Co-op Credit Union helps members hit by Thomas Cook collapse

Even ABTA-protected trips can leave holidaymakers struggling to afford a replacement while they wait for a refund

The collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook has led to the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of holidays cancelled – with many customers trying to find the cash to pay for new bookings at short notice.

In response, Co-op Credit Union is talking to members who have been affected and is helping with affordable loans for alternative travel plans.

Co-op Credit Union member Mickala said: “I’ve spent 12 months saving up for our family holiday and we were scheduled to fly on Tuesday 1 October with Thomas Cook. Then, on Monday 23 September, the news hit that Thomas Cook had ceased to trade.

“Having spent the last two months listening to my two children getting increasingly more excited about their holiday, I found myself in the position where I may have to tell them we may no longer be going.

Related: Paul Gosling on the collapse of Thomas Cook

“My holiday is ABTA protected, but a refund can take up to 90 days. Meanwhile my time off from work is booked, and our suitcases are already half packed.

“Holiday prices have now gone up with other travel firms taking advantage of the failure of Thomas Cook. With Christmas just around the corner, my savings at this time simply won’t stretch that far.”

To find a solution, Mickala emailed Co-op Credit Union on the morning of Tuesday 24 September to ask to speak to a member of the team. The operations manager, emailed her back almost instantly to discuss options.

The credit union agreed a loan so Mickala could book a replacement – and when she receives the refund she can pay the balance off without any penalties for early settlement.

“I already save a healthy amount, so I don’t even have to increase the amount I pay into my credit union account,” she added. “I’m so grateful the Credit Union are there to help – especially under circumstances like mine.”

Co-op Credit Union says members in a similar position to Mickala can contact them, with evidence of their booking with Thomas Cook, and they will be considered for a flexible loan.

Subject to approval, funds can be in a member’s account the next working day. Once any refund for the Thomas Cook holiday is processed, funds can be part or fully settled with no early repayment penalties.

Phone number: 0345 602 3554

E-mail[email protected]