premium the credit cards like AMEX Platinum and CSR.

salut0 Sep 23, 19 4:09 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31555303)
BTW, what happens if someone misses their repatriation flight? Would they be rebooked onto the next one or forced to make their own way home, at their own expense?

Interesting question.

I also wonder: if the repatriation flight provided is a seat (paid by the CAA, or self-paid if not covered under ATOL) on an ordinary scheduled service operated by a scheduled airline like VS or BA, could the passenger collect miles? Or would they not be able to since it wouldn’t be a “published fare”?

MSPeconomist Sep 23, 19 4:14 pm


Originally Posted by salut0 (Post 31555562)
Interesting question.

I also wonder: if the repatriation flight provided is a seat (paid by the CAA, or self-paid if not covered under ATOL) on an ordinary scheduled service operated by a scheduled airline like VS or BA, could the passenger collect miles? Or would they not be able to since it wouldn’t be a “published fare”?

I would assume no miles and no elite benefits because, as you day, it wouldn't be a published fare but YMMV. Of course the person could just purchase a ticket on the scheduled flight to obtain FF benefits and credit. Sometimes legacy carriers offer special distressed rates after various major disruptions (or are willing to accept competitiors' tickets at least on a standby basis) and again, these wouldn't necessarily be considered to be published fares.

Often1 Sep 23, 19 4:57 pm


Originally Posted by Sharice SB (Post 31555438)
Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX *will not* cover you in case of financial insolvency of an airline.

First off- AMEX doesn't offer cancellation insurance, so that's a full stop there.
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/when-to-buy-travel-insurance-versus-when-to-rely-on-credit-card-protections/

Chase Sapphire Reserve DOES NOT cover your airline ticket in case of Financial Insolvency by the Common Carrier. I just called Chase to confirm this fact and they confirmed it. The only way to get a claim is via chargeback not through CSR's insurance.

From CSR benefit page:
What is not covered by Trip Cancellation insurance?

It does not apply to a Covered Loss caused directly or indirectly from: travel arrangements canceled or changed by a Common Carrier, Tour Operator, or any Travel Agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation.

See the comments section here of people who were denied with CSR:
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...ne-bankruptcy/
https://thepointsguy.com/news/credit...ne-bankruptcy/

Other than chargebacks in combination with using the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which offers 45-120 day protection, you really aren't protected by the trip insurance (if they offer it) from any of premium the credit cards like AMEX Platinum and CSR.

This is 100% incorrect.

You are looking at insurance, not chargeback provisions.

Even better, all of the major issuers, including both Amex and Chase, track major insolvencies very carefully. In the case of a charge from Thomas Cook, all that will need to be verified is that you did not receive the service, e.g., it is for a date in the future. You should receive a temporary credit no later than the next business day and notification that the temporary credit is permanent within another 2-3 business days after that.

Ldnn1 Sep 23, 19 4:57 pm


Originally Posted by dhuey (Post 31555372)
Ouch. Yeah, I'm guessing that with a debit card you have only an unpromising claim in bankruptcy court.

UK consumers who paid for flights with a debit card will get their money back from the bank through the chargeback scheme.

Often1 Sep 23, 19 5:00 pm

Those who used a debit card linked to a UK bank account are likely in luck as an entirely separate set of rules will protect them. But, it will not be as quick or as clearcut.

Your advice is nonetheless well-taken. Never, ever, never use a debit card to pay for goods or services to be provided in the future. In fact, never use a debit card at all.

iflyjetz Sep 23, 19 5:26 pm


Originally Posted by irishguy28 (Post 31553802)
Here's just a sample of the numerous articles chronicling Thomas Cook's perilous position in the past few months

April 2019: The Economist Travel companies Thomas Cook and TUI are under serious stress
May 2019: Bloomberg Thomas Cook shares slump as losses mount
May 2019: The Guardian Brexit chaos hits Thomas Cook as losses mount to £1.5bn
May 2019: Deutsche Welle Lufthansa looks to snap up Thomas Cook's Condor airline
May 2019: The Sun FIGHT OR FLIGHT Can I still book a package holiday with Thomas Cook and can I get my money back if it goes bust?
May 2019: Financial Times Thomas Cook faces tough task to fly itself out of trouble
June 2019: The Express Thomas Cook: 21,000 jobs at risk in travel break-up
July 2019: The Guardian Can Thomas Cook find a path through its perfect storm of woes?
August 2019: Sky Thomas Cook in rescue talks to secure extra £150m
August 2019: BBC Thomas Cook to sell majority stake to China's Fosun
August 2019: The Mirror Thomas Cook saved after £450million deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers' owner
3 September 2019: Yahoo Could Thomas Cook go bust?
7 September 2019: The Telegraph Thomas Cook rescue deal under threat from pension trustees
13 September 2019: Herald Scotland Thomas Cook warns it could 'run out of money' and go bust
15 September 2019: BBC Thomas Cook 'racing to finalise rescue deal'
15 September 2019: Thisismoney.co.uk CAA braced to rescue Thomas Cook customers if £900m rescue deal collapses

