Thomas Cook: Worthing couple's anniversary almost ruined by airline's collapse

Richard and MelissaGodden
Richard and MelissaGodden

A couple from Worthing's anniversary plans were almost ruined by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Melissa Godden, from Teign Walk in Durrington, was due to fly out to San Stefanos in Corfu with her husband Richard for their 27th wedding anniversary, which is tomorrow (Thursday, September 25).

Thomas Cook in Worthing has closed

Thomas Cook in Worthing has closed

But when the holiday firm and airline collapsed on Monday, after 178 years of existence, the couple's plans were thrown into disarray - which included meeting Melissa's brother and sister-in-law Carol and Jim Frost.

Melissa said: "I was upset but I wasn't surprised, because of the build-up over the weekend of newspapers hinting.

"We are just desperately sorry that these people have lost their jobs.

"At the end of the day, it is a holiday for us; I know people who are getting married abroad. But when it is your income, that is so sad."

Melissa said she was annoyed that Thomas Cook did not give them any warning.

She said: "We spoke to Thomas Cook on Saturday morning and asked them if we needed to do anything about this.

"They said 'absolutely no problem at all, no problems, no issues, you will be absolutely fine'."

Once the news broke, the couple went to Tui in Montague Street to book another trip. They queued for two hours and managed to book a trip to Croatia instead and will be flying tomorrow.

They praised the staff for their help, but have had to pay more than £1,000 on top of the cost of their previous holiday.

She said they were waiting to hear when they would be getting the money back on their Thomas Cook trip, but it could be more than two months.

The collapse meant that 150,000 people were left stranded abroad, with the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority launching the biggest-ever peacetime operation to get them home, and more than 9,000 people in the UK losing their jobs.

Melissa said her brother and sister-in-law were stuck in their hotel, but the staff were making sure they were looked after until they were able to get a flight home.