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FCAFLYBOY
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:34 am

Well I hope this can be survived by TC however it does not bode well for them unfortunately and IMO.

Two things now go against their survival:

1- the. Company's inability to remain innovative and pioneering in spirit and product, which ironically was how the original Thomas Cook started the company. They have relied for far too long in the business model which has kept them over the years, the ever-dwindling 'package holiday' concept.

The days of tourists being delighted by 14 nights in an apartment in Lloret De Mar with nightflights and crappy transfers are almost dead.

Cooks have largely ignored the luxury sector, they own Elegant Resorts but that will likely live out any failing as a brand in it's own right and it makes money, but TC have not been very innovative and they are paying the price.

First choice made moves to be different by opening more luxurious holiday villages, but many of those have horror stories behind them too. What TC have failed to do is diversify and move with the times. Sadly there is no place in Market for this out dated business model anymore.

Any operator with any sense will try to take their product to a niche Market and do it well hence why many if the more luxury operators such as Carrier, Western & Oriental, ITC will continue to do well, and the service they provide is really just that, a service which TC has been unable or unwilling to match for some time, and now may be too late.


I personally hop that's not the case, but problem number 2 lies therein - the media coverage will deal a massive blow to TC - there will be little/no consumer confidence, and that really could finish them off.
 
AFGMEL
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:37 am

I am amazed that these tour operators are still going. With the power of the internet and an increasingly tech-savvy population, I can't see why they are needed. Much like the situation with travel agents. I have only used one twice in the last 8 years or so because I HAD to as the airline would only ticket through an agent.

I suppose some people like being herded onto and aircraft, herded on a coach, herded into a common room and told by an overly perky bint how much fun you are going to have, but I suspect that is declining.

The rise of budget airlines coupled with the ability to source and book your own accommodation should make these operators look at modifying their business model and offering something extra.
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:25 am

Ving travel agency in Sweden owned by Thomas Cook UK has come out with a public message saying that they are the most profitable company in the Thomas Cook group and that their owners financial difficulties may lead to a new ownership for Wing. They also say no travellers need to worry about Thomas Cook UK:s problems since the will not affect Ving in the short term.
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:36 am

Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 51):
I am amazed that these tour operators are still going. With the power of the internet and an increasingly tech-savvy population, I can't see why they are needed. Much like the situation with travel agents. I have only used one twice in the last 8 years or so because I HAD to as the airline would only ticket through an agent.

This is a typical European tradition that started in the 1950:s and is really not duplicated in many other places but maybe in Canada and the US. Typically large number of people group together and travel from north Europe to the Mediterranean or Canary Islands. This gives lower prices. This tradition has led to high quality travel with hotelarrangements etc and price levels that could not be achieved by other means. Low cost airlines compete in this market now but the travel agencies still compete by providing affordable high quality accomodation that you really can not always find on your own. They have another buying power since they accomodate plane loads. They also have local connections that are still very good.

As long as those travel agencies and charter airlines provide high quality combined with good air travel there is a market.

In scandinavia there is a revival in the charter market. It is convenient and still provides a nice journey and accomodation without any problems that can be experienced when you put together packages yourself.

I still think there is a market for charter travel at least in northern Europe.
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anstar
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:03 am

Quoting tcxdegsy (Reply 47):
This Company won't fail. It may be subject to a take over now, but the name is it's most valuable asset.

Unfortunately with all the press on the company being in trouble - its reputation and name will be damaged.
 
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:19 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 54):
Quoting tcxdegsy (Reply 47):
This Company won't fail. It may be subject to a take over now, but the name is it's most valuable asset.

Unfortunately with all the press on the company being in trouble - its reputation and name will be damaged.

I think so too. People do not want to lose money or a paid journey in a bankruptcy. In Sweden there is an insurance covering this when it comes to group travels like this but I do not know if that is the case in the UK. But anyway chances are that people will book on another company now.
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bralo20
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:27 am

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 32):
Weird, I heard that Thomas Cook is doing well in Belgium although I think they need a long haul fleet, they're selling tickets to Mexico and Asia but TUI is operating those flights... Doesn't make sense... I have no idea how Thomas Cook is doing in other countries like The UK, Germany, Scandinavia but all I know is that Thomas Cook Belgium is doing good.

