Latest travel updates
Check the latest travel information and updates before you fly.
15 Aug 2018 – Planned improvement work on the Brighton Main Line
Network Rail is planning significant improvement work on the Brighton Main Line as part of a £300 million government-funded programme. The work aims to tackle delay hotspots and boost the reliability of the railway in the south east, including the expanded Thameslink network.
The Brighton Main Line is a key rail route connecting Gatwick Airport and the south coast with London, and is used by 300,000 people each day.
Key dates for the work include several weekends from September 2018 to May 2019, with the main project, a 9-day closure, scheduled for Saturday 16 February – Sunday 24 February 2019.
Please visit www.brightonmainline.co.uk for up to date information and to plan your journey to Gatwick Airport accordingly.
New Screening Requirements – All US Flights
The Transport Security Administration (TSA) in the US has implemented additional security measures that all airlines must comply with. As a result, your flight will depart from a specific desk at the airport, rather than our communal check-in area. Look out for the desk numbers on the departures notice board when you arrive at the airport. This additional baggage screening may take a little longer than usual, so please do take the opportunity to arrive at the airport in plenty of time to help us get you through this process as quickly as possible.
As a result of the new requirements, we are no longer able to offer the Sundown Check-In service on our US flights and this service will stop on Monday, May 21st.
16 Mar 2018: Mexico travel information
If you’re on holiday in Cancun, you may notice an increase in police presence at the airport or in the resort areas. This is part of the Mexican government’s increased security measures in the area following a number of gang-related incidents over the past 12 months.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says that “the Mexican government makes efforts to protect major tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta and these areas have mostly not seen the levels of drug-related violence and crime experienced elsewhere”. The FCO also recommends that tourists visiting Cancun “should monitor local advice, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities and your tour operator”.
For Thomas Cook holiday customers, our reps in resort or Connected Service teams will be able to provide further advice should you have any concerns while on holiday.
Our colleagues in resort tell us that customers continue to enjoy the region’s fantastic beaches, hotels, local shopping and its great bars and restaurants. Normal booking conditions apply to flights and holidays booked to Cancun, though if you have any concerns about your upcoming travel, please call us on 01733 224554.
As always, we recommend that customers read the relevant Mexico Foreign Office travel advice.
16 Feb 2018: Important South Africa Entry Requirements
For anyone travelling with children under the age of 18, entry regulations for South Africa require you to present a birth certificate on arrival. Additional requirements are in place for those travelling with only one parent, with neither biological parent, or unaccompanied. Failure to comply may result in your being denied boarding to the flight. For further information read here.
25 Jan 2018: Important information about smart luggage
Smart luggage suitcases have a range of features such as GPS tracker, power banks and scales. All these features are powered with a lithium battery.
The current IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 2018 do not allow these suitcases as checked baggage. If you can remove the lithium battery from the suitcase, you may carry them in your carry on luggage. Please be aware, that only two pieces of Lithium spare batteries per person are allowed.
We allow smart luggage as carry on luggage, as long as the max. dimensions and weight limits are considered.
30 Oct 2017: Tunisia Travel Advice Updated
At the end of July 2017, the UK government changed its advice for Tunisia meaning that British holidaymakers can now travel to the majority of the country. As a result, and reflecting the interest we've had from customers, we are restarting our flight and holiday programme from 13 February 2018.
Tunisia has been a popular tourist destination for decades. Thomas Cook first opened an office there in 1902 and in the fifties a thriving tourism industry emerged along its sandy Mediterranean coastline and cosmopolitan capital Tunis. Following a period of growth which started in the 1990s, by 2010 it was welcoming seven million foreign tourists a year.
It has been a popular destination for our customers too. Thomas Cook took more than 200,000 UK holidaymakers to Tunisia in 2014 across the summer and winter seasons. However, in June 2015 tragedy struck when a gunman killed thirty eight people at a beachfront hotel in Sousse, thirty of whom were British tourists.
In the intervening two years since that very sad day, the Tunisian government has worked to improve its security and the way its police and security teams can respond to terrorist incidents. It is this work which meant that the UK government were able to announce that they are now satisfied that British travellers can return to the country. Although the FCO continues to advise against travel to some parts of the Tunisian interior and along its borders, this does not affect the resorts which are some distance away. The UK government said that as well as having improved security in tourist resorts, "Tunisian security forces have also improved and are better prepared to tackle terrorist threats than they were at the time of the 2015 attacks".
