Travellers have said they are “absolutely devastated” at the closure of Thomas Cook but have expressed support for the travel operator’s staff.
The tourism giant announced early on Monday that it had ceased trading after failing to secure a last-ditch rescue deal, leaving an estimated 150,000 Britons abroad awaiting repatriation.
Nicole from Swansea, who did not wish to give her surname, told the PA news agency she was “absolutely devastated” at the closure of the firm she had booked with, which came before her “very first holiday”.
“And now we have the stress of trying to fix this and sort it all out,” she added.
“I am truly gutted, but also devastated for the people who are stranded on their holidays and for the employees who have lost their jobs with no warning, and this close to Christmas.
“It’s such a shame.”
Lucy Jessop from Hull has been holidaying in Mexico for two weeks and said she had been set to fly to Manchester with Thomas Cook on Tuesday.
She said she was “initially worried” after hearing about the company’s closure but the Government had been “amazing” in organising an alternative flight.
Ms Jessop said: “It’s the employees of Thomas Cook and all those due to go on holiday I feel for.
“We were the lucky ones, I suppose.”
One of those considering herself unlucky was an 18-year-old English woman whose single mother worked for Thomas Cook for almost 20 years.
The teenager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said her mother had “known her job was vulnerable for the past few days but only found out she is unemployed when the news came out that Thomas Cook is over”.
She added that she was the eldest of three daughters, the youngest of whom is 10-years-old, and the now the only person in her home with a job.
“I have a part-time job with around 15 hours a week so the next few months will be a huge struggle for us.
“Especially since it’s Christmas soon.”
Danielle, who was due to fly from Manchester to Menorca at 6.40am, said she found out about the company’s shuttering online.
“We heard our holiday was cancelled from Twitter and then the news 20 minutes before we left for the airport,” she tweeted to PA.
“We only booked the holiday on the 19th August.
“We are absolutely gutted.”