Thomas Cook passenger repatriation mission ends today

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Passengers of British travel group Thomas Cook queue at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on 24 September. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP/Getty Images

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is due to complete its mission to bring back 140,000 Thomas Cook (TCG.L) passengers that were stranded when the company collapsed on 23 September.

Under the plan, called Operation Matterhorn, its final repatriation flight will be from Orlando, Florida in the US, which is scheduled to land at Manchester Airport at 8.35am local time, carrying 392 passengers.

In September the collapse of Thomas Cook led to an immediate cessation of trading — putting 22,000 jobs from around the world at risk, of which 9,000 are in the UK. It also meant passengers were stranded, leading to the biggest ever peacetime repatriation of British people.

Operation Matterhorn has led to more than 1,000 flights to bring back Brits and has been estimated to cost £100m ($124.3m).

READ MORE: Thomas Cook is dead and 150,000 UK holidaymakers are stranded

While all affected holidaymakers should be back in the UK as of today, the CAA warned on 30 September that passengers could have to wait up to two months for refunds for ATOL-protected Thomas Cook holidays.

The ATOL scheme also covers those who booked package holidays: it will pay for accommodation abroad and flight home if the airline has ceased operating. It will also refund for future holiday bookings. A total of 360,000 holidays are said by the CAA to be eventually refunded.

"This will be three times larger than any refund programme we have managed before, and we are implementing new systems to enable us to process these refunds as quickly as possible," the CAA said in a statement.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook passengers could wait two months for refunds

However, if you have only booked a flight, you will have to speak to your credit card company to gain a refund. You may also be covered by travel insurance. These account for about 100,000 of bookings.