Two examples of stupidity stick with me. One was that at the time they outsourced their website to their main competitor. Which as you can imagine worked well because their competitor had no desire at all to fix the many problems with the website. TC didn't understand that the website was everything because they were at heart a high street travel agency.
The other was when I worked on managing their AdWords account, which was enormous (like 100K different keywords in thousands of groups). Some keywords would be bid at £10s of pounds. It is very easy to lose a lot of money on these keywords because there's a fine balance between the profit you make on each holiday (usually £100-ish), versus paying a large amount of money on each keyword and the number of sales you make at the end of the "sales tunnel". There was also a weekly industry survey which came out ranking the position of all the travel websites according to number of visitors (I forget the name of it). Senior managers at TC were fascinated by "being number one" on this survey every week, and so would instruct us to dial up the keyword bids on Friday night and run like this over the weekend. Google AdWords with high bids is very effective at bringing large numbers of low quality visitors to the website.
Each week they would indeed come number one on this survey (read only by other senior managers in the travel industry), while at the same time losing tens of thousands of pounds selling holidays for negative profit.
I remember those times. A number of companies in the UK saw web-sites as extensions to their teletext based advertising, just with more information density and a few small pictures (emphasis on both few and small: most of their customers were using ~28k8 connections at home and/or overcommitted shared connections in collages & libraries). You were sill expected to phone in your order, or physically go to your local branch, once you had seen something that took your fancy.
eCommerce was happening at that point (Amazon started in '94 IIRC, and the gambling & other adult entertainment industries were already actively making moves in that realm), but it was in its early days and far from trusted by either the public or many companies.
This was an intranet site was launched in 94, we don't talk about bt.com
That is still an issue with many businesses, websites are still seen as just an electronic version of a poster on a bill board, its gradually changing.
And Eu companies are even worse, a few years back I suggested a link from a German parents website to the uk subsidiary and was told the Head office lawyers where checking to see if they "where allowed" to add a link.
So while involving lawyers every time is definitely high on the CYA scale, it may make sense to run some instances by a lawyer to be safe(er). The subsidiary's website shouldn't generally be much of a problem, though.
Yes it’s being conservative but the lawyers definitely prefer fewer links where possible and I’ve had them ask me to remove quite a few.
I am not sure if the courts distinguish between automatically generated pages and authored/curated content that involves human input in its creation. Courts haven't been exactly consistent on these points.
Was that the 1890's they are stuck in :-)
Generalizations don't help here. There is idiocy in companies and my feeling is that the bigger they are, the worse it gets.
Legacy as in business systems, business thought process, legacy IT, etc.
TC is a very old company
One problem with the British upperclass, is that they tend to be educated at private schools like Eton, where they primarily learn confidence. So tons of British politicians and managers know how to appear to know what they're doing, without actually knowing what they're doing. As long as things are going well, this works fine, especially since the people they do business with come from the same schools. But when the shit hits the fan, it turns into a fumbling circus. Like it did with Tories and Brexit.
Not limited to the British upper class. It's astounding how far someone can go in life by simply being confident, charismatic, and articulate (and tall) despite being completely full of shit.
I think the world would do well to try to inoculate itself against this sort of superficial confidence. It's way too effective, with frequently harmful results.
I don't think it is an issue just with people educated in certain schools.
Elizabeth Holmes, genius dropout of Marshall University - it just doesn't raise a billion dollars in venture capital quite the same way (even with her connections to people like Draper). She was sold as the next Bill Gates (or Zuckerberg), and the next Bill Gates must drop out of a prestigious school too, because she's so brilliant and her mission is so important she must be getting on to The Big Thing. Even Stanford could not contain her. The elite school is required to sell that fraud.
WeWork by comparison is an actual company with actual revenue ($3 billion for 2019 perhaps). It's just not worth anywhere near what the pumped up VC numbers were attempting to keep inflated. Maybe in liquidation its worth $500m, maybe it's worth $3b. Theranos was not a real company, it had no real products (going by the book Bad Blood), it had no consequential sales. Neumann was selling a different sort of fiction than Holmes (both were fiction mind you).
