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Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Thousands left stranded abroad as worlds oldest travel company collapses
Thomas Cook told customers it was running as normaljust hours before collapse
Oliver Gill:Revealed: The five desperate days that ended in Thomas Cooks collapse
The Thomas Cook bosses who received ?20m in bonuses in last 5 years as company collapsed
Thomas Cook collapse: is my holiday safe?
Well keep you updated throughout the day
Around 150,000Britons have had their travel plans thrown into disarray after the collapse of Thomas Cook, leading to chaos in airports and hotels.
The 178-year-old travel giant has cancelled all its flights, leading the government to initiate its biggest repatriation effort since the Second World War.
A rescue fleet has been scrambled to bring back holidaymakers stuck overseas. Codenamed Operation Matterhorn, dozens of charter planes, from as far afield as Malaysia, have been hired to fly customers home free of charge.
The companys 21,000 employees around 9,000 of whom are UK-based have lost their jobs, with 600,000 people worldwide having their travel plans disrupted.
Thomas Cook collapsed into liquidation overnight , a failure that consigns the most iconic name in world travel to the annals of history.
Thomas Cook collapse | Read more
Richard Moriarty, the chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said the Government had asked his organisation to launch the UKs largest ever peacetime repatriation.
In a statement, the CAA said: Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect.
All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.
Have your travels been disrupted by the Thomas Cook collapse? Share your experience by emailingyourstory@telegraph.co.uk
5:19PM
Wrap-up: Ruptions and reflection on final day of a travel titan
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Thomas Cook passenger aircraft parked on tarmac at Manchester Airport

Credit:
OLI SCARFF/AFP
With Thomas Cook brought low after about 178 years in operation, today has offered frustration for customers stuck abroad, worries for staffbeing laid off, and prompted widespread reflection from the many customers the company has served down the line.
The following weeks will undoubtedly raise further questions, not least as a political clash boils over whether the company should have received a bailout.
For now, were going to close things off here: keep tracking our home page and follow the Telegraph on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get the latest updates. Have a good evening (and, if you are stuck in an airport or hotel as a result of todays events, best of luck).
4:49PM
Ive got some jobs tomorrow and my daughters got school
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Donatas, Rusna and Jolitta Patryla

Credit:
Andrew Wilks
Heres more fromAntalya airportin southern Turkey,via Andrew Wilks:

Donatas and Jolitta Petryla were due to return to Belfast with their 13-year-old daughter Rusna only to be told Mrs Petryla could not travel because her passport was still under her maiden name.
The couple, originally from Lithuania, have lived in Belfast for 16 years and travelled to Alanya for a holiday in a group of 11 adults and children.
Me and my daughter got a boarding pass but my wife didnt because her passport is in her name before we married, said Mr Petryla, a self-employed locksmith. The check-in staff told us to wait until the queue died down but by then there were no seats left.
I gave mine and my daughters boarding passes away to another couple who had a similar problem and were travelling with a very young child.
He said staff from the Foreign Office, CAA and Atol had provided no practical help.
They just told us to call a number in the UK but its one pound a minute and they cant do anything either. Now theyve told us to wait but I dont know what were waiting for. I dont know what to do.
Theyve said they will get us back to the UK but where in the UK I dont know. Ive got some jobs tomorrow and my daughters got school.

This was the scene outside the airport earlier:
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

British passengers with Thomas Cook wait in long queue at Antalya airport in Antalya, Turkey

Credit:
AP
4:36PM
Reader story: A very sad sign of the times
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Stranded travellers inDalaman Airport

Credit:
UMIT BEKTAS/REUTERS
Reader Ashley Bristoe, a loyal customer of Thomas Cook, writes in:

The warning signs were there even for me but they have strung people along until the last minute and then just walked away leaving people stranded,distressed and many without a livelihood.
To a degree, I acknowledge what the government has said about intervening but even if their involvement was short term , I am sure they could have allowed commitments to be honoured certainly as the position is now, I understand it is due to cost around 3 times the amount just to get everyone home.
Luckily I have not yet travelled but for me to try and start the ball rolling to get some answers over my booking or getting some kind of refund has been a nightmare still none the wiser and I have just had to pay out the same amount of money again to at least get to travel.
A very sad sign of the times from a company who has done too little too late.
Share your experience by emailingyourstory@telegraph.co.uk
4:29PM
Follow repatriation flights live
Air-tracker tool Flightradar has produced a map that allows users to track repatriation flights taking place as part of Operation Matterhorn:
We have updated our page at https://t.co/JvOhQUcRJL to include live tracking of most of the #ThomasCook repatriation flights. Some flights may not be visible due to differing or unknown call sign. pic.twitter.com/M4NRSPlRky Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 23, 2019
4:25PM
Why Thomas Cook collapsed
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

The Thomas Cook statue outside the railway station in Leicester

Credit:
Darren Staples/Getty
Here it is, in all its glorious detail: my colleagues Oliver Gill and Michael ODwyer have produced a full breakdown of why Thomas Cook fell apart:
Why Thomas Cook collapsed: How debt, heatwaves and the internet sent travel giant into a spin
Their piece gets into the nitty-gritty of debt, ill-advised purchases and strategic missteps that proved to be the companys undoing but also how a shifting holiday culture hurt the historic firm.
Thomas Cook: State of the holiday industry
4:07PM
Video: How the Thomas Cook collapse affects your next holiday
Heres a video with my colleague Nick Trend, explaining what the Thomas Cook collapse means for your next holiday:
3:53PM
Operation Matterhorn: 53 destinations in 17 countries
My colleague Oliver Smith writes:

Britains biggest peacetime repatriation has begun, with the Government facing the complex and costly task of fetching 150,000 stranded UK customers of the collapsed tour operator Thomas Cook from 53 destinations in 17 countries.
The Civil Aviation Authority has pledged to bring every British holidaymaker back home within two weeks, free of charge. Most will be able to finish their holidays, it says, before being flown back on a replacement service at a similar time to their original itinerary. Dozens of charter planes, from as far afield as Malaysia, have been hired to complete the mission, dubbed Operation Matterhorn.
The vast majority of stuck Thomas Cook customers are in the Med. Spain, Greece and Turkey were the tour operators three most popular destinations prior to its demise, and rescue flights will be operating from 11 airports is Spain (Alicante, Almeria, Girona, Reus, Ibiza, Menorca, Palma, Fueteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife), 13 in Greece (Corfu, Heraklion, Kalamata, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kos, Mykonos, Mytilene, Preveza, Rhodes, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos) and four in Turkey (Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir).
At a glance | Where are Thomas Cook's customers stuck?
3:38PM
Ben Marlow: Tough questions must be asked about Thomas Cooks demise
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

A worker checks an engine of a Thomas Cook passenger aircraft

Credit:
Anthony Devlin/Bloomberg
Our Chief City Commentator Ben Marlow has given his verdict on Thomas Cooks collapse. He writes:

There is a long list of questions that must be asked. The most obvious is how a company that notched up turnover of ?9.6bn has ended up in the hands of liquidators.

Read his full piece here:Management ineptitude and apathy are the reasons for Thomas Cooks demise
And dont forget to sign up to receive Bens latest insight directly into your inbox using the sign-up link below:
City Intelligence newsletter (SUBSCRIBER) Article
Update: Ive taken the images out of my 15:07 post, as they were rendering incorrectly. Illtry to put them back in as soon as possible.
3:20PM
Here are all the areas where Thomas Cook passengers are currently stranded
To give a sense of the scale of the operation underway to bring stranded holidaymakers home, heres a map of where flights will be coming from. This figurereflects the full 600,000-ish people currently stuck, not just the 150,000 Brits.
Destinations where Thomas Cook passengers are stranded
3:13PM
Post Office offers full refunds on travel money for stuck customers
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

The Post Office is the UKs biggest foreign currency provider

Credit:
Isabel Infantes/PA
The Post Office is offering Thomas Cook customers impacted by the companys demise refunds byat the original price paid on currency purchased for holidays that have been cancelled.
Post Offices Nick Boden said:

We want our customers to be clear that they can rely on the Post Office when they purchase foreign currency from us. We do not want to add to the financial pain suffered by disappointed holidaymakers whose plans are impacted by circumstances beyond their control so we are offering full refunds on money spent purchasing currency from Post Office Travel Money.

To qualify for a refund, customers will need to produce their currency purchase receipt and provide proof their holiday was cancelled.
3:07PM
Customers stuck in Turkey face waits of over three hours
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

British passengers with Thomas Cook wait in queue at Antalya airport in Antalya, Turkey

Credit:
AP
Heres reporting from on the ground in Turkey, by my colleague Andrew Wilks:

Thomas Cook customers heading home from holidays in Turkey faced delays of more than three hours when they arrived at Turkeys Antalya airport on Monday.
Despite British government promises to cover the costs of hotel bills for those who booked their stay through the bust company, some tourists reported hotels demanding payment from departing guests.

We were leaving and there was a big discussion going on at reception because the hotel wanted people to pay their bills, said Paul Whoriskey, 55, from Wicklow, Ireland.

Although it says the British government will pay peoples bills for up to two weeks the message obviously hadnt got through to the hotel management.
Mr Whoriskey, who was staying at the Sherwood Resorts and Hotels complex, also complained of a lack of information from Thomas Cook about what was happening.
Theres been nothing from them at all, he said. Theyve got all our emails and everything but they havent been in touch to explain whats happening. I had to find out from my sister in Dublin.
Dean Nicol, 32, and Zoe Gray, 27, were also flying to Belfast after a weeks break on the Mediterranean.

They said they were impressed with the availability of staff from the Foreign Office and Atol. They all seem to know whats going on, said Mr Nicol, from Belfast. We came to the airport for our flight hoping for the best and its all fine so far, fingers crossed.
Ms Gray added: Our flights been delayed around three-and-a-half hours but thats not too bad considering whats happened.
Robert and Julie Kay, both 52, were flying to Belfast to return home to Stranraer. We checked in online for our flights this morning, which I was quite surprised about, said Mrs Kay.

We had no idea until we came to the airport what was happening with Thomas Cook going broke. I saw something on Facebook a few days ago but didnt think anything more about it.
Another Belfast passenger, Chris Noonan, returning with Titan Airways with his wife Chris after their Thomas Cook flight was cancelled, said the authorities seemed well-prepared.

Its a big task, he said. We checked the government website online this morning and they had all the information we needed.
2:50PM
Nick Trend: Time was up for Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Thomas Cook will simply go down as yet another name in the long litany of failed mass-market tour operators

Credit:
FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/EPA-EFE/REX
Reflecting on the companys chequered history including a spate under national owner ship between 1948 and 1972 Nick Trend posits that Thomas Cooks collapse, once the initial shock is over, wont be widely mourned. He writes:

Thomas Cook is no more, and Ive nothing but sympathy for its 20,000 staff now facing unemployment, but will travellers miss the company? I dont think so...
...It choose to focus on the cut-throat sun-and-sand market, which meant it gained volume, but quickly lost its association with quality and expertise.
Read more here:Travellers wont miss Thomas Cook
2:29PM
Labour calls for Thomas Cook bosses to lose their bonuses
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cooks Swiss chief executive shown here leaving a meeting with creditors yesterday, has taken home ?8.3 million since he took the helm in 2014, including a ?2.9m bonus in 2015

Credit:
ITV News/PA
The Labour Party had called for Thomas Cooks bosses to lose their bonuses as a result of the companys collapse.
Gill Furniss MP, Labours Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs has written to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom. In her letter, Labours press office say she has:
Called on the Tories to join Labours call for Thomas Cooks failing bosses to reject their bonuses.
Criticised the government for its reckless refusal to save staff and customers from misery by taking an equity stake in Thomas Cook.
And demanded the government finally begins its long delayed airline insolvency review.
My thoughts are with those who have lost their jobs with Thomas Cook today. I have written to @andrealeadsom to seek urgent clarification on what steps the government will take to support the 9,000 staff in the UK. https://t.co/H1qPIZGgz2 pic.twitter.com/Pu21DG0KLg Gill Furniss MP (@GillFurnissMP) September 23, 2019
Ms Furness wrote:

The government should have averted this crisis by taking an equity stake, and saving the company from collapse. Why did you refuse to act to prevent job losses on such a huge scale and why did you not protect British holidaymakers abroad?
The human cost of your reckless inaction cannot be exaggerated. The stress and misery of staff whose jobs and incomes are threatened, whose whole families will be worrying about how they will pay their bills; the way peoples holidays have been ruined by anxiety and chaos these are the governments responsibility...Will you now immediately join me in demanding that Thomas Cooks failing bosses reject their bonuses?
Heres more on Thomas Cooks bosses pay packets:The Thomas Cook bosses who received ?20m in bonuses in last 5 years as company collapsed
2:12PM
Travellers face queues and disruption in Tunisia
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

British tourists, flying with Thomas Cook, queue at the Enfidha International airport, outside Tunis

Credit:
FETHI BELAID/AFP
From Tunisia, our reporter Stephen Quillen reports:

Thomas Cook travelers were queued up in Tunisias Enfidah Airport Monday morning waiting to catch a Titan Airways flight back to Manchester. British government officials and Atol representatives were there accommodating passengers and helping move along the process. But there was anger and frustration when upwards of 30 passengers didn't make it on the flight and were told to come back tomorrow.
Generally, the reaction among British holidaymakers was mixed, with some praising hotel staff and officials for working to quickly resolve the crisis, and others complaining of a lack of communication and assistance and endless delays.

Wendy Draycott, with daughters Michelle and Tracy (pictured below) remained upbeat despite their last-minute itinerary change.
The hotel staffs been amazing, the transfer's been amazing, everythings been calm, said Wendy. Everythings been fine.
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Wendy Draycott, with daughters Michelle (C) and Tracy (R)

Credit:
Stephen Quillen
David Goodwin, from Manchester (pictured below), was exasperated after being told his name wasnt on the flight manifest.
I work in the aviation industry and i know how tough it can be and all the rest of it,but theyre supposed to be good at reacting and theyre supposed to be good at getting things done,said Goodwin. These guys are just exacerbating the problem.
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

David Goodwin

Credit:
Stephen Quillen
David and Patricia Atsbury from Manchester (pictured below) stayed at Les Orangers hotel in Hammamet, wherehotel stafftried to block guests from leaving unless they re-paid for their trip Saturday night.
It was a terrible mistake made,said David Atsbury. A PR catastrophe. It was bad enough with Thomas Cook, but to have it compounded with the hotel trying to get money off of guests that had already paid was even worse... It was the only hotel that pulled this hostage malarkey.
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

David and Patricia Atsbury

Credit:
Stephen Quillen
2:02PM
Thomas Cook: All the best Telegraph journalism, in one place
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Passengers walk past the closed Thomas Cook check-in desks at the South Terminal of London Gatwick Airport

Credit:
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP
Heres our latest reporting on Thomas Cooks collapse, in one spot.
If youre not already a subscriber, you can sign up to access all the Telegraphs journalism here the first 30 days are free.

Whats going on?


Thomas Cook told customers it was running as normal just hours before collapse:The failed travel agenttold customers the company was operating normally just hours before it announced its collapse into liquidation, reports Sam Barker. Key quote: Implying that everythingis okay is not only misleading, it's in effect handing your hard-earned cash over to the creditors of the business that are ahead of you in the line for compensation from the administrators.
Customer reaction: We found out our holiday was cancelled on Twitter:As many as 150,000 Thomas Cook passengers have been left stranded abroad awaiting repatriation Jamie Johnson has their stories.
Thomas Cooks German airline Condor pleads for 200m Berlin bailout:Thomas Cooks German airline Condor has applied for a bridging loan from Angela Merkels government in a bid to keep flying, Justin Huggler reports from Berlin.

What does the collapse mean for customers?


Operation Matterhorn: Everything Thomas Cook customers abroad need to know: Britains biggest-ever peacetime repatriation is under way.Chris Graham has the key details.
What happens to Thomas Cook flights and holidays? Everything customers need to know:The Telegraphs Money team have all the information customers need.

Background and analysis


And here isall the background detail and analysis you need, via Oliver Gill:
In-depth: What happened at Thomas Cook in the five desperate days that ended in collapse
Opinion: The airline bosses who will welcome Thomas Cooks collapse
1:43PM
Collapse could cost Turkey up to 700,000 visitors next year
Ripples from Thomas Cooks closure could mean 600,000 to 700,000 fewer tourists visit Turkey next year, the countrys federation of hotel operators (TUROFED) has said. Reuters reports:

TUROFED chairman Osman Ayik said the estimate was based on the number of tourists that had come to Turkey with Thomas Cook in recent years. He said those tourists may now decide against returning with other travel agencies.
Ayik said there were currently 45,000 tourists in Turkey from the United Kingdom and other European countries who had traveled with Thomas Cook.
Dalaman Airports website showed at least seven flights to several UK destinations scheduled to depart on Monday had been cancelled.
Tourism is a major source of income for Turkey, helping to shore up its current account deficit, especially in the summer months.
1:27PM
More images from today...
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Officials talk with affected passengers arriving at the closed Thomas Cook check-in desk at the South Terminal of London Gatwick Airport