Thanks; almost all UK-specific sources. I'm surprised none of that was posted here … it would have provided a good warning of the risks of booking TC.
I have a feeling that Condor won't be operating much longer now that the parent went insolvent.

iflyjetz Sep 23, 19 5:35 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31554234)
Who is Frances Coppola and why should we believe her opinion?

A finance and economics writer. You don't have to; just look at TC's filings. I haven't looked at TC's books, but looks like she was spot on.

Boraxo Sep 23, 19 5:46 pm


Originally Posted by Sharice SB (Post 31555438)
Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX *will not* cover you in case of financial insolvency of an airline.

First off- AMEX doesn't offer cancellation insurance, so that's a full stop there.
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/when-to-buy-travel-insurance-versus-when-to-rely-on-credit-card-protections/

Chase Sapphire Reserve DOES NOT cover your airline ticket in case of Financial Insolvency by the Common Carrier. I just called Chase to confirm this fact and they confirmed it. The only way to get a claim is via chargeback not through CSR's insurance.

From CSR benefit page:
What is not covered by Trip Cancellation insurance?

It does not apply to a Covered Loss caused directly or indirectly from: travel arrangements canceled or changed by a Common Carrier, Tour Operator, or any Travel Agency unless the cancellation is the result of severe weather or an organized strike affecting public transportation.

See the comments section here of people who were denied with CSR:
https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...ne-bankruptcy/
https://thepointsguy.com/news/credit...ne-bankruptcy/

Other than chargebacks in combination with using the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which offers 45-120 day protection, you really aren't protected by the trip insurance (if they offer it) from any of premium the credit cards like AMEX Platinum and CSR.

Mea culpa - I stand corrected.

OF course, this is all the more reason to follow my first point, which is to avoid bookings on carriers that are in perilous financial condition. The savings is not worth a roll of the dice...unless you have a viable plan B to get home.

iflyjetz Sep 23, 19 5:47 pm


Originally Posted by Ldnn1 (Post 31555125)
Wow. Given you are someone who has relentlessly professed your own expertise on such matters in the Norwegian thread, you have completely discredited yourself with this comment.

Thomas Cook's woes have been known for years - it has been on the brink several times - and its increasingly urgent situation has been repeatedly in the press these past few months. This has certainly not come as a major surprise to those with proper knowledge of the industry.

No one in the US has been covering TC. I'll freely admit I missed it. If I had heard of the problems, I would have looked at their financial filings. Of course it looks like every European airline is having financial difficulties (which I blame on EU261 and overcapacity) so in the future I will not be surprised if every single European airline goes under.

Now, look for any threads here on Flyertalk that mentioned TC's financial problems prior to them closing their doors. Those Flyertalkers who were well aware of TC's problems certainly didn't post that information here.

iflyjetz Sep 23, 19 5:52 pm


Originally Posted by dhuey (Post 31555135)
(1) Maybe, how much more? With a big enough gap, it makes sense to go with the cheaper option.
(2) That can be useful, but just about any credit card company will be willing to reverse the charge if the travel organization goes belly-up and doesn't deliver the flights, hotels, etc.
(3) Good advice.

For item 1, the problem lies in the dynamic pricing system that airlines use. Once one airline goes bankrupt, other carriers flying that route see sudden increase in demand. That increased demand causes ticket prices to rise significantly on those routes. All driven by computer software.

iflyjetz Sep 23, 19 5:55 pm


Originally Posted by Ldnn1 (Post 31555711)
UK consumers who paid for flights with a debit card will get their money back from the bank through the chargeback scheme.

US consumers do not have that debit card protection, which is why I've used credit cards to purchase airline tickets in Europe in spite of higher fees for using a credit card.


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 31555726)
Those who used a debit card linked to a UK bank account are likely in luck as an entirely separate set of rules will protect them. But, it will not be as quick or as clearcut.

Your advice is nonetheless well-taken. Never, ever, never use a debit card to pay for goods or services to be provided in the future. In fact, never use a debit card at all.

That's true for US issued debit cards. I'm not sure that can be used as a blanket statement for the rest of the world; I wouldn't be surprised if all of Europe has better debit card protections than the US.


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