A THOMAS Cook captain broke down in tears as he addressed passengers on one of the final flights of the collapsed airline this morning.
Laura Newsome, 29, who was on the recently-bust Thomas Cook flight this morning, said that the pilot flying to Manchester Airport began to choke up as he bid farewell to passengers and air stewards.
The dog groomer from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was returning home from a 10-day break in Cyprus when she boarded one of the final Thomas Cook flights this morning.
She said that as the aircraft prepared for landing at 4.50am today, the pilot broke down during an emotional announcement while staff were “holding each other” and in tears.
The keen flyer, who described Thomas Cook as a “second home,” said hearing the captain’s final farewell over the tannoy was “heartbreaking.”
She said: “As we started to drop down for landing he came over the tannoy and started telling us the local time and air temperature like they usually do.
“But this time rather than saying ‘thanks for flying with Thomas Cook we hope to see you again’, he said ‘thank you for choosing to fly Thomas Cook for the last time – it’s been a pleasure to fly you around the world. I just can’t believe this is how it ends.’
“As he said it you could hear his voice start to choke up and then he broke into a sob, it was heartbreaking.”
As well as the captain’s solemn sob, Laura also said that many of the cabin crew were in tears, holding each other as they waved passengers off the Thomas Cook aircraft for the final time.
Thomas Cook, Britain’s oldest travel firm, went bust this morning, leaving 21,000 jobs at risk and thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad.
Staff members and cabin crew have taken to social media to praise the failed firm for their time in employment.
“Devastated” cabin crew member Nicola Smith posted a photo of herself in the doorway of a Thomas Cook plane on Facebook.
She wrote: “It was a pleasure. Devastated today was my last flight and I done it without even really knowing.”
Laura, who has travelled with the firm since she was a child, added: “I talked to one girl who was crying – she told me the shifts could be tough and long hours but that she really loved it.
“I’m gutted for them, and I’m gutted to see it go. I’ve travelled all over the world with Thomas Cook over the years and so have my parents.
“I can remember even as a little girl we would always fly with them and since then I’ve been to dozens of destinations myself always using their flights because I trusted them.
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“A Thomas Cook plane was like a second home for me.
“As we were coming into Manchester you could see all the other Thomas Cook planes sat in darkness.
“They were obviously grounding them all – it was so sad to see.”
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