Student is £1,000 out of pocket for solo Disney trip after spending months chasing refunds following Thomas Cook collapse

A young woman from South Shields who has spent weeks chasing a refund for her birthday trip to DisneyLand Paris after Thomas Cook collapsed remains almost £1,000 out of pocket.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 12:30 pm
Sophie Jane Williams of South Shields, who is still waiting for a refund from two Thomas Cook holidays she booked before the firm collapsed, last year.

Months after Thomas Cook’s demise, Sophie-Jane Williams and her family were still waiting for refunds on two package holidays booked with the travel agents – worth around £5,000.

When the news of the 178-year-old tour operator had collapsed hit the headlines, the 20-year-old was due to go on a solo birthday trip to DisneyLand Paris and a final family holiday with her parents, Malcolm Williams and Julie Field, both 54, before her dad becomes too sick.

Their upcoming trip to Florida to visit both Disney and Universal Parks will be the first time the family had been on a holiday abroad together since Sophie was just 12 and she feared they wouldn’t be able to pay for their re-booked trip without the refund.

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But after weeks of ‘back and forth’, Sophie has finally received the refund from the Civil Aviation Authority for their family trip to Florida.

Sophie, however, remains almost £1,000 out of pocket as she continues her struggle to receive a refund for her solo trip to DisneyLand Paris in December 2019.

After the collapse Sophie, who is preparing to move to Japan to study in April, was told by Disney to re-book the holiday to France.

She says she wasn’t given a choice and her original holiday was cancelled.

Although she booked through Thomas Cook, the package holiday was provided by Disney and the trip was therefore ATOL protected by Disney.

Sophie says she is now being told she won't receive a refund as she didn’t go on the holiday that they claim had been ‘saved’ following Thomas Cook’s collapse.

Adding that she told Disney she was able to find someone else to go on the holiday but they insisted the holiday would need to be cancelled.

Sophie, who lives in Whiteleas, said: “[I’ve received] no money back into my bank at all and now I’m being told I will not get any despite this holiday being almost £1000.

“I’m a 20-year-old girl, my family and I had to work hard to be able to afford holidays for ourselves.

“It has put huge amounts of mental struggle on us considering the collapse was not our fault and we were the ones left in the dust.

“I went to DisneyLand on a solo trip and when they said the holiday had been saved I said I could find someone to go on it but they insisted that it would be cancelled and I’d get a refund.

“They’re trying to say the holiday was saved but I couldn’t have gone on it if I wanted to.

“It is very upsetting that no one is really willing to help. I sort of feel alone in something that really isn’t my fault.”

We have contacted Disney regarding the issue but had not received a response at the time the article was published.