NEWS
02/09/2018 11:59 BST | Updated 03/09/2018 09:32 BST

Thomas Cook Compensated Holidaymaker After Stay At Tourist Deaths Hotel In Egypt

John and Susan Cooper died after staying at the hotel on August 21.

PA Archive/PA Images
Thomas Cook has compensated a traveller who fell ill at a hotel in Egypt

A holidaymaker has told how Thomas Cook compensated him last year after he became ill with food poisoning while staying at a hotel in Egypt which recently hit the headlines following the deaths of a British couple.

Nick Hawkins, 51, a warehouse manager from Witham, Essex, says the travel company paid him £2,000 after a doctor diagnosed Salmonella.

He says he became ill a few days into a seven-night family holiday at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in June 2017.

John and Susan Cooper, who were both in their 60s and from Burnley, Lancashire, died on August 21 this year while staying at the hotel.

MOHAMED EL-SHAHED via Getty Images
The Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada

Thomas Cook moved 300 guests out of the hotel, 24 hours after the couple died, as a precaution.

“I became exceptionally ill early on the holiday last year,” said Hawkins, who works for furniture-installation firm RFS.

“It ruined my holiday. Luckily we were only staying for seven nights or I think I would have ended up in hospital in Egypt.

“When I got back my doctor diagnosed Salmonella.”

He added: “It must have come from the hotel because we had an all-in package deal and the only food I’d eaten was in the hotel.”

Mr Hawkins said the holiday cost around £2,500 and Thomas Cook agreed to pay him £2,000 compensation after negotiations.

“I don’t know if anyone else was ill while I was there and I don’t know if any investigation was carried out,” he said

“The hotel seemed pretty clean.”

He added: “I wouldn’t stay there again.”

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said Mr Hawkins had been compensated after returning home.

She said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our first
priority and we would never send customers to a hotel which we do not believe to be safe.”

The spokeswoman said it was standard procedure for hotel checks to be carried out if a holidaymaker had become ill and was compensated.