Today is the day we’re supposed to be sat on a Thomas Cook plane heading over the Atlantic to perhaps our favourite place in the entire world – Orlando!
It all started back when we were in Prague on our digital nomad adventure when I was planning a short trip for the 5 of us to go to Centre Parcs for my birthday, only my dad said he would prefer to go back to America. Well, of course, you don’t have to tell me twice, that moment I was hooked on finding us all a family holiday back to the magical destination of Disney World in Orlando.
We returned to the UK still with no trip booked due to certain requirements of so many rooms, more than 3-star accommodation and of course premium cabin for my parents. I had been searching for different companies and search engines to finally settle on a package holiday with Thomas Cook.
They had a great price on flights and accommodation for the 5 of us. Eventually, after struggling to find premium cabin seats online we opted to head to the store to see what they could do for us.
We were greeted by a lovely lady and she worked hard to find us everything we required including 2 premium seats there and back, a room for everyone and park tickets. The holiday was booked that very weekend and so we were all set to go, the countdown could begin… four weeks to go!
With a homemade countdown calendar on the fridge that very day, we were all relieved it was done.
While at the store there were holding a raffle for a sequin 60th anniversary Minnie and Mickey we all entered and was super excited to find out a couple of weeks later that we’d won them. Could this be any more perfect?
Countdown to 7 days before we were due to fly and the news of Hurricane Irma is everywhere. Destroying homes and heading to Florida, unknowing to whether this would affect us we stayed positive and were kept updated by Thomas Cook.
The website was updated with fresh information and details on cancellations and amendments. The news came 3 days before we were due to fly, that flights and holidays were to be canceled including the day we were flying.
I rang the helpline thinking I was going to be in an hour long queue but I got straight through to find out what was to happen to our holiday. The lady I spoke to took my details to get in touch with me to try and get us on a later flight or for the next day.
Within a couple of hours, she had got back to me with the unfortunate news that there were to be no more flights out for the rest of the month.
Of course I was dissapointed, but at the same time hurricane Irma hadn’t hit and was expecting to cause devastation how could I feel sorry for myself when so many families we’re going to be made homeless?
Later that day I got a phone call from the store we booked with just four weeks prior to hear from the lovely staff how sorry they were about the cancellation of the holiday and to process the refund.
I wanted to write about our experience because it’s in situations like this that tour operators such as Thomas Cook seem only to get a bad reputation. However, in our case from start to finish we’ve had the pleasure of booking with them.
It may have been our first time booking with a tour operator in more than a decade, but it certainly wont be our last.