London travel company collapses, leaving some NFL fans with no tickets, no refunds

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Thomas Cook, the London-based travel company that had hundreds of thousands of customers around the world, collapsed this week, and many fans who purchased tickets to the NFL’s four upcoming games in London are left without answers — and without tickets.

The league released a statement saying there’s not much it can do for those who purchased tickets through the now-defunct Thomas Cook.

“We continue to focus on the impact on NFL fans who purchased tickets for this year’s London Games through Thomas Cook,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, NFL UK has not received any details on ticket purchasers from Thomas Cook, nor has NFL UK received payments for any tickets sold by Thomas Cook. NFL UK is unable to offer refunds on any tickets, travel or accommodations purchased through Thomas Cook.”

The NFL did say that people who bought tickets through Thomas Cook can “request the opportunity to re-purchase tickets from NFL UK,” but that’s not much solace: Those fans have already paid high prices for the expensive tickets to the NFL’s London games, and now they’re just told they can “request the opportunity” to pay high prices again to get the same tickets they already paid for.

It’s an ugly situation for travelers around the world, and NFL fans are among those getting screwed.

36 responses to “London travel company collapses, leaving some NFL fans with no tickets, no refunds

  1. I fail to see what any of this has to do with the league. Why should they be held responsible, by anyone, for the failures of an unrelated company?

  2. Did the NFL receive money from Thomas Cook?
    If not, then I understand their viewpoint.
    If the NFL did get money for the tickets, then why not make those tickets available to those who purchased them.
    Alternatively – if there isn’t time, then instead resell them and hold onto that money to reimburse the ticket holder as much as possible.

    Also – if you buy via a credit card, are you protected against this? Is this fraud?

  3. Why is NFL not controlling who sells the tickets? If the NFL would have required this company to have bailee insurance (since the tickets our their property) then this would be a non event.

  4. nflpoker says: Great PR for the NFL wanting games over in Europe.
    It’s not NFL’s fault, and package buyers to games should have insurance, and most will have their card purchase protection, so all they have to do is claim, and re-buy if they still want to.

    BTW – Don’t blame the Brits (again)! This hasn’t really been a British Company since it was bought by KarstadtQuelle (later, Arcandor), German firms many years ago, and the company was listed in London AND Frankfurt – less than half the staff were British. The same happened with BP – Obama blamed “British” Petroleum but in fact British Petroleum became “BP” after it had become half-American owned and the other half Anglo-Dutch.

  5. All the more reason for the league to manage this sort of thing. Im sure everyone would pay a little more to have the NFL run it. Just enough to offset the costs of the program.

  6. Companies that go under suddenly like this are usually covering up a lot of financial problems. It becomes a shell game. It’s reasonable to believe that they took money for tickets, but never actually purchased the tickets from the NFL because they needed that cash to cover other bills.
    It’s a shame, but it sounds like people lost a lot more money on other things they booked than this.

  7. “akaodoyle says:
    September 26, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I fail to see what any of this has to do with the league. Why should they be held responsible, by anyone, for the failures of an unrelated company?”

    The NFL is mandating that 4 games be played in London. If home games were to be played in their true home-cities this Thomas Cook/UK travel fraud wouldn’t have affected ANY NFL fans. The NFL IS partially responsible and to avoid MORE egg on it’s face should dig into their $Billions profit & attempt to reduce the screw-job THEIR FANS are getting.

  8. I get it really stinks for those who purchased through that company. Have to agree with previous statement these games shouldn’t even be held across the pond.

  9. “Also – if you buy via a credit card, are you protected against this? Is this fraud?”

    All credit card companies allow you to dispute charges. AMEX is probably the best at getting satisfaction from doing so. The problem in this case may be the card company will not be able to recover anything from the travel agency without fighting alongside other creditors and there will be many.

    This is a large company that literally had 150,000 people traveling at the time of collapse who were left scrambling trying to get home. There are hundreds of thousands of more claims for those who booked and paid for travel, game tix, etc who have not yet reached the time those services were to occur.

    This will likely take years to play out in bankruptcy court.

  10. The owners and CEOs of Thomas Cook should be on the hook for repaying customers for all the cancelled flights. If they can’t pay up, then they should be in jail.

