Belgian travellers fly with Thomas Cook bookings, despite warnings
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Belgian travellers fly with Thomas Cook bookings, despite warnings

Travellers boarded mixed flights booked with Thomas Cook that departed from Brussels Airport despite warnings not to do so. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A number of people departed from Brussels Airport on flights booked with Thomas Cook on Tuesday morning, despite warnings not to travel with the global travel company that recently declared bankruptcy.

“These people were warned not to leave and to stay home,” said Leen Segers, Thomas Cook’s spokesperson.

“A number of people showed up at the airport and Brussels Airlines let them go. Maybe they haven’t seen the warnings, but I maintain that we told everyone not to leave,” said the company’s spokesperson.

The travellers concerned boarded mixed flights in which Thomas Cook passengers share rows with customers of Brussels Airlines.

Brussels Airlines confirmed that some of Thomas Cook Belgium’s customers boarded the plane. “These people had valid tickets and were therefore allowed to board the aircraft,” said spokesperson Kim Daenen. “We couldn’t stop them,” Daenen added.

Nine mixed flights are scheduled to destinations in the Mediterranean on Tuesday. In the current circumstances, 600 spaces reserved by Thomas Cook customers should be empty on the outgoing flights. However, on the return flights, 927 seats will be occupied by Thomas Cook customers.

In addition, Brussels Airlines cancelled four flights to and from Tunisia scheduled for 24 September. These flights were intended solely for Thomas Cook Belgium customers. Two hundred and fifty people were unable to leave Belgium and 350 others were stuck on holiday.

The customers “were warned that they had to stay in the hotel until further notice until their repatriation was planned,” said Thomas Cook Belgium’s spokesperson.

Customers who have booked future holidays will be kept informed.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times