Hays Travel boss reveals staff working around clock to help customers affected by Thomas Cook collapse

The boss of a top North East travel firm says it faces a “mammoth task” as staff work to accommodate about 35,000 Thomas Cook bookings following the firm’s collapse.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 11:03 am

Hays Travel, the UK's largest independent travel agent, has been working around the clock to help customers who have been affected by Thomas Cook’s collapse.

The business – which was founded in Seaham by managing director John Hays and has branches across the region including Sunderland, South Shields, Hartlepool and Northumberland – has said it is the largest third- party agent for Thomas Cook, and had 35,000 bookings for those yet to travel when the firm folded.

The announcement came on Monday after efforts to put together a bail-out package failed.

Hays Travel owner John Hays.

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After the news broke Hays Travel stores faced queues of worried customers wanting to know what would happen to their holidays.

The company says staff have called all clients who are abroad on Thomas Cook flights so that they are in touch and said it was their priority to get customers who were due to fly with Thomas Cook to be booked on alternative holidays.

Mr Hays said: “In terms of people looking after clients Hays Travel has the most in the country to sort out, so it is a mammoth task.

“A lot of our shops had queues out into the street and phone systems just jammed.

Hays Travel owner John Hays.

“But we have managed to get a lot of people booked, although people had to be flexible because of change of the dates and where they are going to.”

Hays Travel owner John Hays.