ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Thomas Cook Airlines on Monday announced it is ceasing operations immediately, after last-minute negotiations to obtain financing to keep the company afloat, fell-through.
Thomas Cook collapsed, immediately halted almost all its flights and hotel services around the world. An estimated 600,000 people around the globe were impacted, including several hundred travelers at Orlando International Airport (OIA), Monday. The company's employees have been laid off.
"When we checked-in for our flights coming here, there was no concern. Then it all started up on Facebook and the British news outlets -- we've followed on Facebook, and it all just started going very wrong in the last few days and it wasn't looking very likely at all that we were gonna get home," said Thomas Cook flyer Laura Love. "We're a bit disappointed this has happened."
Two flights out of Orlando to Glasgow, Scotland and Manchester, England were canceled on Monday. Love and her husband are trying to get home from their honeymoon in Orlando.
"It wasn't a nice feeling, at the end of your holiday, you just want to get home and be in your own bed and you've got work and things to think about as well," said Love.
Greg Shonwalder did not hear the news until Monday morning.
"We got texts from our friends and family, saying ‘Oh, my god, how are you gonna get home?'" said Greg Shonwalder, Thomas Cook flyer, "started to panic and got a bit worried so, that's why we rushed to the Airport."
British government officials are taking over the counter to get their citizens rebooked. Two alternate flights departed Monday evening, with travelers getting home a little later than expected but not by much.
OIA said that repatriation flights will operate until October 6th. During this time, the British government is contracting with Atlas Air, Virgin Atlantic and other United Kingdom carriers to help ferry passengers back home.
To help impacted British citizens with the repatriation process, the British Consulate asks that you visit thomascook.caa.co.uk or call +44-1753-330-330.
Prior to their collapse, Thomas Cook flew a reported two to 16 flights per week from OIA.