It's dumb that people are picking on that word out of the overall comment like it was some kind of mistake. The comment was about the nature of the appearance of competence, and height is one element that has an effect on how people perceive another person, and there are countless teachable things about that.
I've gotten a similar vibe from a lot of graduates of prestigious US schools. Very confident, fairly confrontational style of conversation. I'd actually kinda like it if I hadn't learned through feedback and midwesterness to do basically the exact opposite. I'd guess it's especially strong in those who've been through seminar-style prep schools (which is most of the "good" ones, as I understand it) before going to university.
That's funny how much it describe my brother, even if he's not upper class and went to a not particularly prestigious school (called ESTP). In his case, he was already quite confident and charismatic before leaving high school.
> despite being completely full of shit
he's not completely full of shit, but I wouldn't in a thousand years work for him.
Having worked with certain interested underwriters from Lloyd's, it was an easy upvote for me.
It's not universal for all UK politicians and managers, and it's not unique to the UK, but their system of mediocre elite schools that seems to train specifically for confidence, does make it more blatant.
Prior to that is was run by a woman, who was not Eton educated. So basically the comment is a generalisation that cannot even be applied to this specific instance.
The only thing it can be applied to fairly is the British political class, who in general would adhere to it.
Bosch, Siemens, Bayer, BASF and Carl-Zeiss are all examples of over hundred year-old German companies that continue to innovate at the cutting edge of their industries and are massively profitable.
It might not be entirely inaccurate to say that they have survived a thousand years, but those were the shortest thousand years in history.
It might be also said that their innovation most recently has focused on some less-than legal technologies. But innovation it is, nonetheless.
What about Nokia? Founded originally in 1865 as a paper mill, re-invented itself multiple times in countless different industries, before becoming the leading mobile phone manufacturer in 1990s and 2000s. They did eventually indeed succumb to their failure to evolve, but a more competent management post 2006 would have likely saved the company.
I'm not suggesting the original poster is incorrect with their account of events, lack of the right investment is something many people can identify in their own line of work, its just timescales to a point of failure can be variable. Likewise bleeding edge technology is not always beneficial for all, but holding back or testing the water and constant monitoring is required to avoid expensive mistakes.
What an incredibly spurious, over-generalised anecdote.
Could be. I'd like to hear what evidence, beyond this one news story, informs the OP's generalization.
Edit: I really hope that the people down-voting this just don't like the joke. If they think British rule of Ireland was good for Ireland or was in any way high quality that is far more concerning.
this was an attempt at humour? work on those bits some more at the comedy club
By "misaligned incentives", I mean that we were rewarded with a % of ad spend. This is very common model in the old advertising industry, and AdWords was treated as adverts, not as a technology proposition. Of course this meant that we had very little financial incentive to reduce the ad spend.
A more aligned structure would have been to reward percentage of profits, but companies were reluctant to reveal their profit margins to a third party, and third parties couldn't trust their clients to report this data correctly anyway. Hence percentage of ad spend was what everyone used.
So now you have perverse incentives on perverse incentives.
And if you don't look at it too closely then you can feel good about all the money you're making helping people slowly self destruct. Your parasitism is perfectly justified by the mad stacks of cash you're making.
There's only two ways to get that much money. Do something really really good (at which point you probably will give a lot of that money away), or do something really really bad. If your company has to talk about 'evil', it's probably in the latter camp and always has been.
Campaigns defaulted to worldwide. You've got some naive new user selling for example hand painted dolls to a UK audience. They sign up for AdWords, and get a huge influx of visitors, yet nobody is buying. Why? Because the website doesn't and cannot sell to all these new US and worldwide visitors. The thing is the seller is an expert in dolls, not SEO, and has no idea what is going on.
You can set a daily limit on ad spend, which is nice, but it means that your advertizing works really well for that niche midnight - 5am visitor profile, but doesn't actually bring in local buyers who are awake at normal times. Again, the naive AdWords users usually have no logging or stats (and if they do they wouldn't necessarily know how to interpret it) so they don't understand what is going on.
I hope Google have fixed these two things, but I'm sure there are plenty of other traps.
Even Ryanair didn't value their website or online offerings at first but they valued something which TC obviously missed time and time again - their bottom line.
This is quite bad behaviour from the hotel. Presumably their business relationship is with Thomas Cook, not the people on holidays?
They went as far as grabbing people who jumped a wall in an attempt to get out!
More details here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49787563
The hotel is this one, maybe one to avoid: "Les Orangers resort in Hammamet, near Tunis."
It won't change its name. The reason they are still in business is that they are so dirt cheap. They are known in the area and avoided by almost everybody except for these "tours" and the uninformed.
> But perhaps worse that that, a hotel behaving like this, and not being slapped down hard by the Tunisian authorities, will damage the entire Tunisian tourism industry
It's already damaged. The tourism industry is a joke and the receipts are laughable comparing to other countries (Morocco or Egypt). Just a week before protesters were able to blockade a main road in the capital and cause a gridlock for several hours lasting until late-night.
Holding someone "hostage" like that, can be a pretty stressful event for anybody. You put some claustrophobic people into that situation and we've escalated things to traumatized. A traumatized person could easily blow this up into vendetta.
Protesters cause gridlock in countries like England, Germany or Canada too. (Google for Uber-related taxi protests.)
"The detention of a customer by a business owner (e.g., hotel operator, apartment owner, credit card company) for the failure to pay a bill."
The closest parallels I can think of are the "mechanic's lien" from English Common Law, or "debtors' prison".
I would say that the facts presented above answer that question for you.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook holidaymakers were anxious that they might be evicted from their hotels or charged again for their holidays. Holiday companies do not normally pay hotels until up to 90 days after guests have left.
Do hotels typically have insurance that covers situations like this?
Ninety day terms are very common in most B2B industries. Large companies quickly learn that their suppliers are dependant on them to stay in business and can be abused almost at will. So nominally "90 day" terms claiming you have 90 days to pay become "We definitely won't pay until 90 days after you bill us" and then "We typically pay in the working week after 90 days is due" and then "We only run routine bill payments on the third Wednesday of a month, so it can be up to 120 days I guess you got unlucky" and next thing you know the work you did in April is only paid for in October by a company that you know is already on the verge of bankruptcy but if you don't do that work they'll cut you off completely. It's crazy but that's how it is.
The EU says if in practice you don't pay on or before 90 days you owe interest at a calculated rate on the due amount. But most small suppliers are so in thrall to the huge company they supply that they won't even ask for that money.
I wish I had kept track of all the examples of this I've read about. It's basically standard practice for big companies to be financially abusive to small companies they work with. It's rampant.
It also seems to be something every small company has to learn the hard way on their own because it doesn't get talked about enough.
Small companies routinely think they've got it made in the shade if they can land a single big account. Reality is more like Darth Vader saying "We have altered the bargain. Pray we don't alter it further."
You are contradicting yourself by stating that it is understood that suppliers will get squeezed on payment terms and/or risk getting terminated if they don't stay in their lane; then you state that they should issue demands on late payments. In reality, SME's are not in thrall of mega-corps, they are just doing whatever it requires to maintain the status quo and keep the symbiotic relationship alive, even if it means giving up some rights and being on unequal terms; it is crazy, but that is how it is.
But I think Italy are mostly 90 days (apparently due to that being Fiat's terms, and everyone else followed suit).
In Italy the situation was so bad that it was not uncommon to get 180 days from big accounts. The State set an awful example by allowing 12 months on its own bills, and often wouldn't pay for years if at all (what are you going to do, sue them? The average lawsuit takes more than 2 years...). In the last decade, several acts of Parliament were passed to actually force national and local administrations to settle their bills - and a lot of them were still outstanding a year after that. About two years ago, the government passed a law forcing all businesses and administrations to pay in 30 days by default (with some exceptions, of course). Whether this is actually being enforced, I don't know (I don't live there) but in theory it should allow smaller businesses to be a bit more confident when signing contracts and asking to get paid.
In construction I have seen more often than not the formula (jokingly) "180 days we'll see", meaning that for 6 months there is no way you'll get paid, then we'll see what we can do.
And the Law(s) do little about it (and no, these ones are not usually enforced).
