Frequently Asked Questions

1) VA Oversight (3)

1.1 VA Representation
  • exhibit high levels of personal integrity in their interactions with each other and other members of the flight simulation community;
  • abide by the rules of Thomas Cook Virtual.
  • display a high standard of airmanship when conducting flights for and on behalf of Thomas Cook Virtual, whether in the on-line simulated ATC/flight simulator environment or as part of other events where the conduct of members reflects on the reputation of the organisation
1.2 What Aircraft can I fly witht the VA
We place very few restrictions on its members. Key restrictions include
  • Flyable aircraft by rank
  • VA Itinary takes priority to person flights. This is in place so to emulate the real world routes that Thomas Cook serviced. Moving an aircraft to a destination that it does not service will have an effect on the Itinary.
  • No restrictions on how many times you must fly within the month.
  • We expect the Thomas Cook livery to be used at all times, failure to abide by this rule will have your PIREP rejected.
1.3 Routes
Routes as in the real world are given to specific aircraft, and pilots that are at the location airport. Therefore, if your last flight is not from that airport then you cannot fly that route. You can however use the jumpseat facility that will deduct money from your virtual wage. Each aircraft for that route must be flown, your PIREP depends on it, in other words it will be rejected.

2) Flight Rules (7)

2.1 What code do I use when Flying
You should fly with your VA code,however we do allow you to fly with the flight code. The exception to this would be if you are flying a cargo flight, then your VA TCX number must be used.
2.2 How do I record a flight
All members must use our Smartcars software. This can be found within the download section of the crew center. Sometimes programs will not do as they are suppose to do, for that occasion we have a manual PIREP system that you can fill out. Please be sure to complete all fields or it could lead to being rejected.

2.3 Should I calculate Fuel
Yes it is important to accuratly calcalate your fuel. If you crash you will be deducted flight points. To much fuel and the VA will suffer a loss for the flight. You may be warned by a staff member.
2.4 How do I prepare my flight
There are two ways the first is to bid for a flight. All flights at your current destination will show along with your type rated aircraft. Once you have bid for the flight go to flight brief you can then generate a proffessional flight plan with simbrief. Please ensure you have a free account with them and also the pop up are allowed for Sim Brief.

Simbrief HERE
The advantages are that simbrief will aways have the latest AIRAC cycle installed as the VA and an accurate representation of a real world flght plan.

2.5 My Flightsim Crashed
Visit the Manual PIREP system HERE

You are only allowed to submit one manual PIREP within 25 flights wothout prior permission.
We will need a copy of your Smartcars log which can be done by pressing the copy PIRPE in the smartcars system.

The VA staff reserve the right to reject any maual PIREP and will give reasons in the comments box when doing so.
If you crash an aircraft the system will pick this up and your PIREP, if submitted will not be accepted.
2.6 How long is activity rules set at
90 days of inactivity, this is because we believe a relaxed approach to the VA and the confidence we have in our services, pilots will keep coming back to fly with us.
2.7 My PIREP was rejected !
There are a few reasons for this,
  • Incompleted flight
  • You crashed the Airplane
  • You slewed or paused your sim for more than 40 seconds
  • You flew the incorrect aircraft
  • You flew the correct aircraft but with the wrong livery.
  • You landed at the wrong airport, (Alternates allowed if malfunction) this will show on the log.

3) Flight Preparation (4)

3.1 What flight planner do I use ?
Within our system we use simbrief to generate realistic and proffessional flight plans. You will need to set up a free account and disable pop ups from the browser of your choice. The VA purchases all the latest AIRACS so you know that the plans issued will be the latest up to date plans. If there are any discrepencies you will need to update your own AIRACs on a monhly basis at a small charge.

3.2 How do I calcalate my Fuel load ?
Sim Brief will calcalate this for you within the flight plan. Please be aware that fuel is calcalated in kg's and not lbs. If you require KGs you must use an online converter.
3.3 My Bid Page only dhows one bit
All pilots in the VA can only bud for one flight ata time. Ince you bid for the fight the system will remove the bid for all other pilots.
This will also be the reason if you have seen a flight you would like to do then revisited to fly it, someone else may have picked it up. Also flights are days of the week specifphic, so what you see in the way of flights one dsy, would be totally different the day after.
3.4 What is our Cost Index
Most FMCs ask for the CI/Cost index of that aircraft.

