Home / Business / Thomas Cook holidaymakers and crew ‘trapped’ in Cuba

Thomas Cook holidaymakers and crew ‘trapped’ in Cuba

Thomas Cook holidaymakers and crew 'trapped' in Cuba

Several Thomas Cook holidaymakers and crew in Cuba have said they are being prevented from leaving their hotels until they pay extra for their stay.

One holidaymaker, Sue Petrow, said she was due to fly home on Wednesday, but her hotel told her she may be held at the airport unless she pays her bill, reports BBC.Cabin crew from Thomas Cook said they were effectively being “held hostage”.

The British Ambassador to Cuba said hotels had now been instructed to allow customers to depart without paying.

Holidaymakers like Sue may have paid for their rooms and meals months in advance, but hotels would normally only receive the money from Thomas Cook several weeks after their stay.

Reports suggested there was a widespread problem in Cuba over whether the industry insurance fund Atol, which covers payments in the event of a firm failing, was recognised in the country.

The fund covers bills for rooms and food that have been run up since Thomas Cook’s collapse on Monday morning.

However, bills run up at hotels before Thomas Cook’s collapse will not be covered. Affected hoteliers will have to apply to the liquidators for their money.Sue Petrow said her hotel had said Atol was not recognised in Cuba, but she and other holidaymakers had refused to pay.

“I’d already had to pay a large medical bill while here for my husband. My husband is diabetic. He has had three heart attacks. He only has medication until Saturday. We will carry him on to a plane if we have to.”

How are customers protected?

If you are on a package holiday, you are covered by the Atol scheme.

The scheme will pay for your accommodation abroad, although you may have to move to a different hotel or apartment

Atol will also pay to have you brought home if the airline is no longer operating

If you have a holiday booked in the future, you will also be refunded by the scheme

If you have booked a flight-only deal, you will need to apply to your travel insurance company or credit card and debit card provider to seek a refund