But the issue is not actually the delay (for which - costly BTW - remedies exist) but rather the uncertainty and the time lost.
If we agree that you pay me after 60 or 90 or 180 days (talking of "continuous" work, supplies or services) it's ok, I can make a financial plan taking into account that delay, and include in my offer (at least part of ) the financial costs of that delay.
In the '80's and '90's I worked in a company that had "standard" payments terms for "large" suppliers set at 90 days, but then that actually meant that on the 90th day from the date of the invoice, a payment was made on the supplier bank account, always, sun, wind, rain or snow.
What happens often nowadays is that the agreement is actually 60 days, but after 60 days nothing happens, and so you have to call (and of course you can't ever find the right person) and then call again the day after, then you write an e-mail, then you wait, then you call again, then you write a letter and they tell you to have some patience as everything will be fixed next week, and next week you call again and there is a problem with the "system" (or with the bank's "system"), so you have a lawyer write a legal letter andm finally they pay with the 60 days becoming 90 or 120.
In the meantime you already delivered another supply, rinse and repeat.
”Main provisions of the Directive
Public authorities have to pay for the goods and services that they procure within 30 days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days.
Enterprises have to pay their invoices within 60 days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and provided it is not grossly unfair.
Automatic entitlement to interest for late payment and €40 minimum as compensation for recovery costs.
Statutory interest of at least 8% above the European Central Bank’s reference rate.
EU countries may continue maintaining or bringing into force laws and regulations which are more favourable to the creditor than the provisions of the Directive.”
I wouldn't have minded if the contract had specified 90 day terms and payment had been timely after that. But the contract said payment would be made "promptly."
Sometimes the only way I'd get a payment was by hassling accounts and senior management day after day after day. It was a huge waste of everyone's time, and - unsurprisingly - I moved on as soon as I could.
UK clients would usually pay promptly on 30 days. Occasionally there were problems at the end of a quarter when VAT bills became due, but they were rare.
Interesting. Do you have a source for this?
That fee is held by a central organisation that spends the money to fix things when one of these companies collapses, in particular to make sure all the random Brits abroad get put on a plane home.
It exists because the seasonal nature of the business means it's very common (routine in fact: https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Make-an-ATOL-claim/Lat...) for small outfits to go bankrupt, and otherwise their customers get stuck and then the government has to either suffer terrible headlines about why didn't they do anything, or spend money flying home idiots who took a bad gamble.
The account is certainly too small to cover Thomas Cook. But on the other hand, even just having the mechanism in place means the government has a pre-existing organisation to say "OK, fix this, but we understand you don't have the money so we'll pay" rather than trying to cobble something together only now.
/Maybe/ this experience will mean the fee is subsequently increased for new holidays. But my guess would be that's unpalatable and the argument will be made that a failure of this scale is not something the rest of the industry should anticipate and fund, whereas the constant drip of smaller failed travel companies is predictable.
Compare the 2008 financial crisis. There's a much stronger protection for banks in the UK called "Last man standing". In principle the government can allow banks to fail, and remaining licensed banks pick up the entire cost. This is indeed what happens for small banks. However in practice of course allowing even a single very large bank to collapse might be so disruptive that it's intolerable regardless of whether you believe the other banks can afford to pay for the aftermath.
that's hostage taking, it is a crime, there is no excuse.
I find it remarkable that, at least in the group who were being interviewed on TV yesterday after they made it home, the disagreements did not become physical. If my family were being detained against our will like that, not only spoiling the holiday but potentially leaving us stranded due to missing flights home, by people who were apparently prepared to forcibly prevent us leaving until large amounts of money had been paid that were not due, I'm not sure I would have been so tolerant. Some of the other groups affected at that hotel reportedly were not, but if the local police are going to side with the hotel as well, that's a very disturbing situation.
> Those buses that arrived to transport holidaymakers to the airport at Enfidha were turned away by security, Orangers guests told the Guardian.
Thomas Cook book the hotel. Hotel promised to allocate a room for Thomas Cook.
Thomas Cook will pay the hotel fee. Hotel receive the fee from Thomas Cook.