All our airline cost cost index can be found below

4) General VA Rules (4)

4.1 Can I transfer my hours from other VAs
We allow a maximum toal number of hours of 500 to be carried across from another VA. To enable us to do this we need a live link or a screenshot  showing the total hours you have flown and your name. This should be sent through the website mailing system within your profile.
4.2 What is the rank structure
We think our ranking is well structured starting all new pilots with a probationary account.
The rank structure can be found within the crew center.
4.3 what is the percentage for on my PIREP
This is a grading of your flight. It grades your flights by assessing the mistakes you make and then deducting % from your overall total. for instance

  • Exceeding 250kts 5% deduction
  • Overspeed 5% deduction
  • Sim rate set to 128 5% deduction PIREP Rejected
  • Sim Paused 20% deduction
  • Slew mode entered 80% deduction
  • Stalling 2% deduction
  • Aircraft Crash 100% deduction PIREP Rejected
  • Landing rate -400fps and above 10% deduction
  • Bounced landing 5% deduction
  • Sim rate above normal 5% deduction PIREP Rejected
  • Aircraft changed from shedule aircraft 5% deduction
This list could be changed at any time
4.4 What is the status of aircraft in the fleet page
All aircraft suffer from general wear and tear when in service. Dependant on how a VA member flies the aircraft will depend on the wear and tear status.  If you have a bad landing or your extend flaps wwhile to fast, these have a detrimental effect on the airframe. An airframe will reach 70% and will then automatically withdrawn from service for maintenance. Another reserve aircraft may be available to take the flight with however if not then the route will be cancelled within the timetable.
All airframes will also undergo FAA mainenance checks A B C D Thoughout the year and throughout the aircrafts life, as in real world. This is why it is important to fly the aircraft well witin their limits as this also has an effect on the airframe.

5) Tours (4)

5.1 What Aircraft can I fly
All details of the correct aircraft will be placed within the details of the tour. Substitutions are allowed if you do not own a specifc aircraft.
5.2 How long can I take to complete
Some tours have an end date but most are open ended. It will be highlighted in the tour information
5.3 How long can I take to complete
Some tours have an end date but most are open ended. It will be highlighted in the tour information
5.4 Can we take part in a network tour like IVAO or VATSIM
Yes, you can create the leg on Smartcars and fly the tour. However please get intouch with our staff to find out if the legs for the tours have been updated in our database. We do not have all world airports in the database due to it slowing the system down. If you give us notice of a tour we can ensure that all airports for the legs are added.

Network Tours on System

  • IVAO World Tour 2020

6) ACARS Issues (0)

There are no any Frequently Asked Questions about "ACARS Issues".

7) General Questions (2)

7.1 Does the VA offer awards to Pilots
There are awards for absolutley everything, from completing a single tour to completing 5 tours in a row. We have hours served awards and awards for being part of the VA for a certain amount of time.
There are many awards to much to list and the more awards are introduced on a weekly basis.
Type rating awards will be on th list, for the amount of hours you spend flying a specific type of aircraft. Challenging  airports will also have an award for instance Bhutan, Innsbruck ect.
All awards are automatic and do not require you to notify staff members. The awards can be found by clicking the award menu in your profile

7.2 Cannot see my current location in flight search
The main reason for this would be that you have flown a none schedulled leg and the search does not recognise your location. You can create a flight in Smartcars or us the jump seat facility to get you to your location. Make surre you have built up enough virtual wage.
If you cannot do tis please contact us in the mail system to transfer you.

8) GDPR (1)

8.1 Cookie Policy

(Updated April 2020)

This Cookies Policy explains how Thomas Cook Virtual Group, use cookies and similar technologies. Whenever you use OUR website, apps, or other technologies (“Services”), or visit our website, or service which uses our Services, information may be collected through the use of cookies and similar technologies. Thomas Cook Virual Group is committed to protecting the personal information collected when you use our Services.

This Cookies Policy provides the following information for users:
What are cookies and similar technologies?
What are the different types of cookies?
What are cookies used for?
How does Thomas Cook Virual Group use cookies?
How can users manage or opt out of cookies?
Contact details and where to find further information

What are cookies and similar technologies?

A cookie is a small data file, often including a unique identifier, which is sent to your computer, mobile phone or tablet device (referred to in this policy as a “device”) by the web server so the website can remember some information about your browsing activity on the website. The cookie will collect information relating to your use of our Services, information about your device, e.g. the device’s IP address and browser type, broad location and, if you arrived at our site via a link from third party site, the URL of the linking page. If you have registered for any Services or you are a subscriber, it may also collect your name and email address, which may be transferred to data processors for registered user or subscriber verification purposes.

