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Thomas Cook Collapses, what it means if you booked Kenya safaris with Thomas Cook

What you need to know if you’re on a Kenya Safari tour with the failed travel agent.

The travel giant company,  Thomas Cook collapses after last-minute bailout plans to save the failing firm which has been running for 178-years. The tour company based in the U.K has ceased to trade with immediate effect, this is according to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. Thomas Cook has gone ahead to publish travel advice for tourists on holiday with the affected company at the following website thomascook.caa.co.uk.

Apart from Kenya Safari holiday goers that have booked with Thomas Cook, many tourists around the world have also been affected by this situation either while on holiday or with long term plans of coming to Kenya for Kenya Safari tours with Thomas Cook. Fortunately, we can advise you what to do next and to claim a refund on your tour to Kilimanjaro if Thomas Cook goes into administration.

Atol protection for Kilimanjaro climbers

The Atol travel plan protects people who buy Kenya tour package holidays that are all-inclusive plus a flight, through UK tour operators and agents like in the case of Thomas Cook. If you have booked a Kenya safari or just a flight to Kenya through the Thomas cook, Atol protection ensures you do not lose your money or be left stranded in Kenya as Atol protection means they will be flown back home free of charge.

Clients who have already booked and actually paid for an upcoming Kenya safari with Thomas Cook should a right to a refund as part of the Atol scheme.

Unfortunately, if you didn’t book your tour as part of a package you might not be Atol protected, but you may still be able to claim a refund of some sort through your travel insurance or credit card issuer – as per your booking terms and agreements.’ For more information about the Atol scheme and protection, read here.

What to do if you’re already in Kenya for your safari

Now that, unfortunately, Thomas Cook has gone into administration, this is what you should do:

  1. Continue your Kenya safari as normal.
  2. Arrive for your return flight as normal unless something changes and you receive an official update. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will try their best to get you on a return flight as close to your original departure time as possible.
  3. Your costs for returning home will be covered. Keep receipts of any additional costs you may be asked to pay as a result. Send a claim to The Civil Aviation Authority on your return home so that a refund can be arranged for all reasonable expenses.

Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

Do I have to pay for my hotel/camp/lodge during and after a safari?

Since most Kenya safari itineraries include your hotel accommodation in Kenya (Nairobi) before and after your climb it will not be necessary to pay but if you’re experiencing any difficulties with your Atol-protected hotel, or if your hotel is requesting payment from you, you can call the CAA call centre on the following line: +44 1753 330 330.

NB: It may take the Civil Aviation Authority a few days to secure new payment arrangements for your accommodation. Do not proceed to pay your accommodation unless given the green-light by the CAA team. If your trip is not covered by the Atol scheme, you are not entitled to make a claim for your extra expenses and additional nights of hotel accommodation under the Atol protection, but you may be able to claim for a refund or payment from your travel insurer as per the booking terms and conditions, bank or your credit card issuer. Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

What to do if you’re planning to travel soon for a safari in Kenya

If you’re due to travel with Thomas Cook in the near future, here is what you should do:

From 23 September 2019, all flights and Kenya safari tours will be cancelled.

All Thomas Cook airline flights will not operate anymore, so if you have booked on a Thomas Cook Airlines flight, please do not go to your UK airport. Please double-check with your accommodation/flight provider to check if your booking is on record. Keep all your booking information and make a record of all emails and replies. If will not continue with your safari in Kenya, make a claim under the Atol plan to get a refund.

Here’s more information on how to make an Atol claim if you’re currently abroad. 

Why has Thomas Cook collapsed?

The troubled tour company, Thomas Cook tried to secure a £750m cash injection to see it safe for low season of winter 2019-20 when the number of bookings goes down. Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said the company’s collapse was a ‘matter of profound regret’. Commenting as the company entered compulsory liquidation, Mr. Fankhauser also had words of apology to Thomas Cook’s ‘millions of customers and thousands of employed staff’. If the company does go bust it would be the biggest-ever repatriation, with an estimated 150,000 tourists of British origin currently abroad on a variety Thomas Cook holidays that include Kenya safari holidays. The government has 45  jets ready to bring clients back home and with 64 routes being flown today. The size of the fleet will make it UK’s fifth-largest airline. The collapse has put over 20,000 jobs at risk, including 9,000 in the United Kingdom alone.

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