PAST and present staff from the Hexham Courant have been caught up in the fallout of Thomas Cook’s collapse.

Marketing solutions executive Karen Watson and former head of features Helen Compson were booked to fly back from Corfu with the travel firm on Monday.

The collapse caused a few issues on the holiday.

Karen explained: “We booked with It was a package deal and the flight back was with Thomas Cook.

“We were worried all weekend as the news started filtering through that it could collapse. When we woke up at 4am on Monday and realised it had gone, we were told if we cancelled our holiday we wouldn’t get our money back, so we went.

“We were there a day and we got an email saying that the holiday had been cancelled and we would get a full refund, so then we were worried we were going to get kicked out our hotel!”

Thankfully, the pair weren’t evicted and eventually, the booking company were able to solve the issue.

When it came to the return leg of the journey, the plane was provided by Miami Airlines.

Karen added: “When we got to the airport they just had a list of names for people to get on the plane, so nobody questioned why we had gone after Thomas Cook collapsed.

“The flight was delayed by four hours and we’d been told to arrive at the airport three hours early, so it was a long day.

“The staff on the flight were just lovely. It was a perfect flight in the end.”

Meanwhile, the region’s business community has pulled together to support former staff at Thomas Cook.

Newcastle College and the North-East branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a number of businesses have teamed up to offer free sessions to support former Thomas Cook staff to find new jobs. The sessions will be held at Newcastle College today, from 10am until 2pm.