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Nearly 200 passengers slept on a 5-star hotel's lobby floor after a 17-hour flight delay because the crew timed out, reports say

Business Insider logo Business Insider 15/8/2022 kduffy@insider.com (Kate Duffy)
The Tui flight was grounded just after midnight, the company said. Bradley Caslin/Shutterstock © Bradley Caslin/Shutterstock The Tui flight was grounded just after midnight, the company said. Bradley Caslin/Shutterstock
  • Tui passengers slept on a hotel lobby floor after the flight was delayed 17 hours.
  • Crew had timed out by the time the delayed outbound flight from the UK had landed in Greece, Tui said.
  • One family chose to stay in Rhodes airport overnight, a source told Insider.

Dozens of passengers slept on the floor of a hotel lobby after their flight was delayed 17 hours and the crew timed out, according to reports.

According to The Independent, which first reported the news, nearly 200 passengers were affected. 

A Tui flight was scheduled to take off on Saturday evening around 9 55 p.m. from Rhodes, Greece, and fly to Bournemouth, England. However, the flight was grounded just after midnight because the outbound flight to Rhodes was late and the crew had reached the maximum number of working hours allowed. 

"Due to a technical issue which needed repair delaying the aircraft's outbound flight from Bournemouth to Rhodes, crew were unfortunately then outside of their regulated maximum working hours to operate the inbound flight," Tui said. "Regrettably, we had to delay the flight overnight in Rhodes as a result."

A source told Insider that Tui arranged for passengers to stay overnight in the lobby of the Rodos Palace, a five-star hotel 20 minutes drive away from the airport, because there was limited hotel availability.

Tui said passengers were provided with "an alternative rest location, a contribution to cover accommodation if customers wished to source this themselves, welfare vouchers and a good will gesture."

One family decided to remain in the airport overnight, the source said.

The airline offered passengers 180 Euros, around $183, if they wanted to find their own accommodation for the night, which they could claim back afterwards, the source added. Passengers on the flight were entitled to 261 Euros compensation and Tui gave them holiday vouchers, according to the source.

The flight left Rhodes the following day at 2 p.m. local time and landed in Bournemouth at 5 p.m. local time, Tui said.

The incident comes as airlines struggle to handle a staff shortage on top of soaring summer travel demand. Last month, more than 150 Qantas passengers also slept in an airport terminal because their flights were diverted and the crew timed out.

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