  11. There is always some problems with these games abroad. The NFL needs to stop robbing teams of real home games, and keep it at home. Reopen NFL Europe or send the Raiders to London, I’m sure they won’t mind with the proper financial incentive.

  12. I had tickets on an airline that went under a month before my trip. The credit card company ultimately refunded about half my money, but we didn’t make the trip.

  13. That is crazy, how can you let a travel company collapse and lose all the tickets that people bought. That is going to have a negative effect on the game and the people that lost the tickets they bought.

  14. I would sue the NFL and there are many others also, but if it wasnt a NFL game in the U.K there would be no reason to buy NFL tickets in the London. This the kind of BS the NFL does. Its never the NFL’s fault. The NFL is starting to sound like AB.

  15. “The NFL doesn’t need to play in any other country. Enough said!”

    Nice xenophobic view. I guess you also believe that US citizens should not be allowed to travel outside of the US.

  16. “Why again are season ticket holders sacrificing one of their team’s home games for games in Europe? That’s almost as crazy as Antonio Brown.”

    Season ticket holders are not sacrificing anything. Teams adjust their season ticket prices to account for one less home game.

  17. Why in the world do some of you think this is the nfl’s fault? You buy from a third party and you could get burned. Buy directly from the nfl and tickets not delivered? Then it’s the nfl’s fault. If you buy airline tickets on Expedia and that company folds, does American Airlines owe you a refund or free tickets?

  18. Here’s another analogy of many posters stupidity in blaming the nfl…if American Airlines cancels your trip to London, will you scream airlines should never leave the United States in the first place?!

  19. Sports News says:
    September 26, 2019 at 10:22 am
    That is crazy, how can you let a travel company collapse and lose all the tickets that people bought. That is going to have a negative effect on the game and the people that lost the tickets they bought.

    So you think it’s the NFL’s job to keep Thomas Cook afloat? You need a reality check.

  20. Google Thomas Cook collapse. This has nothing to do with the NFL. If you sue the NFL might as well sue Disney World, the resorts in Mexico and elsewhere plus any and all airlines involved. actually the London games we a very small portion of the problems.This is why I steer clear of travel agencies and book direct when I travel

  21. Anyone that bought a ticket should have a email confirmation from Thomas Cook that shows what seats you purchased. The NFL UK should honor that as proof that you bought tickets since they know Thomas Cook went out of business.

  22. As one of the Brit’s affected let me be clear

    ALL NFL tickets are sold by ticketmaster and all games 280,000 of them sold out in 20 minutes by a combination of ticketmaster crashing and touts.

    Any fans were left to try other means. The OFFICIAL travel partner of the NFL in the UK was Thomas Cook. Of which many fans bought these hotel/game packages because there was no way of buying tickets without paying 5x the price on sites like GetMeIn (owned by ticketmaster conveniently).

    We paid upfront for these packages as it was the only way of securing seats and many fans booked their travel now separately.

    Other sports affected have been F1, Rugby and many Soccer teams like Liverpool, Manchester United etc.

    The issue we have is that the NFL has been pathetic in its response to fans many of which are travelling to games this week. They already know there hotels may be cancelled but the fact that they are travelling with no guarantee of a ticket is heartbreaking.

    All we are asking the NFL is that if we can prove we have paid upfront in good faith that we get first option to repurchase those tickets.

    We are aware we will have to sort alternative accommodation, likewise claim for our money back but to simply shrug their shoulders and release the tickets back onto the open market as before for touts and the like would be a final slap in the face to loyal fans who in their desperation were forced to go to a company that NFL UK endorses.

    Just meet us halfway here is all we ask.

  23. Imagine paying for one of those terrible Thursday games!!!


    … imagine paying for one of those terrible Thursday games times fifty.

  24. Smidge1975 – I wrote a response to some of the comments on here, but it hasn’t been published. Probably because I didn’t hold back!

    I am so sorry you got caught in the almighty mess. We were very lucky and got tickets through Ticketmaster, but it was painful. We also used Thomas Cook last year for the Titan/Chargers game. Upgraded the tickets as the ones that came with the package were awful, but the hotel experience wasn’t great.

    The NFL has treated the Thomas Cook customers shamefully, and I sincerely hope you will be able to get to buy some of the tickets allocated to TC and make a claim for your money and travel.

    Kudos too to MDS for raising this. Nobody else has.

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