Doncaster residents give their view on if they think it is the end of package holidays after collapse of Thomas Cook

With the sad news of the collapse of travel agent Thomas Cook, we have asked residents if they still book package breaks from one place, or if they prefer to book accommodation and flights separately. Here’s what four of our readers had to say.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 2:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 1:50 pm
A plane at Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Carolyn Prior – Doncaster resident

In the sixties my first husband and myself holidayed in Spain. My brother-in-law married into a travel agency family but we decided that despite the packages he could offer, we would have him book trains and ferries but do the remainder ourselves.

Our local library had these huge books full of information on hotels. In the nineties my second husband and I planned an epic trip to America and Canada. The flights were booked through a travel agent but again we turned to the library, painstakingly trolling through even larger books, for hotels and apartments. We then booked our choices by letter.

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Doncaster resident Carolyn Prior.

Nowadays we use our home internet to research and book everything. While it is very sad, it is no surprise that Thomas Cook collapsed as it is so easy to book for yourself and get the exact holiday you want.

Dean Sills – Actor

The collapse of Thomas Cook was extremely sad, especially for anyone in our region who are on holiday or due to go on holiday with them, I do feel for them.

Sadly, I think it's the end for package holidays and the travel agents on our high streets. When my children were younger as a family we would always book our holidays at the travel agents in Mexborough as a package deal.

Doncaster actor Dean Sills

I now feel people like me are to blame because my last two holidays abroad I did online. Why? Everything is cheaper and you can compare prices, even with your holiday insurance. Holidays are important and it's essential we get the right deal from finding the perfect location to the best hotel.

The older generation will suffer more because many don't use the internet unlike younger people who are connected to social media 24/7.

Kerri Aldridge-Gillespie – Board of Governors member

I’ve only ever booked one holiday with a tour operator. Then I found searching the internet and doing it all myself was a lot cheaper.

Board of Governors member Kerri Aldridge-Gillespie.

From family holidays to city breaks I tailor it all myself online, from flights, hotels, transfers and day trips. I like to read all reviews on Trip Advisor so you know what you are getting.

I’ve arranged one family holiday myself for a family of six to Spain and I’ve arranged city breaks for me and my husband to various places, booking from the airline and hotels directly or using sites like Booking.com. I always make sure I’m ATOL protected and take holiday insurance, I would never book or travel without it.

Sadly times are changing and we can book holidays ourselves cheaper if we are willing to look and have the confidence, but the loss of Thomas Cook is a major blow to the industry.

Craig Goodridge – Independent travel agent

Independent travel agent Craig Goodridge.

As an independent travel agent, I have seen the industry change a lot over the years.

The rise in online travel sites has had an affect on the way people book holidays but there is still huge demand for travel agents in the market.

Anything booked through us is fully protected by ATOL and I’m also part of the Travel Trust Association, giving full financial protection to all my customers.

We can compete with online prices as we have over 200 different suppliers to use. Many are trade only but also we use the same online companies available to the public.

You then also get the added benefit of someone who will support you in the full journey and be there to help if something should go wrong.

Working in travel is a passion and when booking with your local travel agent, you are supporting your community.