Well according to the last fiscal year (2009/2010) they booked a profit of 25 million EUR, a small increase compared to the previous fiscal year (2008/2009) where they had 23 million EUR profit. So according to the books FQ isn't doing to bad... However, we don't know how things are going during the current fiscal year (2010/2011), FQ has offloaded 2 A320's in the last couple of months and there aren't much signs that they will be replaced...

If we look at the last fiscal year of competitor JetairFly (TB) it appears that they "only" posted a profit of 3 million EUR. Again, we don't know how things are going this year. TB is constantly replacing older planes by new build ones right out of the Boeing factory and currently operate the youngest fleet in Belgium.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:47 am

Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 51):

I am amazed that these tour operators are still going. With the power of the internet and an increasingly tech-savvy population, I can't see why they are needed. Much like the situation with travel agents. I have only used one twice in the last 8 years or so because I HAD to as the airline would only ticket through an agent.

I suppose some people like being herded onto and aircraft, herded on a coach, herded into a common room and told by an overly perky bint how much fun you are going to have, but I suspect that is declining.

The rise of budget airlines coupled with the ability to source and book your own accommodation should make these operators look at modifying their business model and offering something extra.

In the UK there remains very important valid and (Added)value reasons to buy a true package that is ATOL bonded and underwritten.
In event of failure you GET YOUR MONEY back in full.

Home built packages may not be covered other than via credit card protection, for individual part.

It does seem to me that the group has cash flow issues however remains a fundamentally sound business and as already pointed out are expected to post operating profits for the 12 month period.

What is certain is they are suffering from lack of forward booking deposits and the purchase of the CO-OP (UK) retail operation was a mistake.
It is certain that the CO_OP high street stores are about to take the brunt of impending restructuring (JOB losses and closures) in the coming weeks.
 
picturethis
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:30 am

Thomas Cook shares bounce back after Tuesday's plunge

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15851461
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APYu
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:45 am

Quoting picturethis (Reply 58):
Thomas Cook shares bounce back after Tuesday's plunge

But looking at the numbers involved its hardly cause for celebration - they 'bounced back' from 10p to around 13p???
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:49 am

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 57):
It does seem to me that the group has cash flow issues however remains a fundamentally sound business

Sounds like a Thomas Cook advertisement. The business is not sound if they have not been able to put assets in the balance sheet to manage short term cash flow. That is not a sound business, it is either a mismanaged business or one that has been accumulating losses. Such a large enterprise should not be running out of cash after such a long time in business.
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Danfearn77
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:23 am

Quoting awthompson (Reply 45):
I certainly could not have included everything that Thomas Cook included for the same price using a low cost carrier

And that's the problem. They are selling holidays for absolute peanuts. In my local town the other day they had a deal, '£269 for 2 all inclusive for 10 days in fuerteventura'. Unfortunately that's just not sustainable pricing.
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babyblueBHX
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:02 am

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 57):
What is certain is they are suffering from lack of forward booking deposits and the purchase of the CO-OP (UK) retail operation was a mistake.
It is certain that the CO_OP high street stores are about to take the brunt of impending restructuring (JOB losses and closures) in the coming weeks.

With the co-op merger I think you will find that the Thomas Cook needed the co-op more than the co-op needed Thomas Cook. There was I believe alot of co-op stores selling more TC product than their competing TC stores in the same town. Thomas Cook went knocking at the co-op's door and it was a merger many co-op staff didn't want. With regards the branch closures the co-op still own around 33% of the retail joint venture (which I believe it is called). Yes it's a merger not a take over and there are co-op management on the board of the retail joint venture I'm sure the co-op will fight their corner (the co-op will also will wan't to proctect and secure its own brand on the High street).

I cant see the banks letting Thomas Cook go under they are owed too much money much of which they probably wouldn't get back through selling the assests. They are more likely to get all their money back if they lend Thomas Cook the money so Cooks can restructure and begin paying back their debt under new terms.

Their aircraft interiors could do with refesh and an update but they need to get there service levels (which will cost them vey little) and reliability levels up firs which I think will ease alot of gripes people have with the airline divison.

