Latest Update: 20 July 2015 12:36
Turkey continues to be a popular holiday destination enjoyed by many, and the main tourist areas lie many miles from the Syrian border, an area of the country to which the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against travel.
Our experienced teams on the ground inform us that the resorts are operating as normal and that our customers are continuing to enjoy their holidays in Turkey. Our holiday and flight programmes are operating as normal and normal booking conditions apply.
Thomas Cook has a duty of care towards all its customers, and we would never knowingly offer holidays in destinations where we felt their safety might be compromised. Our customers’ welfare remains our primary concern, and we are confident that those due to travel to Turkey will enjoy a great holiday experience in line with their expectations.
For the latest Turkey travel advice, click here.
The distances and driving times from the resorts to which we operate to the Syrian border are as follows:
From Antalya 857 kms - 13 hrs drive
From Dalaman 1082 kms - 17 hrs drive
From Bodrum 1282 kms - 20 hrs drive
From Izmir 1210 kms - 19 hrs drive
Latest Update: 14 July 2015 08:49
At Thomas Cook, the safety and well-being of our customers is our primary concern. As a result of the change in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice on travel to Tunisia, Thomas Cook can confirm that it has cancelled all future bookings to Tunisia up until 31st October 2015.
In response to the recent change in FCO advice, Thomas Cook took the decision to bring all customers back to the UK using scheduled Thomas Cook flights and third party carriers. Between Friday 10 and Sunday 12 July 2015, eleven flights were scheduled to transport approximately 2,000 customers back to the UK.
Peter Fankhauser, Group CEO, Thomas Cook PLC, comments, “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and their safety and welfare is always our first priority. Thankfully, situations of this nature are extremely rare, and I am so proud of how our team rose to the challenge in an incredibly professional way. The mobilisation of our teams and the magnitude of the repatriation has been quite astounding in such a short space of time. Everyone has been working tirelessly and has done a tremendous job of looking after our customers. The courage and commitment displayed throughout this incident has made me extremely proud to be the CEO of Thomas Cook.”
Specialist Assistance Teams were immediately sent to Tunisia to offer customers additional support in resort and to help coordinate the logistics of the repatriation. The teams in resort and in the UK have worked around the clock to orchestrate the return of our customers as quickly and seamlessly as possible. We are pleased to now confirm that all Thomas Cook UK customers have arrived back in the UK safely.
The flights arrived back in to eight regional departure airports across the UK, and 35 coaches were hired to transport customers back to their point of origin. To assist guests who landed back in the UK, 75 additional retail staff were deployed to the eight airports. In addition, the call centre team have done a phenomenal job of answering nearly 3,000 calls relating to Tunisia in the last week.
In response to increased demand Thomas Cook has added capacity in four other popular holiday destinations for this summer including Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
Customers can also visit their local Thomas Cook store, which will be happy to assist with any queries or requests. Details of all our stores and their opening hours can be found using our Store Locator
Thomas Cook will provide further updates as and when appropriate on this page.
To view the latest Tunisia travel advice, click here
All Thomas Cook UK brand guests are included, including independent travellers with flight only bookings
At the time of the change to the FCO travel advice, Thomas Cook UK had 1200 package customers in resort, 500 flight only and 240 accommodation only.
We are working with customers that flew home from Tunisia early to reimburse them for missed days on holiday
Thomas Cook will proactively be contacting all those returning from Tunisia earlier than planned with a view to addressing any concerns they might have with regards to their booking
Due to the sensitive nature of the incident, we are very flexible with our policy, we will assist all of those booked to go to Tunisia to find alternative holidays with no administration charge or alternatively cancel their holiday with no charges if they chose to do so (up until 31st October 2015)
Extra holidays have been introduced to Spain, Turkey, Algarve and Bulgaria for those switching from Tunisia to offer more choice and availability to those re-booking.
To read our Tunisia Customer FAQ's, click here.
Greece has always been, and continues to be, an incredibly popular and important destination for Thomas Cook and great value for our holidaymakers. The feedback from the team on the ground - and indeed returning holidaymakers – has been that it is business as usual in the resorts, with customers continuing to enjoy their holidays without disruption.
