How I Got €800 Compensation From Thomas Cook

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~1,701 times.

There are two things you should know about me. The first is that I like to complain about poor service, and the second is that I’m a hoarder.

These character flaws have finally proved useful! Let me explain how you can claim hundreds or even thousands of Euros in compensation for delayed flights.

A couple of years ago, we took a holiday to Turkey flying with Thomas Cook. The flight out was delayed – normally I wouldn’t complain about a short delay; but this was 5 hours! Stuck in Gatwick Airport for 5 hours – urgh! Not the greatest start to our holiday.

I tried complaining to Thomas Cook, but they were having none of it. They said all we were due was a couple of Euros for food and water while we were stranded.

I wasn’t satisfied and fired off a complaint letter stating that under EC Regulation 261/2004 we were entitled to a lot more than that. Their reply – in February 2012 – was basically “sod off”.
Thomas Cook ECJ Letter
The European Court of Justice had ruled in 2009 that airlines need to pay compensation for severely delayed flights. A consortium of airlines asked for a judicial review and stated they wouldn’t pay up until the ruling went through.

I recently found the old letter – hurrah for hoarding! – and decided to see if anything had happened in the last 2 years.

Well well well! In January 2013 the airlines lost! The statute of limitation in England and Wales is 6 years. So I rang Thomas Cook to enquire about my complaint.

While it would have been nice if the airline had actively contacted me, I can’t fault how quick and easy it was to make the claim over the phone.
I rang 0844 412 5954, went through the options and – after a short wait while they looked up my details – was told that we would be getting €400 each for the outbound leg of the delayed journey. At the current exchange rate – that’s about £345 per person! All paid via bank transfer.


Thomas Cook have an easy to use form on their website specifically for these 261/2004 complaints.

At the most extreme example, a typical family of four delayed both ways on a transatlantic trip could be due €600 per person per leg. A total of €4,800. Roughly £4,000.

The ruling is very clear. If your flight was delayed, and you reached your destination 3 or more hours late – you are owed:

  • €250 for a flight of less than 1500 km in distance.
  • €400 for flight within the EU of greater than 1500 km in distance, or any other flight of greater than 1500 km but less than 3500 km in distance.
  • €600 for a flight not within EU of greater than 3500 km in distance.

I strongly urge you – if you have had a flight delayed in the last 6 years and haven’t yet made a claim for compensation, do so now!

If you’ve found this post helpful, you can say thanks by buying something for me from my Amazon wishlist,

3 thoughts on “How I Got €800 Compensation From Thomas Cook

  1. Important note here though: if you do accept any reimbursement on site (e.g. a 20 quid voucher for some food) then you apparently waive your right to any further reimbursements. Watch out with accepting any kind of compensation that isn’t as described above.

  2. Bev Day says:

    we are currently trying to get back a £2800 voucher that we received from a delayed flight and purchased a new holiday with that we are no longer having due to TC no longer trading…we are pulling our hair out as no one is willing to pay and saying the voucher is not monetary value!!

    1. @edent says:

      Hi Bev – you can find the information you need on

      As this is a pre-paid voucher, you’ll need to register as a creditor.

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