Thomas Cook families abroad scramble to get home before travel firm collapses

21 September 2019, 15:51

Thomas Cook is trying to find £200 million to stop it from going bust
Thomas Cook is trying to find £200 million to stop it from going bust. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Tens of thousands of Thomas Cook customers are facing a desperate scramble home as the travel company tries to avoid going into administration.

The world's oldest travel agent needs a bailout of £200 million if it is to continue trading past this weekend.

Sources have claimed it is a "government bailout or nothing", and it is understood the company have pleaded with the government for a helping hand.

It is estimated 150,000 people would be stranded if the travel firm goes bust.

Those on a package holiday are ATOL-protected, meaning the Government would be forced to launch a repatriation effort costing around £600 million - the biggest in peacetime history.

Although this may seem that it would be more cost effective to pay the bail out ministers reportedly believe the bill could be claimed back on insurance.

Caroline Clayton, 54, and her 57-year-old husband Neil flew to Gran Canaria on Monday, but fear they could be stuck without life-saving medication if they are left there for too long.

Caroline told The Sun Online: "I'm set to return to South Wales this coming Thursday, but I'm terrified.

"I suffer from hypomagnesemia, and I need a lot of daily medication.

"I packed enough to last me until Thursday, because we're set to fly back then. If we're stranded, I could suffer from heart failure, it's happened before when I didn't have enough medication."

In response to stranded and panicked holidaymakers a spokesperson said on Twitter: "I understand you might be unsettled by all the media speculation surrounding Thomas Cook.

"The plans we have announced, and the process we continue to work through, will, when executed, provide even greater certainty for Thomas Cook’s future."

A spokesperson for Britain's Department of Transport said: "We do not speculate on the financial situation of individual businesses."