Credit:
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

British passengers wait for news on cancelled Thomas Cook flights at Palma de Mallorca airport

Credit:
Francisco Ubilla/AP
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

A passenger reacts after arriving at the closed Thomas Cook check-in desk at the South Terminal of London Gatwick

Credit:
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Deserted check-in counters at Birmingham airport

Credit:
Rui Vieira/AP
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

A woman carries a box through the carpark outside the Peterborough headquarters of Thomas Cook

Credit:
Joe Giddens/PA

1:20PM
Crowdfunding begins for cabin crew and spoiled weddings
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Thomas Cooks headquarters in Mallorca, Spain

Credit:
Isaac Buj/Europa Press
Several people have launched crowdfunding campaigns to try and help staff who have lost their jobs, or rescue weddings that are set to hit the rocks.
One campaign on GoFundMeto raise money for cabin crew, has already had over ?3,600 pledged to it.
As with any crowdfunding, please do your own research before donating.
1:13PM
Thomas Cooks Turkish investor says company will be sold
Neset Kockar, chairman of Turkish tour operator Anex Tour, has told Reuters he expects Thomas Cook will be fully or partially sold off.
Shares in the company leapedaround 40cp in July after Mr Kockar disclosed that he had taken a 6.71pc stake in the holiday company.
1:10PM
500 Brits stuck in Portugal
Citing information from the British embassy, Portugals Economic Ministry has said it is closely monitoring Thomas Cooks collapse, which could impact around 500 Britons currently in the southern Algarve or on the island of Madiera. It said information and support is being provided to those affected.
1:06PM
Passengers held whip-round for staff during final flights into Manchester
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

An official talks to passengers at Manchester Airport

Credit:
OLI SCARFF/AFP
Our reporter Jan Disley has details from on the ground at Manchester Airport:

Cabin crew were in tears as the final Thomas Cook flights touched down at Manchester Airport yesterday morning.
Kind-hearted passengers had a whip round on one flight from Las Vegas after hearing how pilots and stewardesses probably wouldnt be paid.
One captain left his cockpit to chat to the luckyfew who were able to make it home as planned.
Another asked those on board to give staff a round of applause as they continued their service with a smile.
In Terminal One departures the flight boards littered with red signs reading cancelled.
12:56PM
A bad day for Thomas Cook(s)
Theres more than one Thomas Cook suffering today. From the wires:

A devastated groom namedThomasCookhas been left shatteredafter his dream wedding in Rhodes looks unlikely to go ahead after the collapse of the holiday company he shares a name with.
Thomas, 29, and his partner Amelia Binch, 27, are stuck on the Greek island after booking a getaway and wedding package withThomasCook.
They flew out on September 18 and are due to marry at the Lindos Princess hotel on September 27.
Guests were due to fly out withThomasCookover the coming days, including the best man.
But the couple, from Hucknall, Notts, have been told the wedding might not go ahead, as theThomasCookpackage included the wedding ceremony, flowers, cake, decorations and entertainment.
12:48PM
Inside Thomas Cooks collapse
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Suitcases are pictured next to a closed Thomas Cook counter at Frankfurt Airport

Credit:
KAI PFAFFENBACH/REUTERS
Thomas Cooks collapse wasnt the result of a sudden shock: it was the culmination of months of fraught talks and negotiations thatwent down to the wire.
My colleague Oliver Gill has the inside story of the companys final five days, as it scrambled desperately to hold together a rescue package that could keep it afloat.
He reports:

Even the Government and regulators have been caught out; despite weeks of contingency planning for the failure of the 178-year-old company, some holidaymakers face an anxious wait of up to two weeks before being airlifted home because the planes to take them home are not ready.
Read his fascinating, blow-by-blow account here:Revealed: The five desperate days that ended in Thomas Cooks collapse
12:36PM
Cypriot hotels will take60m hit from Cooks collapse
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Cancelled Thomas Cook flights are displayed at Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus

Credit:
IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP
Another big victim of Thomas Cooks collapse is Cyprus, which relies heavily upon tourism.
Officials at the countrys tourism ministry estimate the collapse could cost the islands hoteliers60m a year, with a fall in British and Scandinavian visitors particularly harmful.
The countrys deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios has reportedly cancelled all other engagements today to focus on the Thomas Cook fallout.
12:24PM
A blast from the past
Twitter user Bryan Elwick has shared some classic Thomas Cook posters, as a reminder of the companys storied 178-year history:
Posters from a time when #ThomasCook were pioneers. The number one choice... pic.twitter.com/hAaSf0BhpR Bryan Elwick (@Elwick70) September 23, 2019
12:21PM
Around 50,000 holidaymakers stuck in Greece
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Tourists wait at a Thomas Cook company counter at the Heraklion airport on the island of Crete