The customer who actually use the hotel owes nothing from the hotel.
The same goes for Airlines.
It's a textbook example really.
Try leaving your local restaurant without someone paying for the food. They won't care if you paid your friend for the meal and he kept the money.
Incidentally, lower-end restaurants tend to be "pay before you eat", just like fast food joints. I honestly prefer it that way; saves the cognitive burden and a lot of time (sometimes waiting for a waiter to come with the receipt can take as much time as it took to eat the food).
”A person who makes a citizen's arrest could risk exposing him or herself to possible lawsuits or criminal charges – such as charges of false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or wrongful arrest – if the wrong person is apprehended or a suspect's civil rights are violated. This is especially true when police forces are attempting to determine who an aggressor is. Private citizens do not enjoy the same immunity from civil liability when making arrests on other private citizens as do police officers.“
Personally I have no problem paying a tourist premium in developing countries. One could even argue that “westerners” have a moral obligation to pay more for the same service, in exchange for all the advantages afforded to us by the exchange rate.
If you're the British government, and your citizens who are legitimately in a foreign country, travelling on valid passports and doing nothing wrong, are being forcibly detained, and if the local authorities are not stepping in to try to resolve the situation in some reasonable way, how do you treat that situation?
On the one hand, you presumably want to be diplomatic when dealing with another nation. Certainly you don't want to escalate any potentially violent stand-off unnecessarily.
On the other hand, the basic facts are that those are your people and they're in trouble through no fault of their own. Isn't your first responsibility to protect them and get them safely home if need be? At some point, there will inevitably be a very serious discussion about how far you need to go to do that, and that discussion will consider deploying scary people with weapons in another country, which most certainly is an act of war.
For some time now, UK companies selling "package holidays" (with hotel, air, etc. all from one vendor and with one bill) are required to put up funds that the government uses to repatriate those who are already traveling when a company goes under:
Note that it does not cover trips that people put together themselves; in that case, I expect they'd only have to arrange for a flight home (as they paid for the other parts themselves).
The CAA (the UK's Civil Aviation Authority) already has a site up for Thomas Cook customers:
These vacationers are in safe countries with good infrastructure. They definitely aren’t stranded like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. However, the other airlines can’t magic up 150,000 seats, so it might mean that some people will take a while to get home.
… and a hotel chain …
I would not be surprised if the UK has laws in place, and/or are using ATOL funds, so that the existing Thomas Cook aircraft can be pressed into service for the return journeys.
For example, return arrangements have already been confirmed for those traveling from Croatia on the 23rd:
The return flight details are identical to the original Thomas Cook flights (other than the flight numbers, which are similar).
I suspect it's different operators re-using the same flight numbers and airport slots.
ZT is Titan (a short notice lease provider, which makes sense): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_Airways
U2 is easyJet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyJet
Titan Airways are confirmed as providing support:
> Following the collapse of Thomas Cook, Titan Airways are working in co-ordination with the Civil Aviation Authority to provide return flights back to the UK for those passengers currently overseas.
The operation will temporarily be the 5th largest airline in the UK, with a fleet of around 50 aircraft.
It was done because of financially unstable package holiday companies setting up and then failing leaving people stranded. Most people in the UK know to buy an ‘ATOL Protected’ holiday if they go for a package deal.
Why doesn't ATOL protect non-package customers of Thomas Cook airlines? Why didn't it protect the customers of Monarch Airlines? Given the large number of airlines that have collapsed and stranded customers in the last couple of years, the "holiday package" limitation just doesn't make sense.
There might be other expenses, outside the scope of the ATT, that the government ends up paying - there are estimates as high as £600 million  - but arguably that's a sign the scope of the compulsory insurance scheme should be broader, not narrower :)
$3,000 is no small amount of money, do people really feel so much shame in giving someone plain old money that they have to buy a gift card?
A gift card is almost like buying a stock, except it's much more risky and gives you zero benefits compared to the cash that paid for it. If you want someone to be able to travel for $3,000 just give them $3,000.
Voluntarily spending £3k on a gift card seems utterly insane. I imagine a lot of people would feel quite confused or upset about that considering what they could also spend a few grand on.
