'We are the fortunate ones' - Sunderland pensioners speak of shock after finding out news of Thomas Cook collapse

Sunderland pensioners have spoken of their shock at discovering that the holiday they had looked forward to all year had been cancelled following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 4:46 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 1:10 am

Elizabeth Dutton, 76, was due to fly to Malta in October along with her sister Ruth Burrell, 80, and two friends.

Elizabeth said: “We are the fortunate ones as we are not stuck abroad not knowing when we are going to get back.

Hays Travel customers have been affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook. Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Wire.

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“But it has been difficult for us as pensioners as we have saved all year for our holiday, only to find out two weeks before we are going that it has all gone pear shaped.

“We have had to think about where we can find the money to pay for another one.”

Elizabeth continued: “We went into Hays Travel again after it all happened and they were absolutely brilliant.

“We were in there for more than two hours while staff were trying to find something for us.

“I want to thanks Hays Travel for their patience while spending time looking for something else for us.”

Ruth Burrell, from South Hylton, also praised the staff at Hays Travel and said her thoughts were with the thousands of Thomas Cook staff who have lost their jobs.

Ruth said: “We had been looking forward to the holiday for a long time and had saved up for it, so it was disappointing but nothing in comparison to the thousands who have lost their jobs.

“We were lucky that we had the chance to book another holiday and we can’t fault Hays Travel in Sunderland, all of the staff were absolutely fantastic.

"They spent quite a long time trying to help us get what we wanted.”