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In January, Fraser Mallen and his wife booked a holiday to New York for next month to celebrate the 53 year-old ex-coal miner's recovery from open heart surgery three years ago.
At the time, the flight was booked on a Thomas Cook plane and cost £779.
After Thomas Cook went bust on Monday, however, those prices have soared.
Mr Mallen booked the break through Expedia and he tells the BBC that he was contacted by a representative on Monday.
He was offered return flights to New York for two at £3,009.
But in the 10 minutes that it took for Mr Mallen to transfer additional funds into his bank account to pay for the tickets, he was told by Expedia that those flights had gone.
Instead, Expedia told him they could fly him and wife out on Virgin Atlantic for £1,489 each and back on Delta for £1,570 per ticket. That's a total of £6,118.
Mr Mallen will be reimbursed as Expedia said it will claim the money through ATOL.
But he says for others: "If you can't afford the new flight price up-front until the insurance comes through, you lose your holiday.
"You'll you get your money back but no holiday."
Southwest, Delta, and United airlines took to Twitter this morning to apologise for system-wide outages.
Southwest told fed-up passengers: "We're working through some technical difficulties".
Delta had a similar message for tired travellers: "Our team is working diligently to get this resolved and hope to have you on your way shortly".
United Airlines said: "It appears that we are experiencing an outage that is impacting our ability to create release paperwork".
However it looks as if the situation may have been been resolved, though it's not clear how many flights have been delayed - or cancelled - because of the outage.
Southwest just tweeted:
The shut down of the US government is having an impact on all sorts of industries.
Delta Air Lines will lose revenue of $25m this month as fewer government contractors are flying.
That's according to the airline's chief executive Phil LeBeau who was speaking to CNBC.