(C) Lois Corso
Lois Corso with husband Jonathan Corso
A family paid “hundreds” more to fly from a different airport after their ?3,000 holiday package was cancelled at the last minute.
Lois Corso, 38, and her husband Jonathan, 41, paid more than ?3,000 for an all inclusive TUI package holiday for themselves and their two children – Oliver, five, and Francis, three – to go to Lois’ best friend’s wedding. But two days before their scheduled flight from Manchester Airport to Kos on June 1 they received a text telling them their holiday was cancelled.
Lois said: “The next day after we got the email, we couldn’t get through to Tui on the phone, and we spent hours trying to get through to them, looking at flights from Doncaster and all sorts. They just couldn’t do anything for us.
“So in the end we went to the shop in Ormskirk. I just went in and said, ‘You’ve got to sort this out because I’m the chief bridesmaid for my friend’s wedding, and it’s not an option for us to not go’.”
Staff at the TUI shop cancelled their original arrangements and booked the family on alternative flights from Bristol Airport and accommodation near their original booking. But the family had to spend “hundreds” on fuel and airport parking.
Video: Moment Police Drafted In To Tell Passengers At Manchester Airport That Holiday Is Cancelled (Manchester Evening News)
Lois told LancsLive : “And on top of that, just the stress, because the kids were distraught when they found out the holiday had been cancelled. Then there was the extra travel time for them – it was just a nightmare.
“But we didn’t have a choice to walk away from this holiday because of the wedding – it was not an option for us. We spent hundreds more getting there on top of the ?3,000 holiday that we paid for on one wage – that we scrimped and saved for two years only to almost have it taken away from us at the last minute.”
When the family arrived at the hotel in Kos they faced a three hour delay after staff at their original holiday claimed their reservation was still valid while TUI staff said the opposite. Lois said most of the 40-strong wedding party had similar stories and one family had their original holiday cancelled at the departure gate at Manchester Airport.
Lois added: “The bride was so stressed – she spent the first few days going back and forth to the reception and the TUI staff, trying to sort everything out and get everybody there.”
But the family’s ordeal continued on the return leg of their week long break when they boarded their easyJet flight back to Bristol. The family were told they would be split up on the plane which meant five-year-old Oliver sat alone and Lois only got to sit with Francis thanks to passengers moving seats.
A spokