After a weekend of desperation to secure additional funds to continue to stay afloat, the oldest travel agency in the world, Thomas Cook, has collapsed earlier this morning.
The Oldest Travel Agency In the World Collapses
Thomas Cook had been facing difficulties with many things in their travel business, not including problems in Turkey in 2016 (a major holiday destination for their customers) and the heatwave that hit Southern Europe last year and this summer. With the uncertainty of Brexit and the falling value of the pound, the UK-based Thomas Cook wasn’t helped with those issues either.
Like other airlines before it, Thomas Cook and their subsidiary airlines continued selling tickets online right up until it folded. This has not affected operations of the Frankfurt-based Condor Airlines. Condor reportedly is trying to get some funds from the German government but they are saying they will continue operating even though their parent company has collapsed (Condor is an award partner of Alaska Airlines).
The UK has an insurance fund to help those who booked vacation packages with Thomas Cook, however, those who have purchased just airfare with Thomas Cook will need to check with their travel insurance or credit card that they used to purchase the airfare. If you are in this boat, check out this website to get more information.
There are 600,000 holiday travelers currently stranded by the Thomas Cook collapse and the UK is starting a massive repatriation of their citizens as of this day. They have chartered a number of aircraft and are working to make sure that the people’s air schedules are not disrupted by more than a few hours.
There are many hotels and resorts that have not yet received payment from Thomas Cook for guests staying at their properties. One such resort in Tunisia reportedly locked the gates to prevent guests from departing until the guests paid additional fees (though it appears that those guests have left as of yesterday). Again, the UK government has said they will be covering these fees with funds from an insurance program for such events.
If you are affected by this, make sure you start with the website above and keep track of any expenses you are out-of-pocket from this collapse.
Featured image from Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]