The untold story of the ‘part of Thomas Cook that has been forgotten’, according to Scarborough travel advisor

A travel advisor who was affected by the Thomas Cook collapse has spoken out about how she “lost everything overnight”.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:40 pm
The former Thomas Cook store in Scarborough

Janet Timmins, a Personal Travel Advisor at Freedom Travel Group, began her career in Scarborough at Thomas Cook at the age of 16.

The self-employed mum-of-three, who works from home in Scarborough, has built her business up over the past 20 years.

Janet says that she and another 150 colleagues, at Freedom PTA, were told “everything was fine and not to worry about it”.

Speaking about the collapse on Monday September 23, she said: “At 2am on Monday morning we logged on as it was the only time to find clients and tell them. I never went to bed for nine days just trying to help my customers. It was a complete shock to us as we were told everything was fine and not to worry about it.

“As we are self employed we basically had to work for nothing.”

The group, which comprised of consortium agents and Personal Travel Advisors operating independently of Thomas Cook, went into liquidation after Cook failed to secure a rescue package from creditors.

The 55-year-old says that the travel advisors are “the part of the Thomas Cook crash that has been forgotten.”

“Everyone was behind the Thomas Cook employees who lost their jobs but we were just forgotten about - it was a complete shock to us as well. As we are self employed and work from home we were never thought of,” she added.

On a social media post, A Freedom Personal Travel Advisor said: “Travel Advisors have spent the past few weeks working for free to ensure their customer’s holidays can go ahead after the collapse of Thomas Cook – it means they have been left with nothing!

“Working from their homes these people have lost businesses they have spent years nurturing, they have put their heart and souls into and it’s all gone in a flash they have been left to pick up the pieces with no help or advice coming from any industry body or leader.

“Throughout all this heartache and stress, home workers have continued to put their customers first, even though many are at breaking point both financially and emotionally.”

Janet, has since been reemployed by different consortium’s and started her to rebuilt her business but had to start from scratch.