Excited passengers ready to jet abroad early Monday morning were turned away from airports after Monarch Airlines ceased trading.
Customers and airline staff are devastated by the news as all future flights and holidays have been cancelled.
Monarch employs more than 2,000 people – many of whom are now facing redundancy.
Some 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled as a result of the company’s failure, the largest to hit a UK airline, and customers have been told to keep away from airports.
Those due to fly in the next fortnight will be brought back to the UK at no cost.
Denise Thwaite, from Morecambe, and her family were due to fly back with Monarch from Tenerife to Manchester on Monday at 7.30pm, local time.
The family flew hours later with Spanish operator Wamos Air to Gatwick airport and then travelled by coach to Manchester airport.
“It’s a long day but at least we are going home,” said Denise.
“We always fly with Monarch, a couple of times a year and I am gutted it’s folded as I have always found them to be a fantastic airline to fly with.
“It is a sad day for travellers and let’s not forget all the poor staff that did work for them.
“A friend of ours who lives in Tenerife has a friend that works for Monarch and actually up until the early hours of Monday they said we would be ok, so even the poor staff didn’t know what was happening.”
Denise and her family arrived in Manchester at 9.30am on Tuesday.
The Civil Aviation Authority, (CAA) the UK’s independent aviation regulator, has said this is the biggest ever UK airline failure. The CAA has been asked by the Government to charter more than 30 air crafts to bring passengers back to the UK after the airline failed to renew a crucial licence.
Customers affected are being urged to check monarch.caa.co.uk for information or call the CAA helpline on 0300 303 2800 from UK/Ireland and +44 1753 330330 from abroad.