I think they will bounce back leaner and smarter than before and wouldnt hestitate booking with them as in the UK the holidays will be proctected by ATOL and ABTA which provide much more protection and assitantce than alot of credit cards insurance.
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328JET
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:07 am

Quoting chieft (Reply 35):
I wonder if that might affect Thomas Cook and Condor in Germany...

You mean the rumoured new "cooperation" of Lufthansa and Condor...?

Some people expect TCX to sell Condor to Lufthansa again.

What a strange move...
 
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:45 am

Quoting 328JET (Reply 63):
Quoting chieft (Reply 35):
I wonder if that might affect Thomas Cook and Condor in Germany...

You mean the rumoured new "cooperation" of Lufthansa and Condor...?

Some people expect TCX to sell Condor to Lufthansa again.

What a strange move...

TUI and Kuoni are other large travel groups besides Thomas Cook. I doubt a merger with either of those would be approved for competition reasons. And I also doubt that LH would want to get Condor back... But I think both Condor and Ving/ Thomas Cook Scandinavia will be sold pretty soon. But to whom?? Thomas Cook UK needs the money badly and they have not been able to manage Ving properly. Ever since Thomas Cook took over Ving has lost ground to TUI. It is obvious Ving and Condor wants to break lose to be able to expand without having to support its money losing owners.
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:51 am

Quoting 328JET (Reply 63):
You mean the rumoured new "cooperation" of Lufthansa and Condor...?

I had the same thoughts. Just got thre weekly LH mail promoting special fares and first time i saw Condor on there. If not a sale, some special co-operation already has started. I think that DE can do as a stand-alone. How right it was to correct that marketing desaster of shedding th "Condor" name and re-branding into "Thomas Cook".

"Thomas Koch" was dumped very very soon again, if they hadn't done that, DE would be in dire straits as well now.
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chieft
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:26 pm

Condor does not fit in LHs strategy anymore, so it is ulikely that LH would take Condor back.
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vv701
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:38 pm

Quoting planesailing (Reply 39):
The unrest in Egypt (and having travelled there this year) is not located around the Red Sea/Sinai resorts. If you have travelled to Sharm El Sheik, you would see that a large number of resorts are self contained and being within the desert hardly precipitates being affected by the national climate, far from it. Whilst undoubtely it will affect *some* bookings, the country is still completely safe and with TOM, that numbers for its flights - TCP, RMF, SSH, LXR and HRG all leave LGW with good loads.

Here is an extract from the British Foreign Office's travel advice on Egypt that was last updated on 23 November, that is today:

"There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Egypt, including in Sinai. Security is tight throughout the country, especially in resort areas. There is a high risk of indiscriminate attacks including public places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers, including but not limited to resorts, hotels and restaurants."

The passage reproduced above is printed in bold on the FO site at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...try/middle-east-north-africa/egypt

Before making unequivocal statements it would be wise to check out the official view that is updated daily from reports from the security advisers in the UK Embassy and in local Consulates and is not based on a single personal experience from some months ago.
 
tcxdegsy
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:23 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 52):
They also say no travellers need to worry about Thomas Cook UK:s problems since the will not affect Ving in the short term.

TC Group is Headquartered in Frankfurt, and Listed on the LSE. It's not a UK Company, it's a European Corporation

Quoting anstar (Reply 54):
Unfortunately with all the press on the company being in trouble - its reputation and name will be damaged.

It's already been categorised as "Too Big to Fail"!

Quoting danfearn77 (Reply 61):
And that's the problem. They are selling holidays for absolute peanuts. In my local town the other day they had a deal, '£269 for 2 all inclusive for 10 days in fuerteventura'. Unfortunately that's just not sustainable pricing

That's not the Company's fault - consumers expect too much for too little and this supply & demand model has driven this for too long. It's the same every year with Tour Operators getting by on under 5% margin, thanks to Consumer's unreasonable expectations. What's a Tour Operator to do - sit with millions of holidays on the shelf at the end of July, or sell them to get rid of stock? TUI and TC have the same battle of will with customers every year.

Quoting Navigator (Reply 64):
TUI and Kuoni are other large travel groups besides Thomas Cook

You can hardly list Kuoni in the league of "Large" compared to TUI and TC. David and Goliath proportions.
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AFGMEL
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:01 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 57):
In the UK there remains very important valid and (Added)value reasons to buy a true package that is ATOL bonded and underwritten.
In event of failure you GET YOUR MONEY back in full.

