From: Martin Wellings
PST Travel, Grove Road
Even though they may have been a competitor in town, it was a sad thing to see the demise of such an old travel brand as Thomas Cook, and certainly one has sympathy with staff who have lost their jobs as a result, but in your coverage I do feel that the plight of the holiday makers who had yet to travel has been overlooked.
The ATOL scheme does indeed protect everyone who had booked a package holiday, but unlike those who had actually had their holiday, many families due to travel lost theirs because they would have to wait at least six weeks for a refund. Even those people who could afford to pay for another holiday whilst waiting for a refund, had major problems as try as we might, it was impossible to get them away at such short notice and at anything like the price they were originally paying. We very quickly discovered that literally within hours of the Cook’s collapse, most of the airlines flying to the popular European destinations had massively increased their fares – in some cases at rates that exceeded the original cost of the whole holiday including accommodation!
Hence the feeling of sympathy for all those who had their holiday plans ruined.