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Thomas Cook customers say they were 'held hostage' at Tunisian hotel

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Guests at Les Orangers resort in Tunisia say they are being asked to pay extra fees to cover what the hotel is owed by Thomas Cook
As Thomas Cook customers anxiously wait to see if and how their holidays might be affected, some say they have already found themselves in "horrible" situations abroad. The travel company is requesting He told BBC Radio 5 Live the hotel asked everyone who was due to leave that day to come to reception, where they were asked to pay "additional fees, obviously because of the situation with Thomas Cook".
"We've been up to the gates, they had four security guards on the gates, holding the gates closed, and were not allowing anybody to leave," he added.
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Mr Farmer, who described the mood at the hotel as "horrible", said an elderly lady who had already paid for her holiday in full was made to pay an additional fee of over ?2,000.Although the gates of the hotel have since been opened, one customer told the BBC they feared they may be closed again when the next group of guests was due to leave.The guests say they have been told not to pay the hotel by their Thomas Cook representative - and that the British Embassy later became "involved" and had spoken to the hotel.No official statement has been released by Thomas Cook, but the company is telling customers via Twitter to carry on as normal and that if it collapses, all holidays will be covered as they are Atol-protected.
'Intimidating'
Chris Rutherford, from Southampton, who is staying at Les Orangers resort, spoke of a similar experience."The hotel reception told us we need to pay ?4,000 to be allowed to leave," he said.
Gary Seale said staff had locked the gate of the hotel, preventing guests from leaving
"They made an elderly lady who had fallen and broken her arm whilst on holiday pay ?2,500 to leave the hotel... "The Thomas Cook rep told us last night they were only dealing with people who had to leave that evening, as we are supposed to be here until Friday we got no information and have not had any further correspondence with Thomas Cook."
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Gary Seale, who is also at the resort, said he was hoping to catch a flight back to Manchester - but refused to pay the additional fees and was not allowed to leave."It's been very fraught but it hasn't got to fisticuffs yet," he said.But he added that more customers are due to leave on Monday and it could be "carnage if this isn't sorted".
Staff at the reception desk at Les Orangers
Fatima De Andrade is staying at the hotel with her boyfriend, and described the scene near reception on Saturday night as "absolute madness". "Myself and my boyfriend went out for a day trip and when we arrived back to the hotel around 6pm we saw the lobby full of people some crying and were completely clueless."She said people's suitcases were "everywhere" and people were panicking.
'People were furious'
She added: "The wi-fi was turned off, to which management said it's due to the weather it's not working, so we couldn't check what was happening online contact family back home."Ms De Andrade said notes were put through room doors demanding payment. "People were furious," she said."Guest who had their flight were walking up to the gate with their suitcases to leave and security weren't letting them, some tried to jump the wall and security grabbed them back."Ms De Andrade added: "Myself and my boyfriend feel safe however it's not knowing what management will do when it's our turn to check out."The BBC has contacted the British embassy in Tunisia but has not yet received a response.
Hospitality industry
Travel & leisure industry
Hotels
Thomas Cook Group
Tunisia
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