Thomas Cook holidaymakers were locked out of their hotel rooms and denied food and drink unless they paid thousands of pounds extra on top of their pre-paid bills.
British tourists in Ibiza, Tenerife, Mexico and Fuerteventura were threatened with eviction from accommodation, leaving them facing the prospect of being stranded abroad without anywhere to stay.
Desperate hotel chains sought to claw back debts left by the collapsed tour operator by demanding cash from holidaymakers who had already paid for their trips, locking them out of their rooms until they agreed or left.
It came as the huge operation to repatriate more than 150,000 tourists stranded abroad by the chain’s collapse continued yesterday.
Around 74 flights with 17,000 people came back to the UK yesterday following the 64 flights with 15,000 on Monday.
Sam Emerton, 24, (pictured) from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, told how when he and his girlfriend Shaylee arrived at their hotel in Fuerteventura on Monday staff demanded they hand over £1,100 – on top of the £1,700 they had already paid
Hayley Hook, who is on holiday with her family in Greece, said the guards appeared as her hotel demanded £44 per person per night – and said they would not get food and drink unless they paid
Meanwhile a holidaymaker told how a hotel brought in security guards at one point as staff forced tourists to hand over credit card details.
Hayley Hook, who is on holiday with her family in Greece, said the guards appeared as her hotel demanded £44 per person per night – and said they would not get food and drink unless they paid.
Deborah Allett, 61, who is on holiday in Tenerife with her partner Robin Brasher, 61, and friends Tracey Frost, 55, and Peter Noble, 58, moved out of their hotel into nearby apartments when they refused to pay an additional £2,000 between them.
Miss Allett, a grandmother-of-two, said: ‘The thuggish behaviour of hotel staff was disgusting. They even blocked our cards so we couldn’t order any food or drink – which we had all paid for.
‘Fortunately we were able to find apartments nearby at a reasonable rate, because there was no way I was giving more money to that hotel.’
Sam Emerton, 24, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, told how when he and his girlfriend Shaylee arrived at their hotel in Fuerteventura on Monday staff demanded they hand over £1,100 – on top of the £1,700 they had already paid.
Mr Emerton, a police control room worker, said: ‘We just felt so helpless. We handed over around £150 initially, just to access the hotel for one night as we couldn’t pay the full amount and didn’t know what to do. They continued to ask for the rest of the money, so I’ve had to borrow it from my dad. This shouldn’t really be happening, We paid £1,700 for this holiday when we booked back in March.
Deborah Allett, 61, who is on holiday in Tenerife with her partner Robin Brasher, 61, and friends Tracey Frost, 55, and Peter Noble, 58, moved out of their hotel into nearby apartments when they refused to pay an additional £2,000 between them
‘We’re lucky enough that my dad was able to loan me the money and we can now enjoy the rest of the week. But other people won’t be as lucky – and what are they supposed to do? It makes you very anxious, turning up and being told you have to hand over loads of money when we’d paid for an all-inclusive trip.
A great-great grandfather was three times locked out of his hotel room – which had his lung cancer medication inside – because he refused to pay an extra £900.
Allan Hopkins, 73, from Merthyr Tydfil, was blocked from entering his room at the Hotel Troya in Tenerife yesterday. He said: ‘Luckily I explained the situation and they let me back in, but it could have been awful.’
Other furious guests at the same hotel booked alternative accommodation when they were locked out and told to pay thousands of pounds extra. Lesley Mance, 29, an assistant accountant from Reading, Berkshire, paid £2,000 for herself and three other guests to remain in their rooms.
She said: ‘They had locked the doors, disabled our key cards – there was no other option.’
Thomas Cook guests at the Catalonia Yucatán Hotel in Riveria Maya, Mexico, were also told they would have to pay for their holidays again or face eviction.
Chas Reen, his partner Irene Tanner and her brother David, all from Swansea, were forced to pay £1,100 at the desk of the Hotel Y Muerta in Ibiza, despite having already paid Thomas Cook £1,100 for their holiday.
The group flew to the Spanish holiday island from Bristol at 6.30am on Monday morning, after Thomas Cook collapsed through the night. They were allowed to board as their flights were with Ryanair. Mr Reen, 69, a retired salesman, said the group did not discover Thomas Cook had collapsed until they arrived in Ibiza.
‘We got to the hotel desk and it was a case of, ‘if you don’t pay, you don’t stay,’ he said.
‘The woman said she wasn’t expecting us. She said as far as she was concerned we wouldn’t be staying because the hotel hadn’t been paid by Thomas Cook.
‘I said: ‘Are you trying to say we can’t stay?’ She said: ‘Yes.’