Great Western Coffee Shop

All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: grahame on September 23, 2019, 02:18:56 am



Title: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: grahame on September 23, 2019, 02:18:56 am
Thomas Cook - who started some 170 years ago running a railway excursion from Leicester to Loughborough - had ceased trading. 

From Wikipedia:

Quote
Thomas Cook & Son, originally simply Thomas Cook, was a company founded by Thomas Cook, a cabinet-maker, in 1841 to carry temperance supporters by railway between the cities of Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham. In 1851, Cook arranged transport to the Great Exhibition of 1851. He organised his first tours to Europe in 1855 and to the United States in 1866.

Not sure how relevant to the forum, as I think they've been purely in airline / international holidays in recent years.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: broadgage on September 23, 2019, 02:26:38 am
Sad for those affected, but considering the wider picture and the climate emergency, not sorry to see them go.

If more people are using trains instead of aircraft, that is less damaging carbon emissions. If some people are holidaying within the UK instead of flying overseas, that is better still. Less fuel used AND more money staying in the UK, and more employment in the domestic tourist trade.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Celestial on September 23, 2019, 08:20:54 am
Sad for those affected, but considering the wider picture and the climate emergency, not sorry to see them go.

If more people are using trains instead of aircraft, that is less damaging carbon emissions. If some people are holidaying within the UK instead of flying overseas, that is better still. Less fuel used AND more money staying in the UK, and more employment in the domestic tourist trade.
Wishful thinking I fear.  TC has gone because more and more people are making their own arrangements, not because they are staying in the UK.  There were 5 TC flights out of Bristol today, compared with 51 Easyjet flights.  And all TC's demise will do is encourage more people to do it themselves, whilst Tui will no doubt benefit, at least in the short term, from increased bookings from those not confident to travel without the comfort of a package.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 23, 2019, 08:22:56 am
One small ray of hope is that the CAA is running replacement flights in order to repatriate those holiday makers who are still abroad ,SOS Grant Shapps has been organising this for the last couple of weeks !
Lord only knows what would of happened had the previous Minister still been in post !..


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: stuving on September 23, 2019, 08:31:50 am
One small ray of hope is that the CAA is running replacement flights in order to repatriate those holiday makers who are still abroad ,SOS Grant Shapps has been organising this for the last couple of weeks !
Lord only knows what would of happened had the previous Minister still been in post !..

Do you need divine sources? Monarch went down in 2017, with rather fewer to be rescued (110,000) but a similar plan. Of course it's the CAA who are doing the real work in each case, but the SoS was, as it happens...


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Celestial on September 23, 2019, 02:15:11 pm
Good to see the rail industry being proactive and allowing refunds for tickets no longer required and relaxing any time restrictions for people returning.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: didcotdean on September 23, 2019, 03:57:25 pm
GWR have also pointed redundant TC staff towards applying for various vacancies they currently have on offer.

TC did have a department that specialised in sports event packages (ie providing some packaged combination of travel, hotel, ticket and hospitality) and much of this was in the UK. Don't know if this involved rail though.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: bignosemac on September 23, 2019, 06:27:19 pm
An old schoolfriend is one of the thousands of Thomas Cook employees now looking for a new job. He's a Cabin Steward and joined TC after the collapse of Monarch.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: LiskeardRich on September 23, 2019, 08:11:00 pm
EasyJet have just posted about cabin crew recruitment drop in sessions at various locations on Facebook open to TC staff


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on September 23, 2019, 09:24:53 pm
A couple of Thomas Cook's Airbus 321's were still flying until yesterday in basically Monarch colours (with Thomas Cook titles), having not been repainted since their previous operator went out of business.

On a well-known aviation forum that I'm a member of one newly-redundant pilot posted that he'd been made redundant from 3 failed airlines in 3 years.

Sadly the financial position was one of eye-watering (and mounting) debts. Seems they simply failed to compete and differentiate themselves, despite a previous close call back in 2011.

A very sad day for the travel industry.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: SandTEngineer on September 23, 2019, 11:31:45 pm
A couple of Thomas Cook's Airbus 321's were still flying until yesterday in basically Monarch colours (with Thomas Cook titles), having not been repainted since their previous operator went out of business.

On a well-known aviation forum that I'm a member of one newly-redundant pilot posted that he'd been made redundant from 3 failed airlines in 3 years.

Sadly the financial position was one of eye-watering (and mounting) debts. Seems they simply failed to compete and differentiate themselves, despite a previous close call back in 2011.

A very sad day for the travel industry.

Apparently, didn't stop the execs milking it for huge bonuses in the meantime........ >:(


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: PhilWakely on September 24, 2019, 07:42:45 am
Apparently, didn't stop the execs milking it for huge bonuses in the meantime........ >:(

A practice, sadly, by no means exclusive to Thomas Cook  >:(


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Witham Bobby on September 24, 2019, 10:23:01 am
Apparently, didn't stop the execs milking it for huge bonuses in the meantime........ >:(

A practice, sadly, by no means exclusive to Thomas Cook  >:(

Where the shareholders (who,very often, are themselves corporate bodies) don't exercise control over the way the directors operate, there's the risk that culture of executives helping themselves to shareholders' and creditors' money will flourish.  When directors o Company B sit on the remuneration committees of Company A, why would they risk uppsetting the directors at company A, when those same company A directors will be fixing the remuneration for the directors at company B?

