Don't just book it, Thomas Cook it. So runs the slogan. Would you? Here's interim (that's reassuring) chief executive Sam Weihagen doing his safe-as-houses routine: "It's business as usual. We are trading within all our covenants. We have all the protection in place like any other travel company, and customers should not worry at all." Well, not quite like any other travel company. Thomas Cook of course holds an Air Travel Organisers' Licence from the Civil Aviation Authority which means customers should get their money back in the event of calamity. But the simple fear of being stranded a week after passengers of Austria's Comtel Air had to bribe pilots with £20,000 just to return to Birmingham is bound to unsettle would-be customers. There's a circle at work here and it is vicious. Given the choice between a similarly priced holiday with Thomas Cook or, say, Thomson, why would you risk the former? To counteract this, Thomas Cook might have to slash prices. That will eat into margins, cut profits and put banking covenants at risk. It might very quickly find it needs to borrow even more money. The company insists: "This is a robust business that has a strong future". We'll see.