Thomas Cook vacationers and crew "trapped" in Cuba

  Sue Petrow


Sue Petrow to fly home Wednesday

Several Thomas Cook tourists and crew in Cuba have said that they are prevented from leaving their hotels until they pay extra for their stay.

A vacationer, Sue Petrow, said she would fly home Wednesday, but her hotel told her she could be kept at the airport unless she pays the bill.

The Thomas Cook cabin crew said they were actually being held "hostage".

The British ambassador to Cuba said that the hotels had now been told to allow customers to leave without paying.

Dr Antony Stokes said on Twitter : "Very grateful for the patience of all concerned in troubling circumstances."

Holiday guests that Sue may have paid for their rooms and meals months in advance, but hotels will normally only receive the money from Thomas Cook several weeks after their stay.

Reports suggested that there was a widespread problem in Cuba about the industry insurance fund Atol, which covers payments in the case of a failed company, was recognized in the country.

The fund covers space and food bills that have been running up since Thomas Cook's collapse on Monday morning.

However, bills run up in hotels before Thomas Cook's collapse will not be covered. Affected hotel owners must seek liquidators for their money.

Sue Petrow said that her hotel had said that Atol was not recognized in Cuba, but that she and other holidaymakers had refused to pay.

"I had already had to pay a large medical bill while I was here for my husband. My husband is diabetic. He has had three heart attacks. He only has medication for Saturday. We will carry him on a plane if we have to . "

How have customers protected it?

If you are on a package holiday, you will be covered by the Atol scheme.

  • The scheme pays for accommodation abroad, although you may have to move to another hotel or apartment
  • Atol will also pay to bring you home if the airline is no longer operating
  • If you have a holiday booked in the future, you will also be reimbursed the scheme
  • If you have booked an airline ticket, you will need to seek your travel insurance company or credit and debit card provider to see the refund

What are your rights? Read more here.

In another Cuban hotel, Thomas Cook's cabin crew said they were effectively being held hostage "by the hotel.

" There are security guards at the hotel crew to prevent them. They have not even been guaranteed room for the night. , so it may be the case to sleep on the reception floor, "a colleague of the concerned staff told the BBC.

She called for action to bring the staff home, saying" they have already been through more than enough. "[19659005] Another holidaymaker, Shaun Woods, said his plane was leaving on Wednesday, but the hotel said it would not let them get on the bus to the airport until they paid.

"They say they have salaries to pay, and we have used their rooms and eaten their food. It becomes very worrying now. "

Mr Woods said around 30 Thomas Cook customers at his hotel had been affected. [19659005] A spokesman for the British Government said it and the Civil Aviation Authority" were working around the clock to support all concerned. "

" The government has deployed teams on the ground to support those affected and is in contact with local authorities and hotels, "they added.


On Monday, CAA started repatriating British holidaymakers which was overseas at the time Thomas Cook collapsed.

Dame Deirdre Hutton, CAA chair, described Monday as "a pretty good day for a first day."

She told BBC 5 Live & # 39; s Wake Up to Money: "We drove 64 flights, we brought back just under 15,000 people. That was over 90% of those we intended to bring back. "

There will be more than 1,000 flights between now and Sunday October 6 to repatriate the remaining 135,300 vacationers, with 74 of them returning around 17,000 people, scheduled for Tuesday.

The CAA has set up its own website to keep Thomas Cook customers updated with the latest advice and news.

There is a call center and Twitter feed with open direct messages to respond to vacationers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call center can be reached at 0300 -303-2800 inside the UK and +44 1753-330330 from abroad.

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