Former Thomas Cook staff work for free in Edinburgh to help customers get refunds

Former Thomas Cook staff in Edinburgh are using their free time to help customers get refunds.

Paul Morgan and his team who worked at the Thomas Cook branch in Cameron Toll worked for free at the weekend to help former customers submit their claims.

They set up their own make-shift travel agency in the shopping centre and helped more than 50 people sort their Thomas Cook financial burdens.

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Catherine Gard, from Edinburgh, was one of the victims of the company’s crash.

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“It went bust just days before I was meant to fly out to Turkey,” she said.

“I was all good to go. I had booked a train ticket down to London which is where I was flying from so it was a real pain.

“I went to Portugal instead, but it was at a huge extra expense, so it’s great these guys were here to help.”

Kirsten Whiting also missed out on her family holiday. She booked to go to Turkey in a few weeks time but has had to change plans.

“We were devastated,” she said, “we booked the holiday six months ago because we wanted to go away somewhere warm for the school holidays that are coming up. We all know what the weather is like here in October. It cost about £1500, but with the help of Paul and his team we should get all that back.”

The staff’s hard work paid-off as all five travel agents have been offered work with Hays, Thomas Cook’s rival, which has since bought the company.

“It was a dark time when we were all made redundant,” said Paul, “just last week we had nothing, but now we have all got jobs, and the best thing is we are reopening in the same unit at Cameron Toll with the same team.”

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Irene Hays, owner of Hays, said: “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry. We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had, not least its people, and that will put us in even better stead for the future.”