30 Aug

Putting customers first

I, along with everyone at ABTA, was shocked and saddened to hear of the deaths of John and Susan Cooper while they were on holiday in Hurghada last week. Our deep sympathies are with their family, their friends and Mrs Cooper’s colleagues at Thomas Cook.

It is tragic when a customer death occurs on holiday, and how a travel company responds is a test of its values and professionalism. The response of Thomas Cook in immediately sending their Head of Customer Welfare to support the family, and in evacuating and repatriating 300 guests as a precautionary measure while investigations proceed, shows their commitment to their customers’ welfare. And the fact that Thomas Cook’s Chief Executive, Peter Fankhauser, has flown to Egypt to meet with the Egyptian Prime Minister today shows the priority that they, and he personally, give to matters of health and safety.

We do not as yet know what caused the deaths of Mr and Mrs Cooper; Thomas Cook have promised to investigate the matter fully, and we await the results of that investigation. Thomas Cook, along with other ABTA Members, are committed to their customers’ welfare; promptness of response and transparency are crucial in order to continue to deliver the highest standards of health and safety to all our customers.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive