Thomas Cook holidaymakers ‘told to pay £1,000 or be kicked out of their hotel’

‘I was in tears as we don’t have that kind of money’

Helen Coffey@LenniCoffey
Tuesday 24 September 2019 21:02
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Thomas Cook CEO apologises for collapse as holidaymakers left stranded

Thomas Cook holidaymakers were left distraught after a hotel in Tenerife reportedly demanded they pay more than £1,000 or be kicked out of their rooms.

A property in the Playa de las Américas resort slipped notes under guests’ doors telling them to contact reception immediately, where they were presented with bills, despite having pre-paid for their package holidays.

The hotel, along with hundreds of others, is owed money by the world’s oldest tour operator, which announced it had gone bust on 23 September.

Stacey Robinson, 28, was halfway through a holiday with her partner and nine month-old daughter when the company collapsed, reports Manchester Evening News.

Having been told to contact Playa de las Américas reception, Ms Robinson says she was handed a piece of paper with £1,038 – the sum thought to be owed by Thomas Cook – written on it. Staff told her to pay up within two hours or risk being turfed out of the property.

“I was in tears as we don’t have that kind of money," she said.

"We are just sat waiting in our room because we are scared if we leave we will end up being locked out."

Other holidaymakers appeared to be in the same position, according to Ms Robinson.

She and her family have had replacement flights confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), departing on 30 September. Ms Robinson and others are anxious they will be kicked out of their hotel with nowhere to stay in the interim.

Package holidays are protected under the Atol scheme, meaning the CAA settles up any outstanding hotel bills rather than the guests themselves. However, there have been reports of hotels demanding extra money from holidaymakers and, in some cases, refusing to let them leave until they’ve paid.

Dozens of Thomas Cook holidaymakers about to fly home at the weekend were told by a hotelier in Tunisia to pay again before they were allowed to leave.

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Staff at Les Orangers Hotel in the resort of Hammamet were reported to have demanded sums of up to £2,500.

“Transfer buses are not being allowed through the gates,” one guest, David Astbury, told The Independent. “Guests who are refusing or cannot pay again for their holidays are being held as hostages.”

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