Scarborough woman who lost her job in Thomas Cook closure opens new travel business
A former employee of Thomas Cook in Scarborough who lost her job when the firm collapsed last year has opened a new travel business.
Jodie Rainton had worked at Thomas Cook in Scarborough for 18 years as a sales consultant when the firm collapsed in September 2019.
She said: "I went there from the age of 15, straight from school and had never worked anywhere else.
"I would never have left Thomas Cook, I loved working for them, it was a fantastic company. I was absolutely devastated [when it closed.]
"It was a huge shock, we honestly never thought it would happen."
After taking a bit of time to process thew news, Jodie decided to go self-employed.
She continued: "Travel is my passion and I wasn't ready to give it up.
"I just thought if I don't try it [on my own] now when I've been given the chance I might regret it."
Rather than start completely solo, Jodie has become a franchisee for Travel Counsellors, a company with over 20 years experience in the travel industry.
Jodie explained: "As it's a franchise, customers are 100 per cent protected, and it gives me a bit of comfort knowing there's a larger business there behind me.
"At Thomas Cook you were restricted as to which companies you could book holidays through but now I have got a lot more flexibility, that's one of the reasons I was interested in starting something new.
"Customers can come for anything from a UK break to a round the world trip.
"I've been doing it for eight weeks and it is going amazingly."
Despite the shock closure of Thomas Cook, Jodie still thinks there's an appetite for booking holidays through an agency.
She said: "Scarborough has always been a busy town for people booking holidays in the travel agent.
"I think [Thomas Cook closing] will actually encourage people to come back to the travel agent and book the whole holiday in one rather than every bit separate."
Though the closure of Thomas Cook was a shock, it has given Jodie the impetus to look for new opportunities.
Along with three others, who are also franchisees for Travel Counsellors and some of whom are also former Thomas Cook employees, she has recently moved into the old Barclay's building at Newby, on Scalby Road, so customers can still meet her face to face, though she also has the flexibility to go and visit people or book over the phone.
The office is open by appointment only and Jodie and her colleagues can be contacted via the details below: