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tv   My Very Extended Family  BBC News  December 31, 2019 5:30am-6:01am GMT

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we put all of these claims to the department for work and pensions, they have said the headlines: they are sorry and are urging the former head of renault—nissan, all former thomas cook staff to keep carlos ghosn, has fled japan in touch with theirjob centres where he was awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct. so they can urgently try in a statement, he confirmed and fix these claims. thomas cook staff are also perplexed that he was now in lebanon. by the fact that the company's he said he would no longer be held german airline, condor, was kept hostage by what he called japan's afloat and is still operating today. rigged system ofjustice. the government was forced to defend its decision not to save thomas cook's uk airline. 4,000 people who've taken refuge from raging bushfires on a beach whilst i hear people saying, in the australian state of victoria why didn't you just put the money have been told that the threat in, the answer is, all you would has now passed. over the last few days, have to do is open their books the authorities had warned people and realise, if you have in the coastal town of mallacoota £1.7 billion of debt, if you lost £1.5 billion to leave before it was too late. in six months alone, if you issued another profit a man accused of stabbing five warning, this is entirely different people during hanukkah to the condor situation which was in new york state has been charged with federal hate crimes. a fundamentally profitable airline. federal prosecutors claim the suspect, grafton thomas, but a positive turnaround for some keptjournals containing references to hitler. his family say he has a long staff, who went back to work. hays travel announced it was saving around 500 thomas cook stores. history of mental illness. i'm sat with all of my team now, they would all be happy to come back to the branch. nicola and her colleagues,
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who thought they had now on bbc news, tom burridge revisits the collapse of travel firm lost theirjobs, were with the bbc‘s thomas cook and its far—reaching colletta smith when they got a call to say that they were now not unemployed. effects on customers and staff. they are opening and we just have to contact them. clapping it wasjust incredible, for me one of the most amazing all chant: what do we want? moments as a journalist to be answers! in the room at that moment when do we want them? when someone's life now! is turned around in seconds. they thought they would it's a travesty, it's devastating. be made redundant. 0ur lives are ruined they were already looking for other jobs, looking for other work because of thomas cook airlines uk. but then to be told they got the captain turned around to me and said to me, theirjobs back was incredible. "it's gone." they were in tears, i went into the hugging each other. flight deck and cried. we were joining in. when do we want them? now! it has not been possible to save one you couldn't not, in a room like that. of the most—loved brands in travel. it was so exciting and emotional. after 178 years, it was all over. just incredible to be there. as travel evolved over the decades, as i got to the airport, thomas cook navigated huge change and reaped the rewards. i started to cry, because i thought, "i'm coming here in a uniform and i've got nowhere to go." but, in 2019, that romanticjourney
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you can't just leave brits stranded abroad. i want to go home! bankruptcy, bitterness and rage. came to an abrupt end. i think it's been a national scandal to let a company of that size thomas cook employees and that heritage in history and thomas cook customers, whether they had their holiday or were waiting for the insurance to pay out, and our staff just fall like that. and all the people who help, it was something like 1 million people affected. it's an enormous number and on top they took millions of of that, you've got all of those british tourists abroad every year. hotels abroad and in some areas, these hotels were really relying the biggest brand offering on thomas cook passengers winter or summer sunshine. to revitalise the economy. certainly the biggest story i've thomas cook was the uk's ever covered in 13.5 years of travel trade journalism. oldest travel business. also, the best—known travel brand something we will continue to write about for years, on the high street as well. if not decades, i am sure. so it had a huge amount of love and respect from its customers and its employees. it changed the way people travel... i think it has been a national two weeks in greece, late july. scandal to let a company of that size and heritage and history let's see! ..and created a new concept — just fall like that. the package holiday. life has moved on, and i don't think four people...two weeks... you ever actually know or get the answers to questions don'tjust book it — thomas cook it.
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that the crew and people who work for thomas cook would seek. trips to places like spain became the oldest brand in british travel is gone. and those who were the heart and soul of the company will be the new norm as tourism boomed. picking up the pieces and as our well into the new year. travel addiction took off, thomas cook grew and grew. we want answers, we want them now! exotic, enticing destinations what do we want? were affordable for millions. answers! when do we want them? but what the glitzy marketing didn't show now! was that thomas cook was in debt. we know we've been in the news a lot recently... the message injuly — all will be fine. keep booking! with thomas cook, your holiday is in safe hands. they were wrong. hello. we just want to bring some the final day of the year breaking news now on thomas cook. and the decade will get off to a fairly chilly note across much of northern england, we've just heard northern ireland and scotland. in the last few minutes this weakening cold front which has that thomas cook has ceased trading. been moving its way southwards thomas cook, one of the over the last 24 hours, introducing some colder air.
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world's biggest tour operators, to the south of this, has collapsed after last—ditch talks still something milder and actually much more in the way cloud to save the business failed. and perhaps even some patchy britain's oldest travel group, light rain across south—west thomas cook, collapses. of england and the channel islands through new year's eve. the company's fleet of planes quite cloudy skies for much of wales, central, southern england, was grounded in the early hours but the further north and east of this morning, wrecking you go, here is where we will see the holiday plans of so many people. the best of the sunshine. and away from the far south—west as its planes landed of england and the channel islands, back in britain one last time, it should be mainly dry. quite breezy for the western they were seized and impounded and the northern isles, at uk airports. and a colder feel for many — 6—10 celsius typically the high on new year's eve. that name, a giant this takes into new year's eve night, where for most it will of uk travel, was bankrupt. be dry, fairly light winds. we're going to see some mist it had taken people on organised and murkiness, particularly over higher ground and certainly trips for a century and a half, the cloud already in place across wales, central, but the age of the southern and south—west england will be slowly pushing its way thomas cook holiday was done. further north and eastwards as the evening and night wears on. people sort of suspected that it would never happen, clearer skies across east and then it did. and north—east england and eastern scotland. so it was a very sad day but here's a closer look at midnight. and the repercussions most places will be dry, light winds, quite a lot of cloud and, as i mentioned are just continuing to spin out now. there could be some mist, some patchy fog in places. clearer skies across eastern, check—in at uk airports normally north—eastern england and eastern scotland bustling on a monday morning where temperatures by midnight will be getting closer to freezing,
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and actually falling a little bit suddenly a sorry sight. lower as the night wears on. people felt the impact where we've got the cloud, of the company's collapse temperatures will easily straight away. stay above freezing. so here's how new year's day looks — a fairly quite affair across much i was told to come here now of the uk, thanks to this area of high pressure. to find out my flight has isobars slightly closer together across northern ireland and scotland so a breezier day here and fronts been cancelled, with three kids. never too far away from the northern my son's got adhd and and western isles, so thicker cloud autism, and his sister, here, maybe some light rain. and they're sobbing but for much of the uk their hearts out in the car. on new year's day, it is a dry day, i got in touch with but with a lot of cloud. thomas cook yesterday and they said everything so, any brightnes or sunshine really at a premium. had gone through the best of it probably to the north and nowt to worry about. and east of high ground. yesterday i got in touch and again, quite a cool day. with thomas cook to make sure everything was going ahead and they said under temperatures for many will not get no circumstances the holiday into double figures. would be cancelled. now, as we go into thursday, and that we would be put these frontal systems i talked on another plane regardless about to the north and west as to whether thomas cook of the uk will come ever closer, went into liquidation or not. sliding their way south and eastwards. obviously, i've set off so a wet, fairly windy day across much of scotland at 3am this morning, and northern ireland and eventually that rain will start to settle into northern england and the far and we were given a north of wales by the time we get duty of care number, to thursday afternoon. and they said the holiday
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can't go ahead further south and east, because there are no planes available. it stays dry. again, quite a lot of cloud i was reporting at gatwick once the news broke. but for all of the uk on thursday, look at this. yesterday, check—in here it is a windier day but starting would have been very busy. to push up some milder air again, but with the company collapsing overnight, its airlines effectively vanished. so we're looking at highs eaily there was inevitable chaos, in double figures, 10—12 celsius. and you'd think that on a story that big, through friday and saturday, that everyone's seen the news, we are back to something drier, a little bit colder and also a return of some sunshine. but people were still pitching up bye— bye. to the airports, hoping, probably, that they could somehow get on a flight, get on their holiday. we're gutted, disappointed. i mean, it meant a lot to us. it's our first holiday away together. i'm still angry. we met stephan and zoe, who were supposed to fly to the canaries to scatter her dad's ashes. with them on the trip, their young children. they're devastated, they've cried, you know, they're not themselves. they're quiet. they'd been looking forward to this for months and months. we didn'tjust decide to go, we've planned this. we had to get paperwork for the ashes. we've had to do everything. martin and gemma has been planning their wedding on a greek island, but they'd booked it all with thomas cook. itjust broke my heart.
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ijust couldn't believe it. i was gutted. good morning. welcome to breakfast with louise minchin and dan walker. i didn't want it to be true. 0ur headlines today: the terrifying moment thousands of people took refuge on the shore it alljust seems for nothing now. in australia to escape bushfires we are a bit confused and empty. don't really know what to do. all that planning engulfing their town. and it's sort of...all gone. we were bracing for the worst, but the big challenge for the authorities because it was black. like, it was at airports abroad. should have been daylight but it was when the company folded, black like midnight. and we could there were 150,000 people already hear the fire roaring. on thomas cook holidays the uk government says it's seriously concerned about a fair trial for the british woman in places like majorca. convicted in cyprus of lying about a rape claim. now, it was down the minimum wage for over 25s to the uk government to get every single is to rise by 51 pence an hour. it means a pay rise for three one of them home. million workers, and comes into force in april. we knew the scale of what we had to undertake. nothing like this has ever been done before. there's never been a peacetime repatriation that's been as big. so, yeah, we were pretty nervous and absolutely keyed up to do it. but, yeah, kind of biting our fingernails at the same time. the operation was codenamed
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matterhorn. the civil aviation authority had been planning it for weeks. we really, really hoped there was going to be a commercial solution for thomas cook, because this really was not an operation we ever wanted to undertake. i mean, thomas cook — it's the world's oldest travel company, it's employees, it's customers, you know, this was really sad. i think actually almost up to two days beforehand, we thought there was the possibility of a commercial solution but, of course, you have to prepare for scenarios that are very different. but even before the operation to bring people home had begun, hotels were, for a while, refusing to let customers leave, as my colleague gavin lee witnessed first hand in majorca. well, this is the main thomas cook—run hotel in palma, and we're being told by staff that everything's 0k, but the management won't speak to us.
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and if you look, they've got security here for the first time. they're quite nervous. this is one of a number of hotels that we understand are waiting still to be paid in arrears from thomas cook, and meantime, they are still having to look after the customers too. reception don't know what's happening. theyjust said, "yes, the hotel is open at the moment." we just feel like at any moment, like, we're vulnerable and we could just be asked to leave. thomas cook customers had paid for their holidays, but many hotels, which were owed money by the company, were initially unaware that they'd be refunded by the uk's atol travel insurance scheme, and some were demanding people pay for a second time. we went out for dinner last night and came back to the hotel and we couldn't get into our room. so we had to go downstairs to the lobby and the lady said you — "basically, give us 340 euro
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and you can get back into your room." so that is what we had to do. it was up to the uk's civil aviation authority to reassure hotels that they would be paid. we spoke, in the first three days, we spoke to 3,500 hotels, which — individually — and some of them were, reasonably, quite cross. there was a hotel in mexico that was owed over a million dollars. so they weren't happy. but we did manage to reassure them that the atol—protected customers would be paid for, and that also calmed things down and allowed people to continue their holidays. to understand the scale of the company's demise, it helps to consider its rise, which began — yes — right back in the 1800s. one of its shops can even be spotted on the corner of st mark's square in venice in 1898. the firm then enjoyed a century of growth and success —
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a winner in the modern age. but in 2007, it merged with mytravel to create a much bigger group. that's when its debt grew. other factors like competition from online travel agents, or 0tas, then pushed it over the edge. various factors. importa ntly, competition for thomas cook had increased massively in the last decade, so new players likejet2 holidays, the 0tas as well, they've become really, really significant, taking millions of customers now away from the big tour operators. it had been a challenging market, with brexit uncertainty and a weak pound, but, ultimately, thomas cook's problems came back to this huge debt they had been saddled with from a previous business merger, which meant that the business was not able really to be truly profitable because it had to put so much of its profits back into servicing the interest on the debt. in the wake
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of thomas cook's downfall, the immediate priority was to get the tens of thousands of tourists back to britain. hi! the manchester flight's full, right? yeah. the compa ny‘s staff, who'd lost theirjobs, helped out. 0ur rep was really good. he came to that hotel two or three times today, didn't he, to make sure that we could get home and make sure that we knew what was going on and everything. but with confusion inevitable, that first day at airports like palma, in majorca, was the hardest. to watch the operation matterhorn repatriation effort at first was chaotic. it did not go well at all. there were hundreds and hundreds of thomas cook passengers coming to the airport. many of them anxious, they took cabs — they did not trust whether or not the coaches would turn up. they were told by thomas cook staff and also the civil aviation authority to stay in one corner of the departures lounge, and that built up and built up. there were some people there 18, 19 hours,
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sitting down, lying on the floor, some crying as well, working out how they could get home. by day two, it was completely different. the big airlines had come in to help and it was really smooth from there. the civil aviation authority had experience to draw on when monarch airlines collapsed two years ago. then, it had to repatriate more than 100,000 people. but 0peration matterhorn, which cost the uk government £40 million, was significantly bigger. at the beginning of week two, i was allowed on board an airbus a380 tasked with bringing hundreds of people home. this airbus a380 is about to head to sunny majorca to bring around 400 thomas cook customers back here to rainy manchester. this plane, the largest in a fleet of aircraft assembled by the
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civil aviation authority to bring tens of thousands of people home. this shows you just how different running a repatriation mission is to operating a commercial airline. the aircraft leave uk airports empty. but once in majorca, the authorities get as many holidaymakers as possible on board. before the company went bust, there were seven thomas cook flights scheduled to leave palma today for uk airports. with this giant aircraft, those seven flights become one into manchester. it's been absolutely fabulous. the holiday has been fabulous. the information was fabulous. we have to get to manchester — we live in brighton, so we've got to get a coach down. so what? people have lost theirjobs. it's all been fabulous.
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it was worrying, but then things have gone quite smooth. after a while, initially, yes, it was worrying. very lucky. very lucky, considering all of the staff who have lost theirjobs and people who have lost their holidays. we managed to finish ours, so you can't say any more than that, really. then, the flight back and the paper cups a reminder about who was supposed to fly them home. but some did travel in style for the first time. never thought i would see the day that we would be sat in business class, i think it's ace! we couldn't believe it when we came up the steps. we're in business class, aren't we? brilliant, we've never flown like this before! the civil aviation authority had to operate a complicated flight schedule over two weeks. overall, it was a job well done.
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the planning had paid off, some problems werejust hard to foresee. silly things, in a way, would go wrong. for example, there were fourairports in cuba. because we only had one big plane, we thought it would be sensible to amalgamate everyone to one airport, great idea, but there wasn't enough fuel in cuba to bus all those people to one airport. so forget that plan! it was things like that that went wrong all the time. i was very, very glad when the last plane landed! it was, for many, notjust a job, but a dreamy lifestyle. travel, sunshine, and working for a powerful brand. but in a flash, it was all gone. 9,000 people in the uk
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had lost theirjobs. is it here we sign for the redundancy courses? they came together soon after at manchester airport. as i got to the airport, i started to cry because i thought i've come here in a uniform, but i've got nowhere to go. my colleague simon browning was there. people who i've spoken to, nobody expected it to happen. it was like the death, a death in theirfamily. they had always worked together and known the structure and suddenly, it vanished. my name is betty knight. i was cabin crew for thomas cook airlines for 12 years. our management seem to have disappeared into the sunset with millions and millions of pounds. while all of our lovely passengers
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and customers have been helped by the civil aviation authority who have done an incredible job and they have been assisted, our cabin crew, members of our cabin team, have been stuck without even a word or a phone call, in really dire circumstances. what do we want? answers! when do we want them? now! what do we want? answers! when do we want them? now! within days, thomas cook staff had travelled from different parts of the country to westminster. we wa nt a nswers! we want it now! the impact of what had happened was still sinking in. we just cannot understand what has gone wrong. we've not been paid, a lot of us have children and mortgages, people have gone to food banks.
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it's unbelievable we are in this situation. we have just been pushed out. i won't get anotherjob, i'm too old to be employed now. it's a travesty. 0ur lives are ruined because of thomas cook airlines uk. but top of their minds were questions about how the business went under. why did this company not go into administration but they went into liquidation overnight, in two hours. why? it's not on, we need answers and we need them now. all of the big ceos and their big bonuses, we understand they need to have bonuses but they must have known what was going on. peter fankhauser has a lot to answer for. peter fankhauser was in charge when thomas cook went bust. this is a statement i hoped i would would never have to make. it is deeply distressing to me that it has not been possible to save one of the most loved brands in travel. thank you. he was paid more than £8 million in the last five years. weeks later, he was grilled by mps. do you think that bonus should be paid back?
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i can say i worked tirelessly for the success of this company and i'm deeply sorry i was not able to secure the deal. this man also faced questions. can we just ask, do you feel responsible for the failure of the company? manny fontenla—novoa was in charge during the period when the debt really grew. he insisted he was not to blame for the demise of the company. when we heard the news on the morning of the 23rd, i was still awake. i was watching it unfold. i was heartbroken, devastated. for about two weeks after that, i couldn't even get dressed. i couldn't face the world. got a bit anxious. suffered from anxiety and depression actually as well. it took me a good three or four weeks to be able to go back out there and start applying forjobs.
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when that came to an end for me and i realised i was no longer involved in that industry, it was such a shock. the benefits, emotionally and psychologically, to fly are great. when that ends as suddenly as it did, it is a huge loss. people who weren't earning huge salaries at thomas cook are facing a new reality this christmas. i'm now near retirement. it is not likely i will get anotherjob. it's just... why did it finish in that way? that's not how i wanted to finish my career. it's a big feeling of loss. one of our friends, she ended up with her partner using her redundancy to live in a hotel, in a b&b and she was declared homeless. she has been on the waiting list.
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another friend was put out of her accommodation very quickly. she is having to be supported. it happened so quickly, overnight. what do you think the overall impact has been on you, in the three months since? simon has discovered many people still out of work have struggled to get financial support from the state. i think the system has failed me. it isn'tjust me. loads of ex—colleagues going through the same situation and the system has failed us. we paid tax and national insurance all our working lives to be given nothing. it makes me angry and frustrated with the system. 00:22:44,238 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 i've paid my tax.
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