Family ‘left on street after Thomas Cook collapse sees hotel demand extra £885’
A family say they were turfed out of a Benidorm hotel due to fears Thomas Cook would not settle its bills.
Dylan Hutchison, who had already paid for his stay, had to find new accommodation after the Dynastic Hotel told his family to either hand over more than £885 or get out.
The dad said managers were worried they would be 'bottom of the pile' as a Thomas Cook creditor, the Daily Record reports.
Mr Hutchison, 24, his wife Charrelle, 25, and their son, Leo, five, had to leave the hotel as they did not have enough cash to meet bosses' demands.
Along with pals Leigh Crombie, his partner Vicki Butchart and their son Archie, four, the gutted holidaymakers spent yesterday trying to find somewhere to sleep.
They were among thousands of families caught up in the tour operator’s plunge into administration on Monday morning.
And 150,000 tourists stranded worldwide are being brought back to the UK by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under Operation Matterhorn – a £100million flight programme.
Dylan and his party, from Glenrothes, in Scotland, had flown from Edinburgh Airport to the Spanish resort last Wednesday for a week’s stay.
They had booked the holiday last September and paid £1,500 for each family-of-three.
Dylan said: “It had been a great holiday until this happened.
“Then we woke up and saw on the news that Thomas Cook had gone bust. We went to the hotel’s reception to try and check what was happening.
“We were then told by the head of reception that if we didn’t pay €1,000 for each of the families by 12pm, we would be removed from the hotel. She told us that was coming straight from the company director.
“They claimed that was the hotel bill for the week even though we’d already paid Thomas Cook.
“They said although we were Atol-protected, the hotel would be on the bottom of the pile to receive payment from any liquidators.
“I contacted the CAA, who spoke to reception via my mobile phone but the hotel was adamant they were not accepting any guarantee of payment. It was pay €2,000 or leave.
“We didn’t have the money to pay it even if we wanted to.
“So we had to pack up our cases and hand over the room keys. We were left on the street.”
The families went to a nearby bar to find shelter out of the 29C sunshine while they tried to find another place to stay.
After a number of hours, they managed to find an apartment online costing £310, along with a £310 deposit, to stay in until they fly out.
Dylan, who works as a master technician, said: “It was all-inclusive package holiday with Thomas Cook which included meals, drinks and a shuttle transfer to Alicante Airport.
“Our airline was easyJet so we’re told the flights back to Edinburgh Airport on Wednesday are still OK but we’ll have to get a taxi or something there.
“We’ll also have to pay for food and everything until then. It’s ruined the holiday.”
Last night the hotel said no one was available for comment.
Transport Minister Michael Matheson MSP said: “We are saddened by the collapse of Thomas Cook which has a long history with many jobs in Scotland, the UK and overseas.
“We are working closely with the UK Government and the CAA as the situation progresses and the CAA is providing detailed information for customers on their website, via a call centre and through representatives in the resorts and airports.
“This will be a very worrying time for employees in Scotland, and Scottish staff based overseas, and we recognise these job losses will have a disproportionate impact on women.
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