Credit:
COSTAS METAXAKIS/ AFP
Heres my colleague Nick Squires on the situation in Greece:

Around 50,000 holidaymakers are stuck in Greece as a result of the collapse of Thomas Cook, with one tour operator describing the companys failure as an earthquake.
The tourists will be repatriated over coming days, with the first 22,000 expected to leave between now and Wednesday, said Haris Theoharis, Greeces tourism minister.
Around 15 aircraft are expected to arrive today on the islands of Corfu, Kos and Zakynthos to pick up the stranded holidaymakers.
The repatriation is being organised with the help of Britain's Civil Aviation Authority.
Michalis Vlatakis, the head of a union of tour operators on Crete, where 22,000 people are affected, described the collapse as a magnitude 7 earthquake, the effects of which would be like a tsunami.
12:17PM
Full report: Condor turns to German government for bailout after Thomas Cook collapse
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Condor is Thomas Cooks main German subsidiary

Credit:
FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/EPA-EFE/REX
From Berlin, my colleague Justin Huggler reports:

Thomas Cooks German airline Condor has applied for a bridging loan from Angela Merkels government in a bid to keep flying.
Condor, which remains highly profitable despite the collapse of its parent company, is desperate to keep operating.
But insiders warned on Monday that the airline will face bankruptcy unless the German government is prepared to bail it out.
Condor has not commented on the size of the loan it is seeking but German press reports put it at 200m (?176m).
Flights are still operating despite the fact Thomas Cook Group plc has filed for bankruptcy. Germanys most popular holiday flier has been profitable for many years, Condor said in a statement.
But although flights were taking off, Condor was turning away passengers who had booked packages from Thomas Cook or its German subsidiaries on Monday.
Some 140,000 Germans are believed to be among 600,000 holidaymakers currently affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook.
The German government has not announced any plans for a repatriation operation like Britains Operation Matterhorn.
12:14PM
Hedge funds set for ?200m payday from firms collapse
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

People outside Thomas Cooks Peterborough headquarters

Credit:
Joe Giddens/PA
Hedge funds that bet on Thomas Cooks collapse are set for a big payday.
While the Government scrambles to bring stranded Brits home (at a cost of roughly ?100m), funds that bought credit default swaps a form of insurance that pays out when a company collapses and is unable to repay its bonds will win big from the tour operators demise.
Bloomberg reports:

Speculators including Sona Asset Management and ZAIA Investment GmbH stand to earn as much as $250m from the bankruptcy.
12:02PM
Political row begins over whether Thomas Cook should have been bailed out
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Prime Minister Boris Johnson boarding his plane at Heathrow Airport as he heads off for the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York

Credit:
Stefan Rousseau/PA
Boris Johnson has defended his decision not to to rescue Thomas Cook, after Labour called for the collapsed tour operator to be given a state-backed bailout package.
Speaking to reporters as he traveled to New York to visit the UN General Assembly, Mr Johnson said of Thomas Cooks rejected request for ?150m from the state:

Clearly, thats a lot of taxpayers money and sets up, as people will appreciate, a moral hazard in the case of future such commercial difficulties that companies face.

The Prime Minister instead said attention should be paid to the amount the travel giants bosses have been paid in recent years.
Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accused the PM of ideological bias. He told the BBC:

The governments intervention could have enabled us to just stabilise the situation, give a breathing space so that there could be proper consultation with the workforce in particular about how to go forward.
To just stand to one side and watch this number of jobs go and so many holidaymakers have their holiday ruined, I just dont think thats wise government.

