Freedom members consider options despite Cook reassurances

Freedom members consider options despite Cook reassurances

Freedom Travel Group agents say they are “keeping their options open” despite reassurances from Thomas Cook it is committed to the consortium’s future.

Thomas Cook has reassured members of Freedom and The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors of its commitment.

It denied reports all management are under consultation, saying some but not all managers are at risk.

However, some Freedom Travel members expressed surprise at the lack of communication from Cook bosses following news of a major UK restructure.

Freedom has three staff in its management team, while Co-op PTA is understood to have about 10 in its head office.

A memo sent by Alison Holmes, head of Freedom Travel Group, to members on Friday implied the two teams could merge. She said: “These proposals should enhance the size of the team that currently supports Freedom.”

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “Freedom and Co-op PTA are important for us and will remain part of the business.”

Freedom agents admitted they were considering joining alternative consortia depending on the outcome of the consultation.

Holiday Lounge director George Reynolds said: “We’re keeping our options open. We’d be silly to do something too early if the change [to another consortium] is done for us.”

Great Experience Travel owner David Gambier added: “It’s important for our future plan that Cook makes a statement to say if Freedom sits comfortably within the Cook mindset.”

Phil Nuttall, director of The Cruise Village, said he was 'astonished' there had been no communication from Cook bosses to members of a division that was profitable.  

“Freedom has good people running good businesses. If something is not broken and the membership team is doing a good job, it should stay [in the Cook group].”


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