Protection Delivered Simply
Please note: As an approved partner of the Civil Avaition Authority (CAA), Protect Claims act as an official third-party provider appointed to administer ATOL holder claims. For your security all correspondence you receive from us will include your unique claims reference.
Frequently Asked Questions for Thomas Cook Customers
Answers to some of the frequently asked questions in relation to making a claim can be found below. Further information for Thomas Cook customers can be found at https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/
Q. Why did you not respond to my claim until the 60th day?
A. Protect Claims administer claims on behalf of the CAA and are following their instructions on what may be processed and when. During the initial 60 days, and due to the quality of the Thomas Cook data, it became necessary for the CAA to carry out in-depth analysis of the booking data; running validation checks and determining the rules that can be applied to allow as many claims as possible to be repaid quickly, whilst maintaining adequate fraud protection.
At all times the CAA have worked to ensure customer disruption is minimised as much as possible. Unfortunately, in some cases this process is ongoing as the CAA continue to appraise and actively analyse the claims so that as many as possible can be processed without further correspondence being required.
Q. Were Protect Claims under-resourced for the Thomas Cook failure?
A. Out of necessity to ensure correct payments are made, the initial response window was required for the CAA to conduct in-depth data analysis, together with further claim validation exercises. Because of this we are emailing customers as soon as we are instructed to by the CAA.
We are currently addressing subsequent emails and case comments from our online portal within 14 days, this may be extended to 28 days or indeed reduced when possible.
Q. How long will it take Protect Claims to handle my claim?
A. Protect Claims administer claims on behalf of the CAA and are following their instructions on what may be processed and when.
There are two parts to every claim assessment process; The first is the validation and checking of the online claim submitted. For some claims this part has allowed us to provide reimbursement within days. However, in some instances and as a second stage, we have needed to request more information or documentation to help us validate the claim and allow us to make payment.
With most claims submitted to Protect Claims now having been concluded, those remaining are likely to be under review by the CAA to see what can be done to expedite them to repayment, wherever possible.
The CAA are working to ensure that claims are looked at within 60 days of initial notification and we expect this to reduce significantly as the exercise progresses.
Q. Why have you asked for documentation and then paid my claim?
A. As the CAA have been able to refine their rules and validation criteria it has allowed us to reconsider some claims without the need for further information and speed up refunds for the affected claims.
It is important to note that if you have more than one claim awaiting settlement, depending on the information you have supplied, it may be possible for us to repay one claim and yet still require further information to release other payments recorded under other claims to you. Please check the claim number (‘Z’ reference) on any correspondence we send you to confirm which claim the request for information relates to.
Q. Why am I not able to reach you on the telephone?
A. Protect Claims were not appointed by the CAA to handle calls and whilst we did try originally to answer some calls for customers to whom we had emailed, we soon became overwhelmed by calls that should in fact have been going to the CAA Thomas Cook call centre (0300 303 2800), which has been provided exclusively for this purpose.
This led to significant call waits and some understandably frustrated customers who were not aware they were calling the wrong numbers. It was on this basis that all calls are now being referred from Protect Claims to the CAA Thomas Cook call centre.
Q. Can I email you for an update?
A. We would encourage customers to please remain patient and only email regarding their claim once documentation or information has been requested: Whenever we receive an email the case must be looked at and therefore the claim status changes back to 'Awaiting Review'. This can also have the effect of slowing down the assessment process for other remaining claimants.
Recent analysis showed that 15% of the claims in our queues were due to messages for claims that had already been paid or were awaiting payment. Resources were therefore being diverted to look at each enquiry instead of assessing those claims where requested documents had been returned, slowing down payment processing for those customers whose claims needed further validation.
Q. What about emailing specific team members?
A. We would ask consumers to refrain from emailing specific team members. Emails to specific team members fall outside of the claims correspondence process. As such we are not able to respond to them as our individual focus must remain on moving claims towards payment.
Q. Why did the online portal say my claim was Pending Approval and then turn back to Open – Awaiting Review?
A. During the assessment process each claim passes through different internal checks to confirm handler decisions as part of our quality control programme. At this stage the claim is classed as Pending Approval. This could relate to a decision to request further information, reject the claim or agree a payment. If the proposed decision is agreed the decision will be communicated to you. However, if the decision is not agreed the claim status will return to Awaiting Review whilst the handler corrects the decision and resubmits the claim for review.
We understand this may be frustrating for some customers but would like to assure you we are doing all that we can to ensure the correct decision is made on your claim as quickly as possible.
Q. Who are Protect Claims?
A. Protect Claims are an independent company appointed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to administer claims on their behalf.
Q. What is the ATOL Scheme?
A. ATOL is the UK's financial protection scheme and protects you when you book a holiday with a UK ATOL holder. It will provide support so that you are not at a financial loss or without assistance abroad if your ATOL holder ceases trading.
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser's Licence and is backed by the UK Government.
Q. What does ATOL cover?
A. If you booked directly with Thomas Cook in store, online or over the phone you’re generally protected for all the payments you made for your Thomas Cook package holiday.