It stinks.

Unnacceptable face of capitalism.  To coin a phrase

Shareholders need to exercise the control they have available to them in a far more responsible manner


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on September 24, 2019, 11:31:54 am
On a well-known aviation forum that I'm a member of one newly-redundant pilot posted that he'd been made redundant from 3 failed airlines in 3 years.

And he still has a job waiting for him.

When all is said and done, this saga is about a business model that doesn't fit the modern era. I flew to Naples last Wednesday and home on Sunday, for less than the price of a train fare to Bristol. I booked the flights and accomodation online, finding that a cheaper alternative to going to a travel agency in the High Street. If Ryanair had gone bust before I went, I would have been twenty quid out of pocket.

A business is only as good as the last phone call from the bank.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Celestial on September 24, 2019, 12:23:32 pm

If Ryanair had gone bust before I went, I would have been twenty quid out of pocket.

Although many people booking flights and accommodation separately find that they either have to lose the cost of the accommodation (which usually is payable in advance), or buy a new flight at a much increased cost as demand is outstripping supply. If the failure occurs a long time in advance then maybe only a deposit is lost, but much nearer the whole amount will likely have been paid.

Those who booked with TC as a package should get their money back. Whether they can afford to buy a new holiday for a similar price is doubtful, but at least they are not out of pocket.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: grahame on September 27, 2019, 03:42:50 pm
From GWR's Facebook feed:

Quote
We are delighted to welcome Jamie on board, who has joined us from Thomas Cook. We have vacancies across the network and are welcoming applications from Thomas Cook employees. Find out more at gwr.com/careers.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on September 27, 2019, 05:06:26 pm

Although many people booking flights and accommodation separately find that they either have to lose the cost of the accommodation (which usually is payable in advance), or buy a new flight at a much increased cost as demand is outstripping supply. If the failure occurs a long time in advance then maybe only a deposit is lost, but much nearer the whole amount will likely have been paid.

Those who booked with TC as a package should get their money back. Whether they can afford to buy a new holiday for a similar price is doubtful, but at least they are not out of pocket.

I paid for the accommodation by credit card, although whether I would have got that back is a moot point. The apartment was available to me still, even if I decided not to go. The flights were paid for by debit card to avoid doubling the cost through charges.

From GWR's Facebook feed:

Quote
We are delighted to welcome Jamie on board, who has joined us from Thomas Cook. We have vacancies across the network and are welcoming applications from Thomas Cook employees. Find out more at gwr.com/careers.

And that is excellent news! Even if the mood of transport went up as well as along, the crew and office staff have training and experience that is relevant to working for a TOC. GWR will not be the only people with vacancies picking up ex-Thomas Cook staff.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Celestial on September 27, 2019, 06:03:31 pm

I paid for the accommodation by credit card, although whether I would have got that back is a moot point. The apartment was available to me still, even if I decided not to go. The flights were paid for by debit card to avoid doubling the cost through charges.

Agree, the provider of the service (accommodation) hasn't failed to provide the service, so I can't see how you would have a claim on your credit card.   Not sure I understand the second point though - charging more for credit cards is illegal.  Is Rynair managing to wriggle out of that somehow?


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2019, 12:22:07 pm
From The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49957577)

Quote
The refund website for Thomas Cook customers who had booked holidays with the firm is struggling to cope with demand on its first day of operation.

Customers told the BBC they had tried to submit the claim form several times, but kept receiving error messages.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which is handling the refund process, tweeted "unprecedented demand" had caused the issue and urged users to try later.

Unprecedented demand maybe - but very predictable demand!


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on October 07, 2019, 12:42:57 pm

Unprecedented demand maybe - but very predictable demand!

It used to be "telephone exchanges jammed" or "special postal deliveries" in the Olden Days. By susnset tonight, people will have realised that it isn't like trying to get a ticket for Taylor Swift before Ticket Master's nasty robots hoover them all up, and that you can wait for the rush to die down. The first reports of fraudulent activity should be with us tomorrow.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: grahame on October 08, 2019, 07:11:18 pm
The first reports of fraudulent activity should be with us tomorrow.

Err ... have you a crystal ball ... 8.10.2019, article posted at around 17:00 by the BBC (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49978418)

Quote
Scammers are suspected of making fraudulent claims on a website set up to refund Thomas Cook customers, the Civil Aviation Authority has said.

The aviation regulator said it has taken "urgent action" over the suspicious online activity and will notify the police.
It has added further verification checks to its refund process, it said.

etc


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on October 08, 2019, 09:57:36 pm
My faith in human nature has wavered little in the past 40 years.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: grahame on October 13, 2019, 11:29:52 am
From The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49997775)

Quote
"We have the hotels here, open and waiting - but the customers can't get here," says Ramón Estalella, head of Spain's leading hotelier association.

