Tour Operator Thomas Cook Collapses

Layton Roche and Natalie Wells booked flights more than a year ago from Manchester to Kos, a Greek island, for their Friday wedding, and they said they had been forced to improvise after the collapse turned their plans into chaos.

“I have been awake for 28 hours now,” Mr. Roche, a 30-year-old civil engineer, said in a message on Monday, while he and Ms. Wells, 31, were on their way to Birmingham to find an alternative flight.

The couple had already paid about 4,000 pounds, or about $5,000, for alternative flights for themselves and some family members, and they were expecting to spend another £2,000 for their accommodation.

“I’m absolutely gutted,” Mr. Roche said, adding that around 80 percent of the guests would not be able to make it because of the extra costs.

Mr. Roche said he expected a wait of at least three months before being able to claim money through the Air Travel Organizer’s License, a program that protects most package vacations sold by travel businesses based in Britain.

Thomas Cook was struggling with debts approaching £2 billion, forcing it to enter negotiations with shareholders and creditors that came at least £200 million short of what was needed to keep the company running. With no other choice, Thomas Cook ceased operations.

Before the collapse, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would not intervene to save the airline, Sky News reported, saying that doing so would create a “moral hazard” because the possibility of a government bailout could encourage other companies to take risks.