I understand from family friends in Gambia that Thomas Cook have stopped or are going to stop Flght Only bookings Which means you will only be able to book into the multinational owned hotels where all the money goes out of the country This wll be a real blow to the local community the people who rent out private rooms or the small guest houes
I have been trawling the internet trying to find whether there is any substance to these rumours of no flight only bookings to the Gambia with no success. Whether there is any truth in this remains to be seen but I would think it would be a bad move by Thomas Cook if proved correct. Despite the fact that Thomas Cook company is in deep financial trouble with losses of £398 million up to September 2011 and are to close 200 outlets over the next 2 years most air tour operators who own and run their own planes always have some seats for flight only availability. In fact it makes financial sense to do so. When you are paying between £300-£400+ for a return flight the profit margin must be greater than say for a week's stay at Badala Park costing £399. If this happens not only will it be a real blow to local people as Snuggels says but it will mean the end of the independant traveller or for Gambians who just want flights to return home.
This turned out not to be true as TC have now published their FO prices for next season but they average £800 return Total nonsense really as Monarch/Cosmos are selling seats on the same TCX aircraft from Manchester and Birmingham at about £500 They are just testing the water and I expect the fares to become more reasonable as the season progresses