Couple given free holiday after £10,000 dream wedding cancelled due to Thomas Cook collapse

A Hartlepool couple whose plans for a dream wedding in the sun were dashed by the collapse of Thomas Cook have praised a holiday company for putting a smile back on their faces with a free holiday.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th September 2019, 12:45 pm
Craig Ridley and Amy Kearns have had to cancel their wedding in Lanzarote following the collapse of Thomas Cook.
Craig Ridley and Amy Kearns have had to cancel their wedding in Lanzarote following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Amy Kearns, 27, and partner Craig Ridley, 26, of Rossmere, were due to fly out to Lanzarote in Spain on Thursday, September 26, and tie the knot in front of their family and friends on Monday after spending £10,000.

They booked flights and a hotel through doomed travel agent Thomas Cook 18 months ago paying around £3,000, with the remainder paying for the dress and other wedding items.

But following the collapse of Thomas Cook on Monday they were unable to get flights.

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Thomas Cook went into administration on Monday, September 23. Picture by Thomas Cook/PA Wire

Amy, a healthcare assistant, and labourer Craig were left heartbroken and have rebooked their wedding for the same day next year as they want to tie the knot on the same date they got together eight years ago.

But they have been given something to smile about after Forest Holidays arranged for them, their two children, and four family members, who were also due to attend the wedding, to enjoy a free five-day log cabin break in Sherwood Forest.Amy said: “When we heard about Thomas Cook we were heartbroken. We had saved up and worked so hard to get the money and thought we were going to lose it.

“There was no flights at all.”

Forest Holidays made an offer on social media to help Thomas Cook customers affected by its collapse and a friend of Amy’s tagged her into the Facebook post.

Amy and Craig have been given a free log cabin break by Forest Holidays.

She was so upset at missing out on her wedding she almost did not reply.

Amy, mum to Craig, seven, and Alfie, five, added: “I sent an email of just three lines saying we were due to fly Thursday and the wedding was meant to be Monday.

“Then on Tuesday they rang us and said ‘we would love to offer you a log cabin’.

“We are really touched and think it’s a beautiful gesture. I know there is far worse things going on in the world. We didn’t expect anything.

“I just think the company are amazing to do that and deserve some recognition.”

Amy and Craig are hopeful of a full refund from Thomas Cook and will also get back the rest of the money they spent on the wedding.

Bruce McKendrick, CEO of Forest Holidays, said: “As a fellow holiday provider, we felt that it was important that we offer our help to some of those who were affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

“That’s why we decided to offer all of our available cabins free of charge to those who were due to go on holiday this week but were affected by the events.

“We know that we can’t make up for the stress caused to this family at such an important moment in their lives, but we hope that their Forest Holidays stay will help them relax and enjoy their time together.”