The sudden collapse last month of one of Europe's biggest travel groups, Thomas Cook, ruined the holidays of 600,000 stranded tourists.

Hundreds of thousands more had trips booked when the news was announced.

But for parts of Spain's tourist sector, Thomas Cook's demise is also an existential threat.

The economic future of industry workers and staff at Thomas Cook's local suppliers and subsidiaries is at stake.


From a fortnight ago on GWR's Twitter feed

Quote
We are delighted to welcome Jamie on board, who has joined us from Thomas Cook. We have vacancies across the network and are welcoming applications from Thomas Cook employees. Find out more at gwr.com/careers.

Congratulations indeed to Jamie ... I understand from the Stakeholder's meeting (public comment) that Jamie's a wise man indeed and had seen the benefits of a career switch - GWR were able to welcome him on board rather quicker that he (or they) had thought possible due to notice periods.       Question - can airline pilots drive trains?  Cabin crew act as train managers or customers hosts  ;D


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on October 13, 2019, 02:04:17 pm
Question - can airline pilots drive trains?  Cabin crew act as train managers or customers hosts  ;D

The answer is: yes, subject to the appropriate training. That will be different for each sub-set, obviously.

Cabin crew are there for safety primarily, not selling duty free, and are trained to control a cabin full of panicking passengers in an emergency, and get them out faster than you would think imaginable. They are licensened by the CAA and undergo regular refresher training and checks. They also do some systems working, such as priming the doors so that the escape chute deploys when the door is opened (if you wondered what that order "Cabin doors to automatic" means, that is it) and managing the ovens, but the customer service side of the job will be excellent preparation for conversion to train manager. I believe the normal GWR training is 3 months classroom, 3 months shadowing. I can't see much being shaved off the classroom bit, and it may not be worth the fuss that would likely break out were they to be excused any of the shadowing, but they would surely have a claim to be the right people for the job. It may be academic, as skills such as they have will be in demand with other airlines.

An airline pilot could drive a train. The skill he brings to the party will be easy assimilation of insttructions and response time in reacting to problems, but I reckon he would have to start from scratch with the actual driving. Expect a fast learner, though.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on November 08, 2019, 06:26:21 pm
And an update. Since Thomas Cook went bust, Hays have taken over almost all of the travel agency shops and business, the exceptions being where they already had a presence in the same area as a Thomas Cook. They are looking to employ as many of the Thomas Cook staff as possible. easyJet have now bought their landing / take-off slots at Bristol Airport according to Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-airport-easyjet-thomas-cook-3515583), which says that the airline has also bought TC's Gatwick slots. They paid £36 million for a total of 18 pairs of summer slots and 9 extra winter pairs, beating opposition from BA, Hungarian budget line Wizz, and the bearded one's crew. Jet2 bagged the slots at Manchester, Birmingham, and london Stansted, while Lauda Airlines, now a subsidiary of Ryanair, is leasing an additional 15 Airbus A320s made available after the TC collapse (TC operated 27 of the type), and is taking on pilots left jobless. So it appears that there is still a living to be made by a travel agent and airlines, but not if you combine both.


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: Clan Line on November 09, 2019, 11:35:27 am
They also do some systems working, such as priming the doors so that the escape chute deploys when the door is opened (if you wondered what that order "Cabin doors to automatic" means, that is it)

...................or making sure that the chute doesn't deploy when the door is opened  ................. :( :(

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/What-happens-when-you-forget-to-disarm-the-plane-doors/


Title: Re: Collapse of Thomas Cook
Post by: TonyK on November 09, 2019, 12:12:29 pm
They also do some systems working, such as priming the doors so that the escape chute deploys when the door is opened (if you wondered what that order "Cabin doors to automatic" means, that is it)

...................or making sure that the chute doesn't deploy when the door is opened  ................. :( :(

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/What-happens-when-you-forget-to-disarm-the-plane-doors/

That happened on a homeward-bound flight that an acquaintance was on, I think from the south of France. The aircraft had started one engine, cabin doors had been shut and set to automatic, but there was something the pilots were not entirely sure of as they started the second motor. The first officer decided to go take a look outside, came out of the cockpit, and opened the door before any of the cabin crew realised what he was doing. He had intended to use the built-in self-deploying steps, but the escape chute exploded into action. So they shut down and tried to figure out what to do.

Removing the chute was a simple operation - it is meant to detach easily to use as a liferaft - but fitting a replacement takes time, and there wasn't one where they were. The aircraft was full, and could not leave with a missing chute as it stood. The captain called for volunteers, around 40, to stay behind in a hotel for the night and fly out on the first available flight the following morning. Adding in dinner and money off the next flight equal to the fare they had paid secured enough people, including my acquaintance. The aircraft departed safely, arriving home without further incident, and my pal had a great night out with his girlfriend and some of the other volunteers, returning first class with Air France because that was where the seats were, rather than budget. It made the national press. I don't know if the FO still works for the airline.



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