New Mills travel agent suffers ‘worst week imaginable’ after Thomas Cook collapse

Plane Sailing travel agents back up and running. Nicola Brogden, Leanne Lillis and Rebecca Hall.
Plane Sailing travel agents back up and running. Nicola Brogden, Leanne Lillis and Rebecca Hall.

A travel agent in New Mills is standing strong after the ‘worst week imaginable’ following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Plane Sailing, on Low Leighton Road, was part of the Freedom Travel Group which was owned by Thomas Cook before it went into liquidation last week.

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The tour operator’s demise led to Plane Sailing losing its ATOL protection and ABTA trading number.

Fortunately, the Co-op Mid Counties Travel Group has taken over the running of it and the branch is now open as normal with a new trading number and protection for holiday makers.

Becky Hall, who has worked at the travel agent for 16 years, described the days after Thomas Cook’s collapse as the ‘worst week imaginable’.

She said: “We haven’t slept and we were working 20-hour days to help our customers but not really knowing what was going on.

“Freedom Travel Group was our head office and they were always on hand if we had questions, but with them shut down we were in the dark.”

Becky said she and her colleagues did not expect the one-time holiday giant to fold.

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She said: “We didn’t expect this to happen, I don’t think anyone did. I know we haven’t lost our jobs and there are a lot of people who have but it was still such a worrying time for us.

“Being a travel agent is all I have done and for the manager too, who has been here 20 years, our customers are like our family.

“We have been worried about them not getting a holiday or getting back.

“But they have been worried about us too and some have brought in flowers, wine and chocolates which has been lovely as it has certainly helped us to feel more positive about the situation going forward.”