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Thomas Cook criticised in Scottish Parliament

12.01.10

Holiday company Thomas Cook has been criticised in the Scottish Parliament after passengers on a Glasgow Airport bound flight were delayed for 13 hours before being flown to an English airport and eventually bussed back to Glasgow, the Evening Times reports. What was meant to be a 5 hour journey took 25 hours.

A Boxing Day flight to Glasgow from Las Palmas was cancelled and a replacement delayed by more than 13 hours. The 139 passengers were then told they would not be flown to Glasgow, but that the tour operator was only obliged to get them back to an airport in the UK.

A passenger told the newspaper: 'They said there was an empty plane going to East Midlands and we would take that. When we asked ‘why can’t it go to Glasgow?’ we were told if we didn’t take it we would have to find our own way home. There was no compensation and no refund, only a voucher to buy coffee and sandwiches. Once back at East Midlands, we were bussed to Glasgow.'

Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North MSP, told the Scottish Parliament that he was outraged at the service provided by Thomas Cook. He said the firm’s reputation had been damaged and put down a motion in the parliament criticising the holiday firm, saying that it was further evidence, following a recent Which? report that named Thomas Cook as having the lowest customer approval ratings in the UK, of poor service.

He said: ‘Treating customers in such a cavalier fashion will do as much to damage as any report. Thomas Cook needs to spend less on advertising and more on looking after its customers.’ A spokesman for Thomas Cook told the newspaper: ‘Our priority was to get holidaymakers back to Glasgow as quickly as possible whilst ensuring they were looked after.’

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