A GROOM-to-be has revealed his hat-trick of heartbreaks after three doomed Thomas Cook holidays in three years scuppered his wedding plans.
Gutted Luke Metcalfe booked a special holiday with the stricken travel agent in September 2017 as he planned to pop the question to fiancee Lauren Dodds, 28, in Cuba.
But two days before they were due to jet out, their dream trip was cancelled because of category 5 Hurricane Irma sweeping through the Caribbean. It left a trail of destruction in its wake.
They decided to book up another trip straight away – this time to the Dominican Republic – only for yet another hurricane to shatter their hopes of a romantic engagement
The 33-year-old, from Middlesbrough, told the Sun Online: “I’ve had three years bad luck with Thomas Cook holidays.
“In September 2017 I planned a holiday with Thomas Cook to Santa Maria in Cuba where I had made lots of plans directly with the hotel to for my special engagement.
“Two days before flying out our holiday was cancelled due to a category 5, called Hurricane Irma, wiping out all of they Cayo Coco resorts and all of Santa Maria causing widespread destruction.
“I was speaking with a lady directly from the hotel.
“When the hurricane hit I did not hear from her again so our full holiday package was cancelled with Thomas Cook.”
HOLIDAY HURRICANE HORROR
But determined to salvage their dream holiday, the couple wasted no time in booking another paradise break to the Caribbean.
They jetted out around a week later to the Sun Scape hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where Luke planned to finally ask Lauren to marry him.
The gardener said: “We had to fly from Birmingham Airport due to limited flight availability. I planned my engagement again via emails and arranged to meet staff at the resort.
“We landed and got to the resort. After settling in we were getting ready in the evening when a piece of paper was placed under the hotel room door with a note on it.
“The note read: please pack up all your belongings as you will be evacuated from the hotel in the morning due to another category 5 hurricane heading towards the Dominican Republic.
“We were evacuated to the mainland for five days due to Hurricane Maria which battered our hotel and ruined my plans.
“It was an absolute nightmare: running around with the engagement ring from hotel to hotel. I had it stashed in my shoe in one of the bags.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off any of my bags due to worrying.”
It was an absolute nightmare: running around with the engagement ring from hotel to hotel. I had it stashed in my shoe in one of the bags. I couldn’t take my eyes off any of my bags due to worrying.
After five days they returned to the hotel which had suffered major damage – but Luke wasn’t going to give up his chance.
He revealed: “We returned to the hotel five days later which ruined our holiday but I managed to ask the question on the balcony a few days after arriving back which was amazing – and she said yes.”
After suffering two disastrous trips and only just managing to make their wedding plans official, the couple decided to book a hotel in Cyprus for their big day.
The wedding was due to take place this week at Olympic Lagoon Resort on the Greek Island.
It had been booked for two years but was plunged into turmoil last month with the collapse of the Thomas Cook.
The wedding had to be cancelled and the future husband and wife were left shattered.
Luke told us: “On Sunday evening the other week I sat glued to Sky News until the early hours of the morning when our dreams were shattered again.
“The announcement came from the chief executive of Thomas Cook that it was going into liquidation.
“This meant our full holiday and wedding package with them was cancelled. This has broke Lauren’s heart as so much preparation, planning and effort has gone into making the wedding so special.
This meant our full holiday and wedding package with them was cancelled. This has broke Lauren’s heart as so much preparation, planning and effort has gone into making the wedding so special.
“All in all we have spent nearly £20,000 that we have now lost and must claim back through Atol and our insurers. We have had no contact from anyone regarding this.”
Brit Holidaymakers were thrown into chaos last month with the collapse of the airline.
At least 150,000 were stranded abroad while many more had holidays cancelled, and worried they could be seriously out of pocket.
Luke and Lauren have now gone to TUI and pushed their wedding back a year.
He said: “This is due to us not being able to afford to rebook everything again at the last minute due to not having any of money back from Atol or our insurance company which could take up to 90 days or longer.
“We are absolutely devastated about our run of bad luck.
“Hopefully nothing goes wrong for our re arranged wedding that we have booked for 2020 June at the same venue Olympic lagoon.
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“They say that sunshine always follows after rain. Let’s pray it does for us.
“We have had all of our bad luck at once now hopefully good fortune must come our way.”
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