Honeymooners ‘devastated’ after Maldives trip with Thomas Cook cancelled

A couple have been left devastated after their honeymoon in the "paradise" of the Maldives was cancelled following the closure of Thomas Cook.

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.

Also affected were a host of future holidaymakers back in the UK who were awaiting trips they had booked with Thomas Cook – including Lewis and Amy Bromiley from Manchester, who were looking forward to their honeymoon after getting married in August.

Mr Bromiley, a 25-year-old insurance worker from Manchester, told PA: "We've got our honeymoon package booked which was the last one available in January, and now it's cancelled.

Lewis Bromiley and his wife Amy (Bromiley/PA)

"It appears we won't be able to go to the same place now, and will have to wait a while to get our £7,000 refunded.

"We'll have to wait for the refund which could takes months, due to the amount of people claiming.

"We won't be able to rebook now, we'll have to change destination as this was the last availability.

"We booked it over a year ago, so we were well prepared and had got the best deal.

"Me and my wife are devastated.

"We wanted to go to Maldives as it's paradise and we're looking to plan for children soon, so we wanted to tick it off out bucket list, before we couldn't."

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Passengers of British travel group Thomas Cook queue at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
John Garret from Boston Ma., who was supposed to be flying to Malta, takes a photo of the empty Thomas Cook check in desks in Gatwick Airport, England Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
John Garret and Ajouline Chaffee from Boston Ma., who were supposed to be flying to Malta, speak to the media near the empty Thomas Cook check in desks in Gatwick Airport, England Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A security person stands next to the entrance of the German headquarters of travel company Thomas Cook in Oberursel near Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
People walk past a closed Thomas Cook travel shop in London, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad. The British government said the return of the 178-year-old firm's 150,000 British customers now in vacation spots across the globe would be the largest repatriation in its peacetime history. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A Thomas Cook plane on the tarmac at Gatwick Airport in Sussex, England Monday Sept. 23, 2019. British tour company Thomas Cook collapsed early Monday after failing to secure emergency funding, leaving tens of thousands of vacationers stranded abroad. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)
A Thomas Cook aircraft parked at Manchester Airport as the 178-year-old tour operator has ceased trading with immediate effect after failing in a final bid to secure a rescue package from creditors. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
An airport worker speaks with passengers of the British travel group Thomas Cook at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
British Government officials speak with passengers of the British travel group Thomas Cook at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A British Government official (C) speaks with passengers of the British travel group Thomas Cook at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Passengers disembark a Thomas Cook aircraft at Manchester Airport on September 23, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The collapse of the 178-year-old travel firm triggered a massive repatriation effort, as the British Civil Aviation Authority chartered aircraft to bring around 150,000 travelers back to the UK. The firm's closure also jeopardized 22,000 jobs worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Passengers walk by the British travel group Thomas Cook's counter at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A British Government official speaks with passengers of the British travel group Thomas Cook at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A British Government official speaks with passengers of the British travel group Thomas Cook at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A British Government official speaks with passengers of the British travel group Thomas Cook at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on September 23, 2019. - British travel group Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy on September 23, 2019 after failing to reach a last-ditch rescue deal, triggering the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II to bring back stranded passengers. The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking £200 million ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Mr Bromiley criticised the way the situation had been handled.

He said: "It was poorly communicated, and their closing statement is poor also.

"They should still manage the Twitter account for the next 48 hours, to give people the peace of mind they deserve."

Nicole from Swansea, who did not wish to give her surname, told PA 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 are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect.

This account will not be monitored.

Please visit https://t.co/PLklUd1C7q for further advice and information.#ThomasCookpic.twitter.com/jnYvg8jpV3

— Thomas Cook Cares (@ThomasCookCares) September 23, 2019

"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."

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