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'They've let us down...' family blast TUI after first holiday in three years spoilt by 'constant delays'

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 24/05/2022 Sophie Halle-Richards
A TUI Boeing aircraft parked at Manchester Airport © Getty Images A TUI Boeing aircraft parked at Manchester Airport

A holidaymaker says she was left feeling "let down" after claims her family's first holiday since the coronavirus pandemic was spoilt by constant delays.

Sam, 36, from Glossop, booked a package holiday to Cape Verde with nine other members of her family, including her four-year-old niece, in 2019. Due to lockdown, they rescheduled the trip for this month.

Excited for their first holiday together since 2019, the family arrived at Manchester Airport last Monday (16 May) with plenty of time, and boarded the morning flight to the African island with no issues.

READ MORE: 'Carnage' at Manchester Airport with long queues and four HOUR wait for luggage

But after all the passengers were seated, Sam claims they received an announcement from the pilot informing them they'd have to sit on the tarmac for two hours as the flight hadn't been serviced properly.

What should have been a six-hour flight turned into an eight-hour flight - making it extremely uncomfortable for her young niece and cousin, who is 6ft 3inches tall.

Sam claims when she arrived at the hotel, she spoke to many other TUI passengers who said they had faced "identical" delays when travelling on morning flights with the holiday company.

And as the family prepared to fly home on Monday (May 23), they received a text message from TUI informing them that their return flight to Manchester had been delayed by two hours - yet again.

The message says this was due to the inbound flight being delayed. Despite this, the family have been advised to check-in at the airport at the same time, meaning they'll be left with several hours to kill.

Speaking to the M.E.N, Sam said: "We have all really enjoyed ourselves but it feels like TUI have let us down. We booked this holiday in 2019 so we have waited years for this.

"My niece was really excited to go. We were a bit worried that six hours was going to be quite a long flight but we definitely hadn't factored in having to spend two hours sitting on the plane.

"Speaking to other holidaymakers at the hotel it sounds like it's been a reoccurring problem. When I checked the previous two Monday mornings the delays were exactly the same."

Sam claims when she and her family boarded the flight at Manchester Airport, the pilot said the delay was due to the plane not being serviced properly. She said passengers on different flights were given other reasons such as luggage issues.

"We finally left at about 11.30am so it was around eight hours on the plane in total," she said. "My cousin is 6ft 3inches so it wasn't very comfortable at all.

"Now we have already got the text message this morning to say our return flight has been delayed but we’ve been told we have to get to the airport at the same time which is going to cost a fortune.

"Our flight should be 14.45pm but it’s now been pushed back to 16.45pm so it’s that same two-hour delay again. It’s a very small airport and there are 10 of us. All we’ve been told is to keep checking our app. The TUI reps at the hotel don’t know anything.

"We were meant to land at 10.50pm tonight and I keep seeing all the issues with baggage reclaim at Manchester Airport. We aren’t going to land until after 1am now and then by the time we’ve got our baggage and got home it will be gone 3am and I’ve got work tomorrow.

"I don’t want to come across that I am moaning because it has been a brilliant holiday. It is just a disappointment."

A spokesperson for TUI said: "We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers travelling with us on holidays to Boa Vista, Cape Verde, from Manchester over the past week. We can confirm that both the outbound flight on Monday 16 May and the return flight on Monday 23 May were impacted by delays due to operational issues.

"We understand delays can be frustrating and we continue to work hard to minimise any risk of disruption to our flying programme. We would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding at this time."

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