Thomas Cook closure overwhelms local travel agencies

Customers affected by the closure of Thomas Cook have turned to other Preston high-street travel companies, inundating them with calls and enquiries.

Around 150,000 Thomas Cook passengers are currently trapped abroad.

This comes after claims over the past few weeks that the travel agency would be declaring bankruptcy.

The collapse of Thomas Cook has led to Preston and North West-based travel agencies being swamped by the constant calls and emails from customers hoping to save their holidays.

Many companies believe that the aftermath of the collapse will lead to a much more chaotic time for smaller businesses that aren’t used to the volume of customers.

But some believe that Thomas Cook is just the start of a decline in the usage of travel agencies as a whole.

Preston Travel Centre said “We’re worried about what increased business could mean for a small company such as ourselves.

“There are only five of us here and I doubt we’d be able to keep up with such a high demand.”

Preston Travel Centre are also worried about how the collapse of such a huge company could lead to a decrease in sales and a decline in people using travel agencies for their holidays.

North West travel company Book In Style have issued a statement on their website: “Our priority is to ensure all our customers currently out in resort are repatriated back to the UK safely.”

The company worked closely with Thomas Cook, often being used by customers to book holiday packages offered by the oldest travel company in the UK.

They are more worried about not being able to help their customers that are trapped abroad and have said they won’t be taking any more bookings until they have helped every customer that they can.

Cloud9travel in Preston have also been affected by the collapse. One travel agent said: “(They are) so busy trying to look after customers affected.”

Other small companies contacted were unable to talk due to the amount of work that has been created by Thomas Cook going bankrupt.