If your refund amount is less than the amount claimed, the CAA, as agent for the Air Travel Trust, has provided the information below to help explain why this may be the case. If, however, this does not cover your circumstances please let us know.
More details on ATOL protection can be found in the ATT Payment Policy, which can be accessed on the Air Travel Trust pages of the CAA’s website. ATT Payment Policy
Q. Does that mean that you’ll be refunded exactly what you paid?
A. ATOL refunds cannot exceed the value of the ATOL package booking shown on the Confirmation issued by Thomas Cook. However, we may need to make deductions to the amount you paid if, for example, your Thomas Cook package included charges that are not protected by ATOL such as insurance premiums, administration charges or cancellation fees.
Q. What about vouchers?
A. As mentioned above, ATOL protects financial losses. So, it only protects vouchers that have been
- purchased (and you can provide evidence that you or someone else paid for these); and
- redeemed against an ATOL booking
Examples of vouchers that we cannot protect are complimentary vouchers, loyalty reward points, airmiles and vouchers offered for unsatisfactory holidays or for flight delays.
Q. Does ATOL protect pre-bookable flight services?
This depends on whether the flight services formed part of your ATOL protected Thomas Cook package, or whether they were booked directly with Thomas Cook Airlines, which did not hold an ATOL.
How can you tell if your services were part of your ATOL protected Thomas Cook package?
Please examine your paperwork. If the in-flight services are listed on the Confirmation issued by Thomas Cook (your Confirmation will also show details of your flight and accommodation along with the overall cost of your Thomas Cook package), these services will be ATOL protected. If the in-flight services are listed on a separate invoice issued by Thomas Cook Airlines they are not ATOL protected and would be classed as consequential losses and fall outside the scope of ATOL protection. You should be able to claim a refund of the payment(s) you made to Thomas Cook Airlines through your credit or debit card issuer, by sending them a copy of Thomas Cook Airlines’ negative response letter which can be accessed here: Negative Response Letter
Q. What address do I send my documents to?
A. Papers should be sent to:
PO Box 6430,
Please make sure that you:
- Clearly mark your claim reference number on the first page of your papers.
- Include a copy of all documents requested.
- Refrain from using staples.
- Pay adequate postage costs on the envelope, particularly if you are sending a large envelope.
- Take copies for safekeeping and ideally send them recorded/registered delivery.
Q. Can I email you scanned documents?
A. Yes. However, there are a couple of important notes:
We do not advise sending any emails greater than 2MB in size as these may not be received. If the size of your attachments is larger than this, try breaking them down into smaller sized attachments sent across by several emails.
The size of the attachments is often determined by the resolution settings of the scanner. Black and white at 200dpi should be sufficient.
For security reasons, we are only able to accept the following file extensions:
Also, for system security reasons we cannot accept compressed/zipped files.
Please ensure that your claim number is included in the subject line of any emails.
Q. Why are you asking for my ATOL Certificate?
A. Your ATOL Certificate is proof the booking is protected by ATOL.
Q. What happens to my documents once I send them in?
A. Your documents will be scanned and the original papers will be kept for a period of 4 weeks and will then be destroyed.
Q. How will you settle my claim?
A. We will make a bank transfer to the nominated Bank Account and you will receive notification either by email or letter.
- Q. Why have you not met my claim for other losses?
ATOL protection is limited to your financial loss for your ATOL booking only and does not cover consequential losses. This means that we cannot reimburse you if, for example, you are claiming for the loss of pre-booked car parking costs or loss of earnings.
Q. Why does my refund exclude a credit voucher/note that I redeemed against my Thomas Cook package?
A. ATOL protection covers financial loss only. It excludes compensation payments, so if you received a credit by way of compensation for an unsatisfactory holiday or a flight delay and redeemed this against the cost of your booking we cannot refund this amount.
Q. How are my bank details protected?
A. Your account number and sort code are stored within two fields that are encrypted with 128-bit master keys and use the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm. Once saved these two fields are masked and can only be viewed by select members of the Accounts Team responsible for making claim payments.
Q. Are calls recorded?
A. All calls are recorded for training and quality control.
Q. Where can I find information about the ATOL holder/s failure?
A. The CAA maintain a list of ATOL holder/s which have collapsed, where you will find up-to-date information about the ATOL holder/s and how to claim. Each ATOL holder/s situation is different, so it is important you read this information carefully. https://www.caa.co.uk/atol-protection/
We believe in simplifying the claim process to provide stress free experiences to customers, cost savings to our clients and easier, more effective deployment of scaled solutions within our business.
How We're Different
We've created a suite of unique systems designed specifically for financial failure claims. These allow us to provide a high scale claim solution quickly and easily. They provide unrivalled control of the claims process and reduce dependency on many of the barriers to delivering the necessary scaled solutions for financial failures, which typically come with minimal lead-times.
We only work as hard as we do, and achieve what we do, to serve you. Please contact us today to discuss how Protect Claims can help you in delivering your financial failure protection.
If you require more information about Protect Claims, please don't hesitate to contact us.
AddressPO Box 6430, Basildon, SS14 0QT, UK
For calls related to Thomas Cook claims, please call the CAA Call Centre on: 0300 303 2800