A Tui passenger says his family was ‘abandoned’ when his Tui flight home from Turkey was canceled leaving children ‘crying and screaming’ at Izmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport
Tui canceled flight TOM269 to Manchester after passengers had already boarded the plane just before 5am on Tuesday morning – almost four hours later than it was scheduled to depart.
But instead of the long-awaited takeoff, seated customers were told the pilots and crew needed rest after a long shift and could not make the flight, sparking fury on board as passengers ‘stressed were crying and shouting.
After hours of waiting at the airport and on the plane, all travelers had to disembark and were transferred to a hotel near the airport.
The passenger, who did not want to be named, said Manchester Evening News“The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 12:50 a.m., but we only prepared to take off around 5:00 a.m. When we finally got on the plane we were told to be seated as soon as possible as there was a 15 minute slot to do.
“The pilot then went to the tannoy and said that he and the crew needed to rest due to fatigue. They explained that we had to leave the plane and that we would be transferred to a hotel and Tui would be in contact with us.
“No one could believe it. Everyone thought it was a joke because we were already four hours late. People were screaming, there were people panicking and screaming. There were children crying and screaming, everyone was stressed. It was completely crazy.
The passenger, who was traveling with his wife and four-year-old child, said he and his wife both missed work due to the delay.
“We’re stuck in 40 degree heat with no idea what’s going on,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“We weren’t told when we should be back. All I got was an email from Tui offering us a £150 holiday voucher.
“My wife lost two days of work and my child missed his transition day at school to meet his new teachers. We were left in a hotel in the middle of a highway.
As an epileptic, he added: “I try not to be too stressed about my epilepsy because it can send me into major seizures, but not knowing what’s going on is the worst part. If we knew what the plan was, we could take a trip or do something.
He said the family had experienced travel chaos before, with a first holiday booking in Egypt, for which Turkey was the backup.
“We were supposed to fly to Egypt on June 22, but they canceled the vacation two days before because they said the flight was non-existent,” he said.
“We booked to go to Turkey on June 21 for 14 nights instead and were delayed two and a half hours leaving Manchester.”
He said: “I’ll never go with Tui again – and I’ve spent a lot of money with them in the past. It’s been an absolute shambles, I’ve never experienced anything like it in my entire life.
A Tui spokesperson said: “We would like to apologize to customers due to their journey on TOM269 from Izmir to Manchester on Tuesday July 5th being delayed until the following day. This was due to an initial delay on the outbound flight which led to the crew running out of hours for the return trip.
“We kept customers informed throughout the process and provided overnight accommodation, meals and refreshments as needed. We understand that last minute delays are incredibly disappointing and would like to reassure customers that we will never leave them stranded overseas.
Meanwhile, holidaymakers face much higher fares and fewer travel options as the unprecedented scale of British Airways summer cancellations becomes evident.
Yesterday the carrier axed 10,300 more short-haul flights between August and October, in addition to previous precautionary cancellations.
The latest cuts mean the airline will have cut nearly 30,000 flights during the summer season.