For our package holiday customers we're starting in just a few resorts, mainly near to Hammamet, and only eight hotels, where we're confident we can offer the high quality our customers expect. We benefit from having had a holiday programme and resort team in place for our German, Belgian and French customers, whose governments did not recommend against travel to Tunisia. This means we can have confidence that our customers will be looked after with the same high standards - and have the same reassurance of our customer care - that they expect in all Thomas Cook destinations.
When I visited Tunisia recently, I noticed the increase in security presence on the hotel beaches, and the holidaymakers I spoke to talked of the good, friendly relationship they have with the hotel security and police who patrol the beach and tourist areas. It was also clear how closely the hotels and the police work together, and their excitement about the British customers returning to their country.
We always follow UK government advice on where we can offer flights and holidays, because they are the experts in security. We also listen to our customers in where they want to go on holiday. Since it closed for British holidaymakers two years ago, we've had lots of customers asking us when Tunisia will be back on sale. Its soft, long beaches with year-round sun, historic ruins and enchanting desert villages make Tunisia a destination that attracts lots of loyal visitors.
Please remember that like other popular North African tourist destinations Morocco and Egypt, the UK government also warns that "further attacks remain likely, including in places visited by foreigners such as tourist resorts".
Taking your loved ones anywhere is a serious decision and ultimately of course it's up to you where you choose to go on holiday. You should always consult FCO travel advice before making your decision. Whichever Thomas Cook flight or holiday you choose, you can always be assured that your safety is our first priority.
Expected queues at immigration control
Tighter border checks at EU airports have been in place since April, so we're used to dealing with the slightly longer time it takes for customers to come through the border when they arrive in destination and when they leave. We aren't seeing any impact as we enter the peak holiday season and we don't expect the situation to change.
We do strongly recommend that you check-in with plenty of time and allow extra time for your journey too.
Changes to entry requirements to the USA
The below travel advice has been suspended following legal proceedings in the USA. Travel advice to the USA remains fluid and subject to change - if you believe you may be affected, please contact your local US Embassy or Consulate for advice.
On Friday 27 January, the US President signed an executive order which affects some travellers to the USA. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice for the USA to state that temporary immigration measures are in place which affect British nationals who hold dual nationality with Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Any British nationals who hold dual nationalities with one of the seven countries above should expect additional security checks on arrival in the USA. No other restrictions are in place for British passport holders under these temporary measures.
Customers travelling to the USA who are unsure whether they are affected by these new measures, including nationals from one of the seven listed countries but who reside in the UK, should contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate for advice.
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa
Any customers with immediate concerns who have a current affected booking should contact us by calling our dedicated customer phone line where we will be happy to assist with an amendment or cancellation, open from 8am until 10pm: 01733 224 536.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
With the safety and security of our passengers and crew as our first priority, Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor has today banned any carriage of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from all its flights, as both checked luggage and also hand luggage.
21 July 2018 – Zika virus
We understand that customers who are pregnant will naturally be concerned about travelling to an area affected by the Zika virus.
The Zika virus has now affected a number of countries and although news coverage has declined, we have continued to monitor the situation closely.
If you are travelling with us to a Zika-affected destination we are happy to waive amendment fees should you prefer to change your destination, dates of travel, or even the names on your booking. You'll need to pay any difference in cost if there is a balance to pay.
If you are already pregnant, you should let your obstetrician or midwife know if you have recently been in a Zika-affected destination.
For those customers travelling on holidays using scheduled airlines, we will contact the airline regarding its specific policy on behalf of the customer.
The latest Foreign Office travel advice
The following destinations have reported cases of Zika:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cape Verde
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Lucia
- Turks and Caicos islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Florida and Texas
This list may be subject to change. Please check the foreign travel advice page at gov.uk for the very latest information and most up-to-date list of affected countries.
What to do if you're concerned
Customers due to travel to the affected areas should monitor the World Health Organisation website for further updates and advice.
While symptoms of the Zika virus are usually mild, we recommend you take the normal precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.
Planning to become pregnant?
If you're concerned about a future holiday booking please call us so we can support you. You should also discuss your travel plans with a healthcare provider to assess the risk of infection and receive advice on avoiding mosquito bites. This advice will include information on when you can conceive when returning from an affected area, which is not too long it not infected.
Already in an affected destination?
Our resort teams are here to help. Contact them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us
So with that in mind we will continue to monitor the situation and keep our policy under review.
India - new passport rules
Customers travelling to India from the 4th December 2015 will need to present a machine readable passport on entry into the country. India will refuse customers with non-readable Passports for non-Indian nationals.
For more information please click here.