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Thomas Cook collapse felt locally as holiday plans disrupted

Derek Duncan and wife Donna-Louise pictured in Tenerife.

THE DEMISE of travel company Thomas Cook has been felt locally, from people currently abroad whose flights were cancelled to Shetlanders whose future holidays have been called off.

An estimated 150,000 British holidaymakers were abroad on Thomas Cook trips when the company folded on Monday morning, with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stepping in to fly people back home.

In comes on top of 22,000 people whose jobs have been put at risk.

Derek Duncan, from Lerwick, is currently in Tenerife through Thomas Cook and was due to fly back to the UK on Tuesday (23 September).

He was initially going to wait on the CAA’s word regarding a rearranged flight, but pressing matters back home meant that he and his wife did not want to risk any delays.

The couple ended up spending around £700 for two seats on a flight to Glasgow through a different airline in a bid to get home as originally planned, with hopes that they will be able to claim some of the money back.

“We couldn’t take the chance that we get delayed – too much stuff on that we need to get home for – so I’ve just been online and booked two of the last seats on a Jet2 flight leaving tomorrow night at same time as our Thomas Cook flight was supposed to be,” Derek said on Monday.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to claim some money back when we get home.”

He said, though, that there are “worse places to the stranded” – and added that “at least we got here”.

Tom Jenkinson on a past trip to Cuba.

Tom Jenkinson from Brae, meanwhile, had a holiday booked in Cuba in October with Thomas Cook.

He said that “they are the only company that fly to that region of Cuba, so there is no plan B”.

“It’s sad folk have lost their jobs –  that’s my main concern,” Tom added.

He said it would have been his fifth trip with Thomas Cook to Cuba and the same destination, which is one of his favourite fishing spots.

Jenkinson was due to fly from Aberdeen to Manchester with Flybe before heading to Cuba, and he praised the airline for quickly offering him vouchers to use on future flights with the company.

Stuart Milne, also from Brae, was due to fly out to Turkey this coming weekend with Thomas Cook.

His holiday was cancelled this morning, with a £75 voucher offered by the third party travel agent he booked it through.

“We have all our cash changed to Turkish Lira too, so it’s going to be a pain getting that all changed because it’s looking like a holiday to Turkey is off the cards now – all the airlines appear to be booked up for there now,” Stuart said.

ATOL protected passengers with future bookings are entitled to a full refund for their cancelled holiday.

Passengers currently overseas may also make claims for the cost of replacing ATOL protected parts of their trip, or for out of pocket expenses as a result of delayed flights home.

Loganair, meanwhile, announced on Monday that it would give anyone with onward travel with Thomas Cook the chance to rebook or delay their flights.

More information on Loganair’s policy can be found here.