Travel agent Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy caused misery for travellers in Finland on Monday as travellers arrived at Helsinki Airport, checked in for the flights and discovered that their holidays were cancelled.
"All of a sudden it was announced that the flight was cancelled," said Peter Lindström from Naantali, who only discovered he wasn’t getting a break at the departure gate. "Nothing was said at check-in."
Around 2,900 people are currently on holidays outside Finland organised by Thomas Cook’s Finnish subsidiary Tjäreborg. On Sunday the company said that those already on holiday would be repatriated and if the firm went bankrupt their customers would be contacted immediately.
Information did not seem to have reached the Lindströms ahead of their trip to Cypriot sunspot Larnaca.
"We got one leaflet which explained our rights, but we haven’t read it yet," said Lindström. "There were no Tjäreborg representatives around. Of course we’re disappointed and we’ll try to find some resolution to this, but we’ll probably have to go home."
The temperature in Naantali on Monday morning was zero degrees Celsius, 27 degrees lower than in Larnaca.
In total some 600,000 tourists worldwide were left stranded when the British travel agent went bust. The British government has asked the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority to activate repatriation plans for 150,000 British citizens on Thomas Cook holidays.
The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was following the situation and that Finns left stranded and unable to get help from their tour guides should contact their nearest Finnish diplomatic mission, or if there is no Finnish embassy or consulate nearby then a Nordic or EU post.