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Thomas Cook possible collapse? (UK)

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We have booked flights with Thomas Cook landing in Barbados in December, if the company goes to the wall, we will have to search for a different flight? Has anyone in the UK had this problem?  Can someone enlighten me which search engines you use to find flights?  

 

Thanks in anticipation.

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Have you discounted SB for finding your flights?  Often they get better deals than I can.  

 

I use skyscanner for searching for other non-cruise related flights.  

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If you plan to arrive in Barbados the day of embarkation, I would recommend you book with Seabourn.  That way, if your flight is delayed, the ship will wait for you or Seabourn will fly you to the next port of call.  If you book your own flight, Seabourn won't have any responsibility for you.  However, if you plan on a pre-cruise stay, then book your own flights.  Book online direct with the airline or go to a TA like Trailfinders.   

 

The prospects for Thomas Cook don't look great and haven't been for well over a year when reports of imminent collapse started to appear in the media.  

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Skyscanner is one that I've used in the past too. And the fare matrix, thanks to someone here posting about that one.

 

The issue here is that Barbados is a very popular destination over the Christmas/NY period and it can be difficult to find available flights at this stage for those dates.  That said, we've found getting home early in January to be the challenge - we usually need to be back for work by the end of the first week of January. People who can travel home later in the month, e.g 9th or 10th onwards may not have the same issues. 

What date in December is your cruise? If it's close to the Christmas period I agree with the earlier posts to contact SB for a quote (although the quotes we've had have always been more expensive). 

Edited by Isklaar

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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your informative replies. I booked the flight independently. I have just read a review from a senior travel agent who attended a conference about Thomas Cook. She is of the firm opinion they will pull through this but obviously know one knows just yet.

 

The problem I will have is that if they do go under then all that flight will also bee looking for alternative flights.

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14 minutes ago, fudge said:

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your informative replies. I booked the flight independently. I have just read a review from a senior travel agent who attended a conference about Thomas Cook. She is of the firm opinion they will pull through this but obviously know one knows just yet.

 

The problem I will have is that if they do go under then all that flight will also bee looking for alternative flights.

 

Hi fudge, 

One possible positive is that if the collapse happens soon - and I read this morning that the next 48 hours or so are crucial as they need to secure funding urgently - then other airlines are likely to pick up at least some of the Thomas Cook slots from some UK airports in time for you to make a new booking with them. 

Barbados over the Christmas period is always in demand for travel to/from the UK so it's possible that e.g Virgin/TUI/BA may pick up some TC slots for that period.   

This happened with Monarch so people who were booked later in the year were .able to make another booking on an alternate airline. But of course there are no guarantees.

All of that said, if TC does go under much closer to your departure date, then making alternate arrangements would potentially be much more difficult as the other airlines may not have available resources to fill the TC slots at such short notice. 

 

Are you able to be flexible about which UK airport you start your journey?

 

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Hi Again,

We actually now live in Cyprus, we found the best route was through London even from here, so yes we are flexible. We have already booked a flight to London staying overnight before the flight to Barbados but I could suck that up and lose it should I have to. The last thing I want is to cancel the cruise because we cannot get there!

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37 minutes ago, fudge said:

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your informative replies. I booked the flight independently. I have just read a review from a senior travel agent who attended a conference about Thomas Cook. She is of the firm opinion they will pull through this but obviously know one knows just yet.

 

The problem I will have is that if they do go under then all that flight will also bee looking for alternative flights.

 

Hi fudge, 

One possible positive is that if the collapse happens soon - and I read this morning that the next 48 hours or so are crucial as they need to secure funding urgently - then other airlines are likely to pick up at least some of the Thomas Cook slots from some UK airports in time for you to make a new booking with them. 

Barbados over the Christmas period is always in demand for travel to/from the UK so it's possible that e.g Virgin/TUI/BA may pick up some TC slots for that period.   

This happened with Monarch so people who were booked later in the year were .able to make another booking on an alternate airline. But of course there are no guarantees.

All of that said, if TC does go under much closer to your departure date, then making alternate arrangements would potentially be much more difficult as the other airlines may not have available resources to fill the TC slots at such short notice. 

 

Are you able to be flexible about which UK airport you start your journey?

 

Also, have you paid final balance to SB yet? 

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Sorry about the double post there, I edited as fudge was posting so it's posted twice and I can't delete the second one. Will ask for it to be deleted by host Dan. 

 

 

 

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No we have not paid our final balance yet thankfully, my reply to yours is now above your reply, all very confusing.

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3 minutes ago, fudge said:

No we have not paid our final balance yet thankfully, my reply to yours is now above your reply, all very confusing.

 

I've asked for mine to be deleted hopefully that will tidy it up!

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I've just heard on the radio news that TC will approach the government for a bail out. Things may be a lot clearer by Monday or Tuesday next week.

Have you checked if there is still availability on your dates with other airlines? I assume your flights with TC are non-refundable? 

 

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2 hours ago, Fletcher said:

 if you plan on a pre-cruise stay, then book your own flights.  

 

Fletcher, Just curious.  Why would you suggest booking your own flight if a pre-cruise stay is planned?  We have sometimes found better flight prices going through SB than we or our TA could find for us.  (We are not taking the Caribbean cruise--so this is just a general question.)

 

I do understand the safety factor in booking flight with SB if planning to arrive on the day of embarkation.  However, we always arrive at least two days early.  

Edited by SLSD

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There are other possibilities but we dont want to jump the gun yet until we know whats happening with TC. I am reliably informed that because we paid on the card we should get our money back? Or at least through ATOL.

We did inquire about flights through Seabourn they were much more expensive than I could find.

 

 

 

 

Edited by fudge
more text

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15 minutes ago, SLSD said:

Fletcher, Just curious.  Why would you suggest booking your own flight if a pre-cruise stay is planned?  We have sometimes found better flight prices going through SB than we or our TA could find for us.  (We are not taking the Caribbean cruise--so this is just a general question.)

 

I do understand the safety factor in booking flight with SB if planning to arrive on the day of embarkation.  However, we always arrive at least two days early.  

 

Not Fletcher and will be interested to read his response to the question, but in my experience SB have always quoted way high for air fares when I've approached them. May be a UK thing.(Disclaimer : for flights more than 5 hours I will not fly economy so am asking SB to quote for business class).   

Edited by Isklaar

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43 minutes ago, SLSD said:

Fletcher, Just curious.  Why would you suggest booking your own flight if a pre-cruise stay is planned?  We have sometimes found better flight prices going through SB than we or our TA could find for us.  (We are not taking the Caribbean cruise--so this is just a general question.)

 

I do understand the safety factor in booking flight with SB if planning to arrive on the day of embarkation.  However, we always arrive at least two days early.  

 

If I were staying in, say, Barbados for a few days before the cruise I would probably book my own flights on BA as I can use/earn Avios points.  On the Seabourn trip to Antarctica, I used Seabourn's own service for business class to/from Santiago and Buenos Aires and I thought they gave me a decent, competitive price.  And that was for same day embarkation.  For my recent long trip to South America, I bought a tailor-made package from tried and tested https://www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk flying to Lima and returning from Cartagena with many intermediate flights, and then I also booked directly with Silversea for the Galapagos portion of the trip.  I am about to book a cruise which sails from Recife and ends in Dakar and for that I'll book hotels at both ends and also the flights - probably on TAP (take a picnic).

 

So it's swings and roundabouts, no one policy for everything, just depends on the configuration of the trip. I might also add that, generally speaking, I would much prefer to select and book a pre-cruise hotel myself rather than go with Seabourn's choice.  For practical reasons, cruise lines tend to book big chain hotels and I often avoid those.  

Edited by Fletcher

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1 hour ago, Isklaar said:

 

Not Fletcher and will be interested to read his response to the question, but in my experience SB have always quoted way high for air fares when I've approached them. May be a UK thing.(Disclaimer : for flights more than 5 hours I will not fly economy so am asking SB to quote for business class).   

 

1 hour ago, Isklaar said:

 

Not Fletcher and will be interested to read his response to the question, but in my experience SB have always quoted way high for air fares when I've approached them. May be a UK thing.(Disclaimer : for flights more than 5 hours I will not fly economy so am asking SB to quote for business class).   

We also fly Business Class if flying internationally  And, we have been surprised at getting better flight deals through Seabourn.  We always check for ourselves first and find the best fare we can find.  So far, SB has beat those.  

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6 minutes ago, SLSD said:

 

We also fly Business Class if flying internationally  And, we have been surprised at getting better flight deals through Seabourn.  We always check for ourselves first and find the best fare we can find.  So far, SB has beat those.  

 

I've never had any luck with the SB quotes and had assumed it was because I'm in the UK. However, as Fletcher's post states, he has had success with SB air, therefore I will keep trying! 

 

Ok back on topic, fudge yes you should be able to make a claim for your airfare from your credit\debit card company should TC go under. Hopefully they will not.  I

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We've recently booked a cruise for December and I researched flights before speaking to SB about what they could offer.  They were about £100 more but that included a 5* hotel the night before embarkation, and all 3 transfers (airport to hotel, hotel to ship and on disembark ship to airport).  We've always been lucky with airfare through them.  (UK based)

Edited by Mauzac

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I'm afraid I'm a bit of a pessimist about Thomas Cook as I very much doubt the government will bail them out. We suffered some years back when the airline XL failed and couldn't get flights rebooked within Europe, although to be fair James Villas refunded our money immediately. If I were you I'd put feelers out immediately with Seabourn and Virgin Atlantic or via skyscanner to see what's available so you're ahead of the rush. Good luck!

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Thomas Cook officially died at 2am today. The BBC are calling this a 'death foretold.'  The company almost went bust several years ago and I can't really understand why so many people continued to book with it.  The management takes all the blame and a lot of money - the CEO has paid himself £8 million over the past five years of failure.

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Well, I guess that none of us are surprised by the news this morning. Terrible situation for the many thousands of TC staff who have now lost their job. 

 

Fudge, hopefully you will be able to find alternative suitable flights. At least the SB final balance hasn't been paid yet. 

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I have found flights with Virgin Atlantic thankfully thank you. They are economy flights, I paid more for them than our original Premium economy flights, on the bright side we are still going on the cruise.😁

We booked using a debit card so just been onto our bank, they will try and recover the money from the debit card company.

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Just now, fudge said:

I have found flights with Virgin Atlantic thankfully thank you. They are economy flights, I paid more for them than our original Premium economy flights, on the bright side we are still going on the cruise.😁

We booked using a debit card so just been onto our bank, they will try and recover the money from the debit card company.

 

Great update fudge, so pleased that you didn't have to cancel, even though it's hit the budget a bit more than you'd planned for. Hopefully the charge back on  your debit card will be refunded to you quite quickly. 

 

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Hi Thanks,

In the bigger picture we seemed to get off lightly, many people have had weddings cancelled, people stranded abroad and so on.

Even worse, one of our dearest friends passed away this morning, you have to live each day as it comes.

 

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