Around 40,000 customers left out of pocket by the collapse of Thomas Cook have yet to claim for a refund, according to the CAA.

The authority has so far approved 215,000 claims and has rejected 85,000 on the basis that they are either duplicate or invalid.

The 215,000 valid claims include 45,000 bookings made by direct debit where a deposit had been paid. An additional 45,000 direct debit bookings without a deposit have already been refunded in full as they did not fall under the online claims process.

The CAA said around 60% of all valid claims had been processed, with £160 million paid out so far to customers, including those who had paid via direct debit.

However, the authority said some refunds were subject to further clarification and an estimated 40,000 valid claims were yet to be submitted.

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CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty, said: “We thank consumers for their ongoing patience as we continue to do all that we can to work through the UK travel industry’s largest ever refunds programme.

“I appreciate that this is a concerning time for Thomas Cook customers who are waiting for their refunds, particularly at this time of the year.

“We will have already paid out more than £160 million by this weekend and will continue to pay claims as soon as possible.

“Where we have had to request further information, we encourage those consumers to respond at the earliest opportunity so that we can finalise these payments.

“I would like to reassure consumers that all valid Atol-protected payments will be refunded.”

Which? consumer rights expert Adam French said: “Thousands of holidaymakers will be disappointed that they won’t be refunded from the collapse of Thomas Cook within the 60-day cut off date but we would urge these customers to make sure they stick with official channels as scammers have been circling to take advantage in the past.

“Anyone who has not yet made a claim but believes they are entitled to their money back should also put in a claim as soon as they get a chance.”

To submit a claim visit the CAA’s website here