Yesterday afternoon we arrived back from our lovely holiday in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, despite the trauma caused by the collapse of The Thomas Cook travel company. Luckily, we were flight only with them, we had booked our hotel separately, however it is still a funny and unnerving feeling that we were brought to this beautiful island and now we are not sure how we are getting home, it left me with a feeling of being lost. Of course many people were not as lucky, we heard stories of guests being locked out of their hotel rooms unless they paid again to stay there, as Thomas Cook has not paid the hotel in advance for their guests staying there, and lets not forget the Thomas Cook staff who are suddenly out of jobs, many being owed up to seven weeks wages, travel reps being thrown out of their accommodation all over the world etc.. the ramifications run far and wide.
It’s quite astonishing that we were part of the largest peacetime repatriation operation in UK history. The Civil Aviation Authority have done an amazing job, from the day of the collapse they had plans in place for the repatriation of 165,000 stranded holiday makers, including us! and vowed to get each and every one of us home. Certainly from the island of Lanzarote, it appeared to go like clockwork. The effect of the collapse was almost instantaneous on the island, we saw a drastic reduction in tourists, not only at our hotel, but also around generally. Then, mid-week it was announced that the European arm had also been put into administration, affecting hundreds more from Germany, Holland and Belgium. We read that the top bosses at Thomas Cook took out almost £50million in bonuses just before the company collapsed, how is this legal or possible?
I would like to say a big THANK YOU to the CAA for their hard work and dedication, it cannot be easy to plan for the short notice repatriation of 165,000 citizens.
The Captain was at the aircraft exit as we disembarked, I thanked him very much for bringing us home.