Holidaymakers in limbo as race is on to save Thomas Cook

Pic: Archant

Pic: Archant

People working at Thomas Cook travel agencies – with seven across Norfolk – face an anxious wait on jobs as the firm scrambles to avoid collapse.

The Thomas Cook store in Tesco, Norwich. Pic: Archant

The Thomas Cook store in Tesco, Norwich. Pic: Archant

And those who have booked a holiday with the 178-year-old tour operator or the estimated 180,000 currently abroad with the firm also face a difficult few days.

Thomas Cook, which employs 22,000 people globally including 9,000 people in the UK, has days to amass an extra £200m funding to prevent a collapse and is currently in talks with stakeholders to stave off entering administration.

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The travel firm is keeping tight-lipped over the issue. Yesterday people were tweeting their concerns to the firm which was allaying concern, saying future flights were going ahead as planned and "holidays are unaffected by any media speculation".

However currently many of those tweets and posts on social media seem to have been removed across Thomas Cook's sites. It was business as normal with nothing about the issue at all on its website or social media and sales on its winter holidays still being promoted.

The topic was trending on Twitter with many in support of employees. One tweeted: "Before you tweet about being upset that your Thomas Cook holiday might be lost, there's 20,000 employees a little more nervous than you about your 10 nights to Benidorm."

Others such as Nick Pye, from Norfolk, tweeted on the fact the tour operator had been offering cut-price holidays, saying: "Turkey for £200 a week? You can't book my Norwich townhouse for that. How can Thomas Cook do it?"

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If the company goes under, it is feared people could be stranded abroad - however most holidays with the firm should be Atol-protected which means holidaymakers would be brought home and compensated. But this doesn't apply if you booked your flights or accommodation separately. Credit card bookings up to £30,000 also should be protected under the consumer credit act.

The travel firm has suffered recently as a result of mounting debts, reporting a £1.2 billion net debt in its half-year results in May.