Home built packages may not be covered other than via credit card protection, for individual part.

I see that people consider that an advantage, but I am still a bit bewildered. That is why I have travel insurance which would cover me if an airline or hotel went bust. Not only that it covers me for medical, theft etc. On the package holiday, your airfares and accommodation would be covered but that's all unless it does include medical etc. I get that EEC have reciprocal agreements, but it wouldn't cover everything, particularly repatriation etc.

Do Europeans not take out travel insurance? A two week holiday would be not much more than $100AUD I would have thought.
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Danfearn77
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:09 am

Quoting tcxdegsy (Reply 68):
That's not the Company's fault - consumers expect too much for too little and this supply & demand model has driven this for too long. It's the same every year with Tour Operators getting by on under 5% margin, thanks to Consumer's unreasonable expectations. What's a Tour Operator to do - sit with millions of holidays on the shelf at the end of July, or sell them to get rid of stock? TUI and TC have the same battle of will with customers every year.

I completely agree with you, it is definitely driven by consumer demand. We expect 5* hotels and service for 3* prices. I Totally understand that its better for an operator to get a bum on a seat with late deals instead of leaving it unsold...But in the example of the 'deal' I saw in the shop window, it wasn't in a weeks time or months time, it was next May...a very heavy discount in my opinion I could have understood if it was for a departure within the next week or so.

I've worked closely with TOM and TCX at MAN for a good number of years now and TOM is substantially more expensive. They balance good customer service and on board experience with a sustainable holiday price. And if I had a quid for the amount of time I'd heard 'Thomas cook were a lot cheaper but I'm not flyIng with them again...'
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FCAFLYBOY
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:53 am

Not the best of news today either, if the Travel Trade lose faith in Cooks, then they may as well shut-up shop, and no one will want to sell an un-insurable product I shouldn't think.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articl...ed+on+thomas+cook+flight-only.html
 
vv701
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:49 pm

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 71):
no one will want to sell an un-insurable product I shouldn't think.


But this only applies to flight-only deals not to the bulk of TCX's business, IT packages. They will automatically be insured through ABTA. And if you have an annual travel insurance policy you will still be covered on flight-only deals at least until the policy expires. And if the travel agent is Thomas Cook . . .

I doubt that many agents will turn business away particularly if the Astraeus and Cook problems are indicative of an industry wide business slow down.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:42 pm

Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 69):
That is why I have travel insurance which would cover me if an airline or hotel went bust.

I hope that you have read your policy wording carefully and are not just making assumptions. To the best of my knowledge very few travel insurance policies cover financial collapse anymore ,most travel insurers re-wrote their policies after the wave of post 11 September airline collapses ( AN , SN , SR , 2T etc) to exclude financial collapse . If your policy does cover financial collapse of a provider then well done for finding one that does.
 
boeing4eva
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:36 pm

Im a very regular user of Thomson,always have been,even when friends were using Thomas cook,and im talking a lot of people here.I would say 90 per cent of them have switched now to Thomson as i have never once had a bad experience with them in 15 years!They were constantly being messed around by Thomas Cook.So im guessing by this that their service is poor now and customers will only take so much!The most common gripe seems to be the delays on flights,but there is probably more problems within Thomas Cook than we are being told!Its such a shame,lets hope they get it right!Otherwise we could see a repeat of the Air Europe and XL saga.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:57 am

New credit facility secured through to spring .

Looks like they will have to do some quick restructuring in the next few weeks (Disposals and retrenchments from a few markets) to strengthen balance sheet

Link to BBC article

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15896503

Navigator the sale ving a near certainty then.

Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 69):
I see that people consider that an advantage, but I am still a bit bewildered. That is why I have travel insurance which would cover me if an airline or hotel went bust. Not only that it covers me for medical, theft etc. On the package holiday, your airfares and accommodation would be covered but that's all unless it does include medical etc. I get that EEC have reciprocal agreements, but it wouldn't cover everything, particularly repatriation etc.

Do Europeans not take out travel insurance? A two week holiday would be not much more than $100AUD I would have thought.