We are working with our in destination teams and hotels to closely monitor the impact of a potential Greece Exit from the Eurozone. A Greek exit from the Eurozone would have little impact on the holidays customers have already booked with us as all pre-paid services are provided by Thomas Cook. We have existing contracts with hotels and airlines and we are comfortable that there is enough cash within destination to continue to provide the quality holidays our guests have booked and expect from us.
Currently, there has been no limit imposed on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn by international credit and debit cards, or card transactions. Thomas Cook guests travelling to Greece should continue to take Euros to cover the duration of their holiday. This should be in small denomination notes i.e. €5, €10, and €20's. When on day excursions, guests should take the amount of cash needed for the day and use hotel safety deposit boxes to store the rest securely.
To assist customers further, Thomas Cook has increased the limits on personal cash cover in the Silver and Gold travel insurance policies for customers travelling to Greece in July, August and September 2015. The limit will be increasing from £250 to £400 for adults on Silver and from £500 to £650 for adults on Gold policies. This means that a family of 4 travelling to Greece will have up to £1500 of personal cash (£650 per adult and £100 per child under 16) cover under a Gold Thomas Cook travel insurance policy. This increased cover is free of charge to customers who have purchased a Silver or Gold Thomas Cook travel insurance policy. These travel insurance policies can be purchased in a Thomas Cook store over the phone or online.
After tonight’s Channel 5 News interview with Sharon Wood, the mother of Robert and Christianne Shepherd, Thomas Cook confirms that the company is setting up a new Carbon Monoxide initiative. Following recent conversations with Mrs Wood and Mr Shepherd, Thomas Cook has committed to raise an initial £1 million to create a new initiative to promote awareness through research, awareness campaigns, the promotion of legislation and other initiatives within the tourism industry, aimed at reducing the risks associated with carbon monoxide.
The health, safety and welfare of our customers is the absolute priority for Thomas Cook, and through this new initiative, we will work with charity partners, research houses and leisure travel organisations to fund research into protection from carbon monoxide, limit the risks associated with carbon monoxide, and raise general awareness of the related dangers.
Mrs Wood and Mr Shepherd have agreed to support this initiative, and Mrs Wood will be taking an active role in promoting its objectives.
Speaking about the initiative Sharon Wood said,
“I have found Thomas Cook’s pro-active and respectful approach in setting up this initiative very refreshing. Working together is the best way to facilitate positive change and I embrace this opportunity wholeheartedly. I am very proud that Mr Fankhauser chooses not to forget what happened to Christi and Bobby and I look forward to being a part of the good work this initiative will do. My children lost their lives to Carbon Monoxide and a very public case highlighted their deaths, yet there are still hundreds of British CO victims every year . There is so much more that can be done to stop this 'Silent Killer’."
Thomas Cook has been advised of an incident that occurred earlier this morning at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. Although Egyptian authorities have suggested that no tourists were involved, we have confirmation from our experienced team on the ground that none of our customers were affected by this, and that all are safe and well.
We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with ABTA and the FCO and provide updates as appropriate.
Notes. As a precautionary measure, Thomas Cook will be cancelling all excursions to Luxor until further notice.
The Cuban government have announced that they will no longer collect customers departure tax locally and it is now the responsibility of the airline to collect this before departure from the UK. The charge of £17 / $25 per person will apply to all customers with a seat.
Customers travelling from the 1st May – 31st August 2015 will be asked to pay their departure tax at their UK airport.
Customers travelling after the 1st September 2015 will receive a letter confirming the new total cost including the Cuban departure tax.
All Summer departure times in Egypt will be brought forward by 1 hour, as of Fri 24th April. This is 1 hour earlier then the time stated on your current documentation. New information will be sent out to all customers showing the new flying times of departure.
We have also received notification that the terminal at Hurghada airport will change from Friday 24th April 2015. The new terminal for Thomas Cook Airlines flights will be Terminal 1.
A visa is required when visiting Turkey. This should be obtained in advance of travel from the official Turkish Government website www.evisa.gov.tr. Cost is currently $20, apply at least one-week before departure.
For travel after 1st Jan 15 a visa must be obtained in advance of travel. Failure to comply with entry requirements will result in travel being denied/entry refused.