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West Norfolk holidaymakers hit by Thomas Cook collapse



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Holidaymakers from West Norfolk have been left in limbo following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The travel operator, which had branches in Lynn and Fakenham, collapsed in the early hours of this morning, putting thousands of jobs at risk and potentially leaving tens of thousands of people stranded.

Among the people currently on Thomas Cook holidays abroad are Elizabeth and Gary Tuttle, from Lynn, who are on a trip to Bulgaria.

The Thomas Cook shop in King's Lynn is shut following the firm's collapse (17298682)
The Thomas Cook shop in King's Lynn is shut following the firm's collapse (17298682)

Elizabeth said that, although they are not due to fly home until Friday and are covered by the ATOL insurance programme, they are feeling some uncertainty.

She said: "It's just not knowing if Thomas Cook have paid the hotel. That's when the issues could arise.

"They (the hotel staff) don't know a lot. We don't know a lot. At the moment, we're trying to just enjoy our holiday."

Reader David Wrenn sent this image of the scenes inside Menorca Airport this morning as he waited for a flight home (17298656)
Reader David Wrenn sent this image of the scenes inside Menorca Airport this morning as he waited for a flight home (17298656)

Mrs Tuttle said they had been aware of the firm's financial troubles, but felt there would be a rescue at some stage.

She added: "We thought such a huge name will be OK because there'll always be someone who steps in and invests.

"People want to know their money is secure, but it's awful for the people who work for them."

The collapse of the company was confirmed after talks to secure a rescue package, which continued throughout the weekend, failed to find a solution.

Around 22,000 jobs are thought to be at risk worldwide and up to 150,000 people are set to be flown back to Britain.

David Wrenn, from Lynn, who is due to fly back home from Menorca today, said he had feared the outcome once no update was issued on the talks yesterday.

But he praised the efforts being made to help people today.

He said: "The airport staff, British officials and, most importantly, the ex-Thomas Cook team have done an amazing job."

Meanwhile, West Norfolk's main train operator, Great Northern, has said it will refund passengers the cost of tickets for customers who were due to travel via either Luton or Gatwick airports.

The company also says passengers arriving back in the UK who miss their trains will be able to travel on the next available service at no extra cost.

Further information is available here.



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