Meanwhile, Scotlands First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has offered her thoughts to those people who have lost their jobs.
Inevitable that much of the focus today will be on those who have had flights cancelled, but the Thomas Cook collapse is devastating for the companys many workers. My thoughts are very much with them and their families. https://t.co/KPz2ZTBCxy Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) September 23, 2019
11:49AM
Train services offer free tickets to affected customers
Network Rails train services are holding a unified line on travel disruption today, offering customers who have had their holiday plans foiled a free ticket to get back from the airport:
Following the collapse of #ThomasCook we want to support those impacted who may already have plans to travel to or from @LDNLutonAirport or @Gatwick_Airport. If you have bought rail tickets from us & no longer travelling, you'll be able to get a full refund (with no admin fee). Thameslink (@TLRailUK) September 23, 2019
Following the collapse of #ThomasCook we want to support those impacted who may already have plans to travel to or from @LDNLutonAirport or @Gatwick_Airport. If you have bought rail tickets from us & no longer travelling, you'll be able to get a full refund (with no admin fee). Great Northern (@GNRailUK) September 23, 2019
Any customers affected by the #ThomasCookcollapse who are unable to make their booked train will be permitted to travel on the next suitable service by providing reasonable evidence of a Thomas Cook booking. GWR Help (@GWRHelp) September 23, 2019
11:44AM
Tunisian tourism minister: Thomas Cook owes hotels ?60m
Tunisias tourism minister, Rene Trabelsi, has told Reuters that Thomas Cook owes hotels in the country60m for stays in July and August. Its likely well be getting a clearer sense of the companys widespread debts as the day continues...
11:36AM
We woke up this morning and heard on the news thatThomasCookhad gone bankrupt
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

John Garrett and Ajoulyn Chaffe arrived at Gatwick to findThomasCook had gone bust as they were flying

Credit:
SWNS
More testimonials from the wires:

American couple John Garrett, 40, and Ajoulyn Chaffe, 35, arrived at Gatwick to findThomasCook went bust while they were in the air.
Holidaymakers who had booked withThomasCookwere devastated when they turned up at Gatwick this morning to find their trips had been cancelled.
Among them were Jerry Blackwell, 47, who said he and his wife were scheduled to fly to Dalaman in Turkey at 5.15pm yesterday.
Mr Blackwell said: We went to the boarding gate and someone said it was cancelled due to staff illness so we got put up in a Premier Inn last night and were meant to fly out at midday.
We woke up this morning and heard on the news thatThomasCookhad gone bankrupt.
Read more here:Thomas Cook collapse: Misery across Europe as stranded Britons wait for repatriation
11:30AM
Thomas Cook staff pensions are protected
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

People leaving Thomas Cooks Peterborough headquarters

Credit:
Joe Giddens/PA
Thomas Cook staff who have lost their jobs today will have their pensions protected, according to thePension Protection Fund astatutory fundintended to protect members if their defined benefit pension fund becomes insolvent.
We understand this is an extremely difficult time for the members of @ThomasCookUKs defined benefit pension schemes, but they can be assured that their pensions are protected by us. To find out more about the PPF and the protection we provide, see here. https://t.co/bGssuroVSr Pension Protection Fund (@PPF) September 23, 2019
The PPF says it will be contacting Thomas Cook employees today:
To all members of the @ThomasCookUK defined benefit pension schemes, your pension trustees will be in touch soon with an update on your scheme.
To understand how the PPF works and protects your pension click here https://t.co/X74NtvKvkV Pension Protection Fund (@PPF) September 23, 2019
11:27AM
Petition to bail out Thomas Cook nears 70,000 signatures
A Change.org petition to calling for the Government or a plucky investor to re-finance the collapsing tour operator is edging closer to 70,000 signatures. The petition, created by a Thomas Cook employees husband, says:

The iconic travel firm, the oldest travel firm, Thomas Cook has made dream holidays for us all and we have made so many memories, had work experiences and met so many great people that had effect in our lives.
Thomas Cook is one of Britain's most well known brands.
I so believe the company will come good again once this financial problems have been resolved.
Lets help our Thomas Cook at this difficult times.
If the Government or any other lenders help to fund shortfall of money then the future will be bright.
11:15AM
Have your travels been disrupted by the Thomas Cook collapse?
Share your experience by emailingyourstory@telegraph.co.uk
11:09AM
Final flight eyewitness: Clear staff had been left in total limbo
Thomas Cook collapse: Travellers face queues and chaos as UK undertakes biggest repatriation effort since WW2

Passengers exit the final Thomas Cook passenger flight, which landed at Manchster Airport this morning

Credit:
OLI SCARFF/AFP
A passenger on one of the last everThomasCookflights to fly has described how emotional staff broke news of the companys collapse when they landed this morning.
From the wires:

Jason Ritchie, 50, was o
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