The British tour company Thomas Cook suddenly shut down over the weekend, stranding more than 150,000 travelers on their overseas vacations. Long lines of disgruntled tourists formed in airports in Greece, Turkey, Mallorca and other destinations as Thomas Cook customers now try to return home in the biggest repatriation effort since World War II.
The Guardian has kept a log on the unfolding chaos, reporting on wedding plans thrown into disarray, aircrews bidding their customs adieu for the final time, and more tales of people just trying to get home.
Photos from today (Sept. 23) and the weekend showcase the startling collapse of Thomas Cook, which was a fixture of British tourism for 180 years. In addition to scenes of airports flooded with upset tourists, photographers captured company outposts after thousands of employees were laid off with seemingly little notice. On streets across Britain, Thomas Cook storefronts and airport check-in desks were left shuttered and empty.