Thomas Cook begs government for cash as £200m deadline looms and desperate holidaymakers face being left stranded TONIGHT – The Sun

THOMAS Cook has pleaded with the government for cash as their £200million deadline looms and desperate holidaymakers are fearful they could be left stranded tonight.

The world's oldest travel company has been fighting for survival this weekend after its lenders threatened to pull the plug on a rescue deal that has been months in the making.

At least 600,000 holidaymakers are expected to be stranded.

The company's social media page is flooded with worried customers asking if they will actually be able to get home.

Thomas Cook replied to dozens with the message: "I understand you might be unsettled by all the media speculation surrounding Thomas Cook.

"The plans we have announced, and the process we continue to work through, will, when executed, provide even greater certainty for Thomas Cook’s future."

Caroline Clayton, 54, and her husband Neil, 57, flew out to the Gran Canaria last Monday September 16, with only enough medication to last her until Thursday.

She suffers from hypomagnesemia, and is now "terrified" she could suffer from heart failure if Thomas Cook leaves her stranded.

Caroline told Sun Online: "I'm set to return to South Wales this coming Thursday [September 26], but I'm terrified.

"I suffer from hypomagnesemia, and I need a lot of daily medication.

This is a matter of life and death for me

"I packed enough to last me until Thursday, because we're set to fly back then. If we're stranded, I could suffer from heart failure, it's happened before when I didn't have enough medication.

"This is a matter of life and death for me."

Joe and Val Lombardi flew out to Los Angeles on September 13 for two weeks.

But Joe, a diabetic who also takes medication for cholesterol and an enlarged prostate, he fears what may happen, as he will run out of tables on the day they are due to fly home.

He told us: "At the moment because we don’t know what will happen it’s a big worry because we booked flight only with them.

Baby Izzy has a dairy intolerance and is on prescribed formula milk which we are running low on

"After the 27th of September I will run out of tablets, so that’s playing on my mind."

Simon Boddy is set to head back to Grantham, Lincoldnshire tomorrow morning from Ibiza with his wife Lara and eight-month-old daughter Izzy.

Fearing for his child, he said: "We are ATOL protected and confident the UK government will get us home at some stage."But we are running short on supplies including nappies, wet wipes and clean clothes. While we could get them in Ibiza, the nearest town centre is 20 minutes away via taxi.

"Our main concern is that baby Izzy has a dairy intolerance and is on prescribed formula milk which we are running low on."

The British government and airline regulator have already drawn up plans in case they need to step in to bring customers home. But the fallout from any collapse would go far beyond the interrupted holidays of its customers.

A person familiar with the situation said the company was in talks with the government and a number of potential investors about bridging the funding gap. It will hold a board meeting on Saturday and Sunday to evaluate its position.

"We have not given up," the person said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Founded in 1841 with a local rail excursion in Britain, Thomas Cook runs hotels and resorts, airlines, cruises and hundreds of high street travel agent stores. With 21,000 staff, it operates in 16 countries and serves 19 million customers a year.

The company's demise could affect the economies of its big holiday markets Spain, Greece and Turkey, its shareholders and lending banks, and the landlords of its many British high street stores.

The Department for Transport and the company both declined to comment.

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