Money is the other extreme, it says "I really have no idea what kind of gift you'd like", so apparently you hardly know each other.
Gift cards are at least a small step up, you show you think the other likes to travel.
On the one hand, giving a well-received physical gift shows that you know the person enough to get them something they wanted. On the other hand, it also risks they'll have an unplanned item that kind-of-but-not-quite matches what they actually wanted, creating friction and inconvenience in their lives. I know this is a custom, but personally, I'd much prefer to get a monetary equivalent instead.
(One custom in my area I know where giving actual money is still expected is weddings. This is usually justified by the fact that organizing a wedding costs a ton of money, so this helps the newlyweds recoup the expense.)
I should give her a call.
If you used a credit card, you get your money back in the case of bankruptcy. If you used cash you may not unless you bought bankruptcy insurance.
Maybe that's why they're in business and I'm not.
But having future commitments that you don't currently have the cash for is both normal and expected. The economy is held together by invoice credit.
(Wait until the people who get upset about banks "creating money" realise how commercial credit works and discover "shadow banking"...)
The ideal situation for a company is that if it receives payment for it services in advance (i.e. a consumer paying for a holiday) and has to pay its suppliers (i.e. hotels) much later. This can result in a situation called negative working capital where a company has received more cash from customers than it has paid to-date. This is effectively interest free financing.
Companies getting into financial difficulty will try to accelerate payment of monies they are owned and delay payment to supplies...as we see here.
The article mentions that one of the issues here is that the credit card companies saw that collapse was imminent and certain and thus refused to release the funds charged by their customers to Cook, knowing that Cook would collapse, the customers wouldn't get their full holiday, would do a chargeback, but the bank wouldn't be able to get the funds back from Cook.
> "The tour operator is understood to have made a number of proposals, including ... for credit card companies to release about £50m of cash they are holding as collateral against Thomas Cook bookings."
So maybe they did have enough cash on hand in a way, but the banks weren't releasing it to them.
Another intractable and perhaps the main problem was their massive debt service owed on their previous bailout. Kind of similar to Toys R Us and other companies that have had a bailout of one form or another that leads to massive debt and debt payments taken on and beyond the ability of the company's profits to pay off.
That's not necessarily a problem today. Debt is cheap. But they do have to slow that down at some point through lower spending or increased revenue, and if the cost of debt suddenly skyrocketed in the meantime, which is not impossible, that would be a big problem for them.
They are really low. They rely on large numbers of tourists to have a meaningful profit YoY.
Source: worked for a tourism company in early-to-mid 2000s.
It’s basically the cornerstone of insurance companies (especially life insurance).
BTW Norwegian are fine for a while
They recently sent me an email saying that they immediately ceased service and our booking will probably be cancelled. I checked with the hotel the same day and got a confirmation that the booking is all good (via phone and email). One day after I get an email from the hotel saying our booking has been canceled.
I did pay via (prepaid) credit card so it'll be interesting to see whether I'll ever get my money back...
Curious: what card is both "prepaid" and a credit card?
Buy your plane tickets with a credit card, ask your credit company for the money back, buy another ticket. This is one of the main advantages of using a credit card: the credit company will absorb the debts of the third party (the airline, in this example).
If you have a credit card and you're still on a tight budget, you're using credit cards the wrong way: i.e. the way most people use them. Use them like a debit card and you'll be fine, and in emergencies you have credit to dip into.
That falls under c'est la vie. I gambled, I lost, suck it up, book BA (looks like the strike's over), Lufthansa, SAS, etc.
Their website says they're continuing to fly, but I'm wondering if there any sort of precedent for what happens to child companies when the parent becomes insolvent.
Having just returned just last week from Europe via Condor Airlines, I'm glad I don't have to worry about this mess.
Basically Condor answered that they will continue operating but also had to apply for a state backed credit to bridge short term liquidity issues caused by Cook's insolvency. This is being assessed by the German government at the moment.
The german travel agent subsidiaries however have stopped selling travels for now (brands Neckermann Reisen, Bucher Last Minute,etc)
My partner has a holiday with them booked for November. I don’t have high hopes for that.
