Latest travel updates
Check the latest travel information and updates before you fly.
Tunisia Travel Advice Updated 30.10.17
At the end of July this year, 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 next year, which is on sale from 22 August.
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.
Crete – Improvements to Heraklion Airport to be carried out over the winter, updated 26.9.17
We have been informed by the Airport Authorities in Heraklion, Crete, that a period of refurbishment work will start on the 2nd October 2017, and continue until the 1st April 2018, in preparation for the start of the 2018 summer season.
The work involved will make considerable improvements to the infrastructure and services at the airport, which will provide an enhanced customer experience. During this period customers may see some disruption to the services at the airport such as delays in processing through security, or short delays to flights. To minimise any difficulties we would ask customers to arrive and check-in early to avoid any disruption through the airport itself.
Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst this essential work is carried out.
New Security Measures - Electronic Devices Update 10th August
Earlier this year the UK Government announced additional precautionary security measures for passengers on flights originating in a number of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, including Turkey and Egypt. The new measures meant that laptops, tablets and e-readers would not be allowed in hand luggage and must be placed in the hold.
Following a review by the UK Government and the introduction of new security measures, customers flying from Turkey on Thomas Cook Airlines will now be able to carry laptops, tablets and e-readers in hand luggage. The new security measures include additional screening at the gate, so please arrive promptly when your flight is called to allow sufficient time to board.
The restrictions remain in place for Thomas Cook flights from Egypt until further notice, meaning that customers flying from Hurghada and Marsa Alam airports into the UK are still unable to carry laptops, tablets or e-readers in hand luggage. This includes duty-free purchases of these devices in the airport. For further information, including other accessories that this applies to, please see our FAQs page here [link].
If you would like to speak to us about a forthcoming holiday or flight, please call us on 01733 224 536.
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.
Electronic devices - travel from the Middle East
The UK Government has announced additional precautionary security measures for passengers on flights originating in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The new measures mean that laptops, tablets, e-readers, - 16.0cm in length, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep - will not be allowed in hand luggage and must be placed in the hold. This includes duty-free purchases of these devices in the airport. The measures also apply to keyboards, power cable transformers, spare or separate device batteries, portable power sources, or external hard drives that are above these size restrictions. Please be aware that spare or separate device batteries for use with a phone, laptop or battery are also listed as dangerous goods and cannot be placed in the hold.
There will be no restrictions on mobile phones, including the iPhone 7 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge that are smaller than the dimensions above.
The countries affected include Turkey and Egypt, so all Thomas Cook customers flying to the UK from these destinations will be impacted by the new measures. Please make the necessary arrangements to pack the affected electronic devices securely into hold luggage to be checked-in before going through security. Electrical items packed in hold luggage should be: switched off (not placed in standby) and packed in such a way that it cannot be switched on accidently, and be surrounded by cushioning material to avoid damage.
Further information will be available from the UK Government online shortly. The Foreign Office has not changed its overall level of advice for travel to Turkey or Egypt.
Spare or separate device batteries and portable power sources cannot be carried in either the hold or hand baggage and will be confiscated. If you are unsure whether you can carry any other device, please ask our staff at check-in.
If you would like to speak to us about a forthcoming holiday, please call us on 01733 224 536 or you can look at our FAQ's for more information.
East Midlands Airport – potential disruption in the vicinity of the Airport
A new rail freight terminal is being built at East Midlands Airport and is well under way. It is due to finish in 2019. During the course of the next few months we expect the roads around the airport to experience more congestion than usual. We would, therefore, ask you to take extra precautions and allow more travelling time to ensure that you arrive for your flight departure on time.
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.
Zika Virus - Latest Update: 2nd August 2016
At Thomas Cook we understand that customers who are pregnant will naturally be concerned about travelling to an area affected by the Zika Virus. We are closely monitoring the situation and would like to reassure any pregnant customers due to travel with Thomas Cook to one of the affected areas that we are happy to offer free amendments to alternative destinations.
Our customer service team proactively contacted all customers due to travel to the affected areas which included Mexico, Barbados, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, Maldives and Thailand to advise them of the situation and to ensure that we are handling any concerns on a case by case basis, offering free amendments up to and including the 31st of Oct
Florida has recently been updated by the Department of Health and as of 01 Aug 16 only a zone of about 1 square mile in Miami-Dade County is considered at risk of active transmission, therefore the whole state of Florida is not affected. We will therefore offer free amendments to customers travelling up to and including 31st Dec 2016 travelling to Miami –Dade County only. We will of course continue to review this and update this policy if required.
In addition, our resort teams are contactable 24 hours a day should any customers who are on holiday in these destinations need any information or support during their stay.
As always, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance and we will continue to monitor the situation and keep our policy under review.
Customers due to travel to the affected areas should monitor the World Health Organisation website for further updates and advice.
Whilst the symptoms of the Zika Virus are usually mild, customers are recommended to take the normal precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.
All those due to travel who are planning on getting pregnant and are concerned about a future holiday booking should call us so that we can support them appropriately.
Customers planning to become pregnant should discuss travel plans with a healthcare provider to assess the risk of infection and receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures. This advice will include information on when you can conceive when returning from an affected area, and is short term if not infected.
Customers who are already pregnant should inform their obstetrician or midwife if they have recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur.
For those customers travelling on holidays using scheduled airlines, Thomas Cook will contact the airline regarding its specific policy on behalf of the customer.
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.