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Holidaymakers ‘devastated’ after Thomas Cook trips cancelled

The company ceased trading in the early hours of Monday morning.

Passengers have spoken of their distress after the closure of Thomas Cook (Rick Findler/PA)
Passengers have spoken of their distress after the closure of Thomas Cook (Rick Findler/PA)

By PA reporters

Thousands of holidaymakers are coming to terms with upcoming trips abroad being cancelled following the collapse of Thomas Cook, with some set to miss holidays of a lifetime, weddings and honeymoons.

The tourism giant announced early on Monday that it had ceased trading after failing to secure a last-ditch rescue deal, leaving an estimated 150,000 Britons abroad awaiting repatriation.

One couple have been left devastated after their honeymoon in the “paradise” of the Maldives was cancelled while another wedding party anxiously wait to find out if their marriage in Greece will go ahead.

Lewis and Amy Bromiley from Manchester, who were looking forward to their honeymoon after getting married in August, said they will have to “wait months” for a refund on their £7,000 trip.

Mr Bromiley, a 25-year-old insurance worker from Manchester, told the PA news agency: “We booked it over a year ago, so we were well prepared and had got the best deal.

“Me and my wife are devastated.

“We wanted to go to Maldives as it’s paradise and we’re looking to plan for children soon, so we wanted to tick it off our bucket list, before we couldn’t.”

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Lewis Bromiley and his wife Amy (Bromiley/PA)

Mr Bromiley criticised the way the situation had been handled, adding it was “poorly communicated” and that their Twitter account should be managed for the next 48 hours “to give people the peace of mind they deserve”.

Nicole from Swansea, who did not wish to give her surname, told PA she was “absolutely devastated” at the closure of the firm she had booked with, which came before her “very first holiday”.

“And now we have the stress of trying to fix this and sort it all out,” she added.

“I am truly gutted, but also devastated for the people who are stranded on their holidays and for the employees who have lost their jobs with no warning, and this close to Christmas.

“It’s such a shame.”

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Empty Thomas Cook check-in desks at Gatwick Airport (Steve Parsons/PA)

Some hopeful travellers were anxiously waiting to find out if their trips abroad can be rearranged, including a wedding party who have spent £40,000 on flights and hotels to Kos, Greece.

“Heartbroken” Amy Wright, 27, and a wedding party of around 40 people were due to travel on October 3.

Her sister Katie Langley, 23, told PA the group had paid between £35,000 and £40,000 for the two-week trip through Thomas Cook, including flights and hotels.

Around one million people will be affected by the cancellation of all future Thomas Cook bookings, including Martin Nowell and his partner Pixie Flageul, who were due to go on their first holiday together to Egypt.

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Martin Nowell and his partner Pixie Flageul (Steve Parsons/PA)

Speaking at Gatwick Airport, Mr Nowell, a self-employed bricklayer from London, said it was “disappointing” that they could not go on their £1,400 holiday.

The 53-year-old added: “We are devastated. We feel for the people who have lost their jobs. It’s a tough old world out there.”

Samantha Reay and her husband Alan were supposed be heading to Turkey on their honeymoon on Friday.

The couple were married last November but 10 months of health problems for Mrs Reay, a 34-year-old manager for a vape company, have prevented them from going on their honeymoon until now.

“A week before the wedding I was rushed to hospital and had to have emergency surgery,” Mrs Reay, who is from Darlington, told PA. “I had a stomach ulcer that burst. I made it to the wedding, just, but the pain was excruciating.”

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Samantha Reay, right, and her husband Alan had been due to fly to Turkey on Friday (Samantha Reay)

In March Mrs Reay’s health problems returned as a second ulcer burst and this time she developed septicaemia – before the medication she was given started to cause seizures and she was placed in an induced coma for three days.

Eventually her health started to improve and doctors told her she would be OK to fly by September so they booked a trip to Turkey – but that is now in jeopardy because the flights, booked through a third party, were with Thomas Cook.

She has been told that, while her flights are Atol-protected and she will be compensated for them, she will have to pay for her own replacement travel in the meantime.

“We don’t have the money to rebook our flights,” she said.

“We’ve had one of those years where if it can go wrong it has gone wrong.

“This was the one thing we were looking forward to.”

PA

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