I agree with you this is strange and very non beneficial to the customers who book late in the process but it would be even worse for those who already had booked and would then be left hanging since no money was coming in anymore.
Though quite obviously the only people benefiting from this are lawyers and the executor.
> Dozens of charter planes have been brought in from as far afield as Malaysia to assist with the mass airlift.
Getting a charter plane has been quite difficult since the 737MAX grounding.
Any excess capacity has been soaked up.
There have been lots of unusual chartering by airlines that don’t usually charter. Air Canada had been using some, and it’s exceptionally rare for them to not use AC-branded planes.
At least it’s not the high season.
But I'm probably missing some vital piece of red tape. It's usually an insurance issue.
I would suspect airports are very unwilling to let those aircraft go anywhere until all the bills are paid as they might be only guaranteed way of getting money at this point.
None of these are obstacles which couldn’t be overcome but it’s quicker just to use someone else who doesn’t have those issues.
I’m sure it happens more often than you think.
(Various sources give different numbers for the fleet size.)
No way the lessors will say “sure, keep using them for a while, just us pay in advance”.
The 737MAX grounding had big knock-on effects.
I just paid 30% more than I usually do for TATL tickets, for bloody November.
This looks really bleak, everybody who had some liabilites to Thomas Cook in any way should at least consider the chance of insolvency.
The hotels should be able to check this information, but consumers?
Every person who gets a new phone contract has his credit rating checked, but if hundreds of thousand people buy expensive flights nobody warns them about the risk.
An additional factor may be the insurance situation: Some countries require travel organizers to set up insurance for these cases, ensuring that customers can still get back. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think the UK doesn't have such requirements, which would worsen the situation for them in particular.
if you read a Swedish newspapers they'll talk about the Swedish customers, read a German newspaper and they'll talk about the German customers and so on.
* There are 600,000 Thomas Cook travellers who have been left stuck overseas.
* More than 150,000 of those are Britons.
cant see any details on when they started seeing issues, and how did they end up like this..
edit: here is how -- Thomas Cook returned to private ownership in 1972 and has seen a series of mergers and takeovers. In 2007, it merged with the UK-listed owner of Airtours, MyTravel Group, which nearly collapsed in 2011 but was bailed out by its banks. The rescue left Thomas Cook with a debt burden of £1.7bn and the company struggled to cope, leaving administration as the only option.
Surely the management must have known a week or two ago that the company was about to go under. In that case, stop anyone flying out but still bring people back. By the time they actually cease trading there should be few people left abroad. Some managers in Thomas Cook must have known that people flying out were going to end up stranded and they just let them go.
Agreed, if you knew there was 0% hope (say, of flying anyone back a week hence) it would be unethical to keep it going. But if you were trying to keep things afloat and thought you could do, it would be unethical to do otherwise, since stopping new outbounds would 100% doom the firm and strand the overseas travelers.
If the answer is “close to zero”, we need to rethink this privilege.
The instant the airline says "We're no longer accepting bookings because we're working to figure out a cash situation." you've got to believe everyone else who is still booked will pull their ticket for a refund of any form. I would be.
There would be a massive outflow of what little available cash exists.
The announcement whether early or late is the immediate death knell of the company.
I do agree at face value this seems terrible, but I honestly don't see a better course of action given they were waiting for a bailout and then didn't receive it.
That way if the travel company or airline or hotel goes out of business, the holidaymaker hasn't lost any money (although they might face the cost of buying a last-minute flight from a different airline, or similar)
Of course, you could argue consumers who want such peace of mind can already approximate such an arrangement by combining a package holiday with travel insurance.
But I doubt they’re happy about that experience.
And the scale. Operation Market Garden only dropped 40,000 troops. D day only managed to land 150,000 on the first day.
Although I hope that Matterhorn doesn't require any bridgeheads to be conquered.
It's also worth remembering that Market Garden failed in its final objective.
Years ago I showed up a Croatian airport to head home after a few weeks vacation and during that time the Croatian airline (pilots I guess) had gone on strike. It was a bit hectic, but eventually we were put on an unbranded private jet to Frankfurt. From there getting back to the US was no big deal.