The Thomas Cook travel agency went bankrupt, foreign tourists were driven out of the hotel

Tourists who were abroad when the travel agency Thomas Cook went bankrupt told the BBC that they were forced to pay additional fees by the hotel they visited.

The Thomas Cook travel agency went bankrupt, foreign tourists were driven out of the hotel
Thomas Cook
The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the travel agency customers do not need to make additional payments.

But Jess Beeton, who is on vacation with her partner, Richard Berrington, said "all guests who book through Thomas Cook have been barred from entering the room".

The woman added: "The only choice given to us is to pay what Thomas Cook hasn't paid, or take our things and leave."

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Jess said that after the hotel locked the guests' rooms, she managed to get access to her room by saying that she had to take the medicine she had stored there.

Once inside, he and Richard locked their room from the inside, but since then they have paid some money with a credit card so they can stay in the hotel until their return from Spain on Sunday.

He added: "Most of the guests at this hotel are elderly and about five retired couples have to sleep on the couch near the reception desk without their belongings or access to food. They haven't even been given a blanket or pillow."

Security staff are deployed
Hayley Hook and his family are on vacation in Greece.

He said that they had been forced to provide their credit card information to hotel staff and security staff had been mobilized, although they later left again.

He said on Facebook that the hotel he was staying in demanded an additional fee of € 50 per person, per room per night, and said that if guests did not pay, the hotel would stop providing food and drinks.

Tourists like Hayley might have paid their rooms months before, but hotels usually only receive money from Thomas Cook a few weeks after they stay.

But Atoll's insurance, which includes payments if the company goes bankrupt, will only pay bills for rooms and food since Thomas Cook went bankrupt on Monday.

That means any arrears that have accumulated in the hotel before it will not be covered.

In exchange, hoteliers affected must submit a request to the liquidator to get the money they are entitled to - but there is no guarantee that they will succeed.

Hotels may worry that they will not be paid for Thomas Cook's previous guests, and therefore try to cover their costs by collecting them from current guests.

Or they might not be sure that Atoll will be paid.

'Afraid to leave hotel'
Graeme Renwick said that at his hotel in Mallorca on Monday night, "there was chaos at the reception desk."

"Hotel staff shouted to guests when no Thomas Cook staff were present and the hotel said 'you must pay us'".

He added: "We are protected by Atoll, and so is the hotel, but I don't think they believe that Atoll will pay them."

His fiancé, Clare McSweeney, said: "The situation at the hotel became chaotic.

"A guest, a 77-year-old woman, first traveled alone, feeling confused, while her son in England tried to help.

"Guests are too afraid to leave the hotel or go too far in case something happens."

But other hotels take the opposite approach. Maeve Pendlebury said the hotel where she and her boyfriend stopped in Rhodes was "very kind and friendly".

Atrium Prestige's manager wrote to the guests to assure them that "despite this unprecedented situation, which generated huge debt" for the company, they could continue to enjoy their vacation as planned.

Thomas Cook's employee is still working
Thomas Cook employees throughout the world have also received praise from tourists.

And Birch was in Lanzarote with his girlfriend and daughter and told the BBC: "The staff are there, still working and talking to people, an extraordinary thing. They are really trying to help."

He said some guests had moved to cheaper hotels after they were told they had to pay for their accommodations.

But he said: "They know it's not the fault of the employee of Thomas Cook and the anger here is directed at the hotel."

Michael Sheppard and his family planned to return from Corfu on Monday morning and because they only booked flights home through Thomas Cook, knew they were not protected by Atoll.

He said: "When we arrived at the Corfu airport we were amazed to see four Thomas Cook staff who worked hard to help people with a smile.

"When I talked to them, they didn't think they would be paid but they still came to help - how professional, dedicated and caring they were - I was very touched."

Michael's plane took off six hours after the scheduled departure time.

"The crew are Thomas Cook's staff, who were offered a two-week job by a rental company to help with repatriation," he said.

"They got a standing ovation at the beginning and at the end of the flight."

Repatriation
On Monday, the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) began repatriating British tourists who were abroad when Thomas Cook went bankrupt.

Dame Deirdre Hutton, CAA chairman, called the Monday repatriation effort "good enough for the first day".

He told BBC 5 Live: "We are running 64 flights, we are sending back nearly 15,000 people. That's more than 90% of the tourists we want to return."

There will be more than 1,000 flights between today and Sunday 6 October to repatriate the remaining 135,300 tourists.

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