Firstly, my thoughts lay with the employees of the company. They’ve lost their jobs overnight and their livelihoods only a couple of months before Christmas. I hope they find jobs.
Secondly, my thoughts are with those immediately effected by the collapse of the business. By that I mean those currently on holidays who will have a chaotic journey home. Dream holidays turned into nightmares.
I read that the company asked for public money to bail them out. I don’t even think that would work. If you need upwards of £200 million to balance the books, you’re not running the business that well. Surely a bail out would just prolong the inevitable?
As the company has ceased trading, flights have been cancelled and a massive repatriation effort is starting to take place to get people back to the UK. People will get their money back if they had holidays booked as they are ATOL protected. For some though, it’s as much about the inconvenience, as the cash.
I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories and one stands out. A man has lost over £20k as he was saving for a retirement holiday with Thomas Cook vouchers, which are now worthless. Vouchers are the work of the devil and you’re much better to use cash. It’s sad when so many people get lives changed when the business owners clearly haven’t done their jobs properly, yet won’t feel much of a financial impact as they’ve been taking home huge pay cheques for years.
If you need help, head to Money Saving Expert where the team are keeping on top of developments to bring you the best advice. Martin Lewis has also recording a video, done a Facebook live video and been on countless forms of media today to try and spread the news about what to do if you’re one of the thousands that this affects.
It’s a huge shame. Thomas Cook were a staple art of the high street but maybe that was part of the problem? High rents and lack of people actually buying holidays in shops these days? Are the days of the holiday brochure behind us, as online dominates?