A pair of newlyweds who saved £1,300 for a dream honeymoon with Thomas Cook will likely never get their money back.
Sophie and Luke Fleetwood had set up a honeymoon fund on the travel firm's website and were accumulating gift cards with help from generous family and friends.
They had managed to collect £1,300, which was sitting in a Gift of Travel account on Thomas Cook's website, but the funds were lost when the firm went bust last September.
The Fleetwoods, who have three children, were planning a two-week trip to Mexico to give them some much-needed alone time - and now they might not go on a honeymoon at all.
For months they had been contacting firms involved in Thomas Cook's insolvency and waiting to find out if they would get their money back.
But it appears they will not get any money back because gift card holders are unsecured creditors.
Sophie, 25, told Mirror Online: "We are thinking of wiping a honeymoon out of our heads as we just can’t afford to pay the total cost, hence the honeymoon fund to help towards it.
"We had set up the honeymoon fund via their website. So our wedding guests, friends and family paid into this account.
"And we’ve supposedly lost all the money. No-one is getting back to us about it all."
The stay-at-home mum, whose children are aged one, three and four, added: "We felt absolutely devastated [when Thomas Cook ceased trading].
"We are parents to three children aged under five, so knowing we had lost all of that money, which would have helped us go on our honeymoon, was quite upsetting."
She said she has followed the refund advice listed on Thomas Cook and Government websites, adding: "We don’t know what else to do now really."
Sadly, it appears the money put into the Gift of Travel scheme will never be returned because gift card holders are unsecured creditors in the insolvency process.
Sophie and gas engineer Luke, 25, who tied the knot at Silchester House in Reading in May last year, were accumulating gift cards, including those donated by family and friends, to put towards a trip.
Unlike the hundreds of thousands who have already been refunded because they were ATOL protected, the Fleetwoods hadn't yet purchased a holiday and their savings were in the form of gift cards.
After the firm collapsed, customers who had Thomas Cook gift cards were told they were likely worthless, but to register as a creditor in a bid to claim the money back.
They were warned they might not get anything back.
If they do, it could be just a fraction of the value.
For gift cards purchased using a credit or debit card, people might be able to make a claim to their credit or debit card provider.
The Fleetwoods have registered as a creditor, but they were recently told in an email: "At this stage, there is no further update available in respect of returns to unsecured creditors."
On its website, Money Saving Expert wrote: "If you have a Thomas Cook gift card, you will have to register as a creditor in a bid to try and claim some money back from Thomas Cook – but bear in mind that you'll join a long list of creditors, many of whom will be owed a lot of money by the business.
"You may well not get anything back via this route, and if you do, expect it to be a fraction of the value of the gift card."
Earlier this month, the Civil Aviation Authority said it had settled more than 95 per cent of all the claims it had received from people who had booked holidays that were ATOL protected.
That amounted to 320,000 claims at a value of more than £310million in ATOL payments - the most ever paid out by the scheme.
About 10,000 claims had not yet been settled and they were being processed "as a matter of urgency".
The CAA said: "In most cases, these claims have taken longer to process because the details entered online do not exactly match Thomas Cook's booking records, in some cases due to Thomas Cook's incomplete or inaccurate data, making it more difficult for the claims team to identify bookings as quickly as we would like.
"We have a dedicated team working through the remaining claims in order to support consumers and process ATOL payments as quickly as possible.
"There are also thousands of forward bookings with Thomas Cook that we have not yet received claims for, and we encourage anyone who has not yet opened a claim to do so as soon as possible so that we can process all claims within the timescales available to us."