Whilst highly recommended its not strictly necessary for medical cover within the EU where there are specific reciprocal
agreements and a simple EU wide form the give access to care in any member country.

The EHIC card is freely available.

Certainly if you are taking part in sporting activities or going skiing extra cover including the cost of repartition is necessary (via insurances) however most holiday insurance claims are made for lost damage stolen property.

As others have said you need to check insurance policies very carefully to ensure you ARE covered for bankrupties and costs associated with recovering losses.
Booking a traditional ATOL bonded package relieves you of this worry completely.
As I said the ATOL bond pays you out in FULL what ever the financial condition of the liquidated company, you are no longer an un secured creditor waiting perhaps two years for 1p in £10 pay out. Thats a benefit I value greatly (worth 15% premium)
 
tcxdegsy
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:38 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 75):
Whilst highly recommended its not strictly necessary for medical cover within the EU where there are specific reciprocal
agreements and a simple EU wide form the give access to care in any member country.

The EHIC card is freely available.

That's no-where near enough cover.. and frankly, bad advice. It only covers initial treatment. You should never travel abroad without suitable travel insurane, which of course, Medical is only part of the story. What about baggage, loss of money & cards, mugging, legal cover, delays, cancellation.. need I go on? Don't forget Carrier Failure, which most insurers cover with an additional fee.

You mention repatriation... let's just say that Goerge Michael currently wouldn't be getting trreatment under the EHIC, and any medical condition that requires you to get home is not something you should travel without suitable insurance cover for.
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rutankrd
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:52 pm

Quoting tcxdegsy (Reply 76):
That's no-where near enough cover.. and frankly, bad advice. It only covers initial treatment. You should never travel abroad without suitable travel insurane, which of course, Medical is only part of the story. What about baggage, loss of money & cards, mugging, legal cover, delays, cancellation.. need I go on? Don't forget Carrier Failure, which most insurers cover with an additional fee.

You mention repatriation... let's just say that Goerge Michael currently wouldn't be getting trreatment under the EHIC, and any medical condition that requires you to get home is not something you should travel without suitable insurance cover for.

Where did i say don't get travel insurance !

I was referring strictly to medical cover !

Did i not say insurance would be needed and recommended for repatriation costs and for lost damages and stolen property oh and yes certainly legal bills especially in Spain where you need access to a bail bond if you get involved in a car accident.

However my reply to AFGMEL is accurate in content and context !

All that said i do have annual cover myself plus a motor policy bail bond as i visit central Spain (Badajoz) regularly.

In context to this thread what have said is that the package holiday has some financial advantages to the customer that is worth a premium over self build when backed by the ATOL bond.
 
tcxdegsy
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:15 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 77):
Where did i say don't get travel insurance !

I was referring strictly to medical cover !

Did i not say insurance would be needed and recommended for repatriation costs and for lost damages and stolen property oh and yes certainly legal bills especially in Spain where you need access to a bail bond if you get involved in a car accident.

Take a chill pill - your message implied that insurance was not needed as much as it actually is, that's all
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acelanzarote
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:13 pm

A more interesting question might be- Where does Thomas Cook go from here?
Suspect some changes will have to follow to avoid any more bail outs?
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tcxdegsy
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RE: Thomas Cook In Trouble

Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:58 pm

Quoting acelanzarote (Reply 79):
A more interesting question might be- Where does Thomas Cook go from here?
Suspect some changes will have to follow to avoid any more bail outs?

This insight may give some indication of the need for TC to complete a Warts & All revamp of the UK structure and strategy. Looks like disposals, 200 Branch closures (15%), and a return to focus on retailing over tour operations.

I heard through the grapevine too, that there's a high chance they'll shut or reduce their Bradford Tour Operations base, and move some or all of it to their Falkirk Contact Centre. This is the centre that absorbed Carlson's Flight Savers, and Going Places Direct/ Direct Holidays operations when the Glasgow centres have been shut in the past. They have lots of capacity to handle Tour ops, since they moved a lot of their customer calls through intelligent routing into local Shops based on the calling customer's STD code.

So, lots of moves and upheaval expected, which is a shame. I used to work at the Falkirk centre, and they've gone through a lot of change in the last 15 yrs, and it certainly won't be the last!
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Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos