A THOMAS Cook passenger has revealed how she is stuck in Tunisia as repatriation flights have stopped and she can’t afford to book another flight.
Single mum Julie Paige said she lived “month to month” and had no idea how to get home from her holiday.
The UK’s biggest repatriation since World War Two started last month – but Julie’s flight today falls just outside the two-week repatriation scheme organised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
And Julie is at her wit’s end, telling BBC: “I had a flight booked with Thomas Cook to return back to the UK on 8 October which no longer exists.
“(A replacement flight is) nearly 900 Tunisian dinar. I haven’t got £300 for another flight.
“I’m stuck. I just didn’t expect this to happen. I live month to month as a single parent and I have no spare money. I don’t know what to do. When you haven’t got any money, you haven’t got any options.”
Other Brits told how they were forced to borrow hundreds of pounds to get home from their Thomas Cook holidays.
All future Thomas Cook bookings have been cancelled, affecting around one million people after the 178-year-old British travel firm went defunct last month.
The company’s 21,000 employees, including 9,000 in the UK, have been made redundant after the company failed to obtain millions of pounds of extra funding.
It fell victim to multiple setbacks including changing travel habits and the rise of online booking sites.
It was also hit by the sinking pound and unusually hot weather which encouraged fewer Northern Europeans to travel, it adds.
Court documents have also shown a balance sheet deficit of over £3billion.
How do I know if my holiday is ATOL protected?
WHEN you book a holiday, the ATOL holder or their agent must give you a certificate confirming you are ATOL protected as soon as you hand over any money – including a deposit – for a holiday or flight.
Make sure you obtain and keep all the relevant paperwork in case you need to make a claim.
But be aware, the protection only covers British-based firms, so it’s vital to check. When lowcostholidays went bust in 2016, customers weren’t protected by ATOL because the company had moved to Spain in 2013.
Some travel companies display the ATOL logo on their websites even though they don’t offer financial protection.
To check it’s genuine, look for a number on the logo and check it out on the CAA’s website.
You should be wary if the travel provider has no ATOL number, or if the number doesn’t have four or five digits.
If you aren’t sure about the website, don’t book through it.
Another key term Brits should be aware of is ABTA. While ATOL protects flight-based packages, ABTA protects everything else such as cruise or self-drive trips.
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It comes after a desperate Thomas Cook worker had been forced to sell her wedding dress on eBay.
The woman, from Taunton, Somerset, is flogging her brand new gown for £500 to help pay for “upcoming bills”.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook’s refund website crashed as holidaymakers tried to submit claims.
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