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  1. ITV Report

Islanders left 'heartbroken' - and some possibly stranded - after Thomas Cook collapse

The British tour operator could leave a possible 180,000 people stranded abroad - most of them Brits - if it were to collapse. Credit: PA Images

Islanders are left 'heartbroken' and some could be stranded after travel company Thomas Cook collapsed into compulsory liquidation a few hours ago.

The travel giant ceased trading after failing to secure a last-ditch rescue deal, leaving an estimated 150,000 Britons abroad awaiting repatriation.

On ITV Channel TV's Facebook page, passengers from Guernsey and Jersey said they're 'heartbroken' at the news, as they'd been due to fly out with the travel company.

Jennie Jandron from Jersey had a holiday booked for Disney World, in Florida. She and eight family members were due to leave 19th October. She said she was 'massively gutted, but also very sorry for all of Thomas Cook staff'.

Tony and Inese Le Page posted: "We are in Cyprus, flew Thomas Cook! Just flights, so no ATOL cover? Could end up stuck! Now trying to figure out how to get back to the UK! Then Guernsey".

Sophie Marie-Ann Stanford wrote: "Absolutely heartbroken as we are due to fly out with them."

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The company was unable to secure the extra £200 million needed to keep the business afloat following a full day of crucial talks with the major shareholder and creditors on Sunday.

Flights and holidays have been cancelled and now the UK Civil Aviation Authority has launched Britain's 'largest peacetime repatriation' to bring home stranded passengers.

Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect. All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.

– UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Thomas Cook's chief executive Peter Fankhauser said his company had "worked exhaustively" to salvage a rescue package.

Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable. It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years. This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world.

– Thomas Cook's chief executive, Peter Fankhauser
  • Aurigny Passengers
Aurigny said they are sad to hear of the closure and send their thoughts to all those affected. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Aurigny has announced it will step in to help islanders who are stranded as a result of the collapse.

The company, which is funded by Guernsey taxpayers, said they are sad to hear of the closure and send their thoughts to all those affected.

We know that some Aurigny customers will have flights and holidays booked with Thomas Cook, which will now need to be re-arranged and as Guernsey’s community airline we’d like to assist local residents who may have been affected by the collapse of the tour operator.”

– Mark Darby, Chief Executive of Aurigny

Passengers who have Aurigny flights booked to connect with Thomas Cook bookings are asked to rearrange other elements of their package first.

They can then call Aurigny on 01481267267 quoting their booking reference and they will be rebooked onto another flight on the same route where there is space available. The company says it will waive any change fees or differences in fare that would normally apply.

Customers who are looking to delay their holidays but cannot find a new package to meet their needs can have their Aurigny flights put on hold for up to 6 months.

The offer is valid for two weeks, so the company is asking passengers to change their bookings before the close of business on Monday 7 October, 2019.

  • Blue Islands
Blue Islands said their thoughts are with all those affected. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Similarly, Blue Islands say they will assist passengers who have been affected.

They urge passengers whose plans have been disrupted to re-arrange their trip and contact their Customer Care team on 01234 589200 or customercare@blueislands.com, where they will look to book an alternative flights, subject to availability with fees and fare differences waived.

Alternatively they can hold passengers' flights for 6 months, so long as they have travelled by 23 March 2020.

Proof of Thomas Cook reservation is required, and the cut-off point for making changes is 7 October 2019.

They also passed on their thoughts to staff and passengers affected by the news.

As the future of Thomas Cook hangs in the balance, customers who have booked with the firm are questioning what their consumer rights are.

To find out more, click here.