LONDON (AP) — Families stranded, honeymoons and vacations canceled, thousands of workers laid off: The sudden collapse of British tour company Thomas Cook and its network of airlines and hotels…
Brought down by a variety of factors, including crushing debts and online competition, the 178-year-old travel agency that helped pioneer the package tour ceased operating in the middle of the night. Its four airlines stopped carrying customers, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries lost their jobs.
The company’s failure rippled across the tourism industry, particularly around the Mediterranean, with travelers uncertain how they would get home, hotels worried they wouldn’t get paid, guests afraid they wouldn’t be allowed to check out without settling their bills, and resorts hit with cancellations.
Overall, about 600,000 people were traveling with Thomas Cook as of Sunday, though it was unclear how many would be left stranded, as some regional subsidiaries were in talks with local authorities to continue operating.