Similar technologies known as “local storage” may also be used in our Services as an alternative to cookies. This is technology which is similar to cookies and performs very similar functions, such as caching data to enable us to improve our Services, allowing you to register for our Services, tracking activity to enable us and our advertisers to advertise to you in accordance with this policy and counting the number of people who view adverts on our Services. Where we refer to “cookies” in this policy, we mean cookies or similar technologies.

Cookies record information about your online preferences and help us to tailor our Services to your interests. Information provided by cookies can help us to analyse your use of our Services and help us to provide you with a better user experience.

In addition to cookies, our Services may also use clear GIFs &page tags. These are all types of technology implemented by websites or third party ad servers to allow them to analyse your website use and help improve your experience of the Services.

What are the different types of cookies?

  • Session cookies are only stored for the duration of your visit to a website and are deleted from your device when you close your browser;
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  • First party cookies are set by the website you are visiting; and
  • Third party cookies are cookies used within our Services which are set by other organisations. These include cookies from external analytics services which help us to understand the use of our sites, or by advertisers so that they can track the effectiveness of their advertisements.

What are cookies used for?

1. Functional Cookies
Functional cookies are essential to the running of our Services. They are used to remember your preferences on our websites and to provide enhanced, more personal features. The information collected by these cookies is usually anonymised, so we cannot identify you personally. Functional cookies do not track your internet usage or gather information which could be used for selling advertising, but they do help with serving advertising. These cookies are usually session cookies which will expire when you close your browsing session.

2. Essential or ‘Strictly Necessary’ Cookies
These cookies are essential for the running of our Services. Without these cookies, parts of our websites would not function. These cookies do not track where you have been on the internet and do remember preferences beyond your current visit and do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes. These cookies are usually session cookies which will expire when you close your browsing session.

3. Analytical Performance and Measurement Cookies
Analytical performance cookies are used to monitor the performance of our Services, for example, to determine the number of pageviews and the number of unique users a website has. Web analytics services may be designed and operated by third parties. The information provided by these cookies allows us to analyse patterns of user behaviour and we use that information to enhance user experience or identify areas of the website which may require maintenance. The information is anonymous (i.e. it cannot be used to identify you and does not contain personal information such as your name and email address) and it is only used for statistical purposes

4. Targeting or ‘Behavioural Advertising’ Cookies
These cookies, which may be placed on your device by us or our trusted third party service providers, remember that you have visited a website and use that information to provide you with content or advertising which is tailored to your interests. This is often called online behavioural advertising (OBA) and is done by grouping together shared interests based upon web browsing history. Your web browsing history can be used to infer things about you (e.g. your age, gender etc.), and this information may also be used to make advertising on websites more relevant to you. Without these cookies, content and advertisements you encounter may be less relevant to you and your interests. If you would like more information about OBA, including how to opt-out of these cookies, please visit: http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ or scroll down to: How can users manage or opt out of cookies?

How does Thomas Cook Virtual Group use cookies?

Thomas Cook Virual Group, together with our trusted partners, uses cookies in combination with other information we maintain for a number of purposes, including the following:

1. Essential and Functional Cookies
We use these cookies to enable certain online functionality including:

  • access your information so we can provide you with customised content and experiences, or remember the last page you visited on the Services;
  • identify returning users, registrants and subscribers and allow them to be presented with a personalised version of the site;
  • eliminating the need for returning users to re-enter their login details;
  • commenting on our sites;
  • operating a shopping trolley on various of our Services including www.myfavouritemagazines.com;
  • maintain your settings and authenticate your identity while you are logged in to the Services;
  • to support security measures and to assist in identifying possible fraudulent or abusive activities.

If you object to the use of essential and functional cookies please scroll down to: How can users manage or opt out of cookies?

2. Analytical Performance and Measurement Cookies

We use these cookies to measure users’ behaviour to better develop our Services. By using analytics services provided by third parties such as Google Analytics and ComScore, we can analyse and measure which pages are viewed and how long for and which links are followed, and we can use this information to provide more content which is of interest. We also use this analysis to report on our performance and to sell advertising.

If you object to the use of analytical performance and measurement cookies please see here: How can users manage or opt out of cookies?

3. Targeting and Behavioural Advertising Cookies

We use these cookies to:

  • manage online advertising and revenue share arrangements. Our approved advertising partners, primarily Google (Doubleclick, AdX, AdSense), Rubicon Project, Index Exchange, AppNexus, OpenX, Pubmatic, Criteo and GroupM use cookies together with web beacons to provide advertising to you and to enable us to manage our relationship with those advertisers by, for example, tracking how many unique users have seen a particular advertisement or followed a link in an advertisement;
  • manage eCommerce activities via affiliate links and associated revenue share arrangements;
  • measure general user behaviour across our sites and third party sites to build a profile based on users browsing patterns so that we and third parties can target advertising to users that will be more relevant to users’ interests. This means that if, for example, users visit a page with a review about a particular camera then the cookie will collect this information and we may target adverts for that camera to those users and, if users visit third party sites that are part of the same advertising network, those third parties may target adverts for that camera to those users;
  • to create profiles that trusted third parties can buy to allow them to better target their advertising with more relevant content; and
  • keep track of the number of users who saw a particular ad or visited a particular page of one of our websites, analyse the effectiveness of our ads, and provide auditing, research and reporting for advertisers.

The trusted partners we work with in relation to targeting and behavioural advertising include third-party ad servers, ad agencies, technology vendors, providers of advertisement content, research firms and other companies that help us provide more effective advertising and offer you a more personalised experience. As your browser, app or device communicates with the third party’s servers, these companies can collect information, including your IP address, page header information, browser or device information, just as if you had requested their web page or used their apps directly.
We cannot control nor do we have access to any cookies placed on your computer by third party advertisers and sponsors.

If you object to the use of targeting and behavioural advertising cookies please scroll down to: How can users manage or opt out of cookies?

4. Other Third Party Cookies

You may notice on some pages of our websites that cookies have been set that are not related to Thomas Cook Virual Group. When you visit a page with content embedded from, for example, YouTube or Facebook, these third party service providers may set their own cookies on your device. Future does not control the use of these third party cookies and cannot access them due to the way that cookies work, as cookies can only be accessed by the party who originally set them. Please check the third party websites for more information about these cookies.

Some of our websites use Adobe Flash Player to deliver video and game content to users. Adobe utilise their own cookies, which are not manageable through your browser settings but are used by the Flash Player for similar purposes, such as storing preferences or tracking users. Flash Cookies work in a different way to web browser cookies; rather than having individual cookies for particular jobs, a website is restricted to storing all data in one cookie. You can control how much data, if any, may be stored in that cookie but you cannot choose what type of information is allowed to be stored. You can manage which websites can store information in Flash cookies on your device via the website storage settings panel on the Adobe website.

We also include web beacons in our emails to track the success of our marketing campaigns. This means that if you open an email from us we can see which of the pages of our Website you have visited. Our web beacons do not store additional information on your device but, by communicating with our cookies on your device, they can tell us when you have opened our email.

How can users manage or opt out of cookies?

Some people find the idea of a website storing information on their device a little intrusive, in particular when the information is stored and used by a third party. For example, you may object to being served advertising which is targeted to your interests based on your browsing history. If you would prefer to opt out of cookies, it is possible to control cookies by following the steps below, however you should be aware that you might lose some features and functionality of the website if you do so.

Cookies, including those which have already been set, can be deleted from your hard drive. You can also change the preferences/settings in your web browser to control cookies. Some internet browsers have a ‘Do Not Track or ‘DNT’ setting; this sends a signal to websites asking them not to track your browsing.

In some cases, you can choose to accept cookies from the primary site, but block them from third parties. In others, you can block cookies from specific advertisers, or clear out all cookies. Deleting or blocking cookies may reduce functionality of the site. To learn more about how to reject cookies, visit http://www.allaboutcookies.org/ or go to the help menu within your internet browser. If you experience any problems having deleted cookies, you should contact the supplier of your web browser.

For more information about third party cookies generated by advertisers please visit www.youronlinechoices.com.

Please be aware that these are third party websites and Future does not accept any liability for the instructions given on these sites.

Thomas Cook Virual Group hold membership emails as part of the security of profiles. We use our internal email system to send messages to membrs within the system, in turn the system will send a notification email to your personal email held on site. We will not share any emails or IP addresses to 3rd party's.

9) Your Privacy (1)

9.1 What Is our Privacy Measures

We value your privacy


The collection and processing of information about your use of this service to subsequently personalise advertising and/or content for you in other contexts, such as on other websites or apps, over time. Typically, the content of the site or app is used to make inferences about your interests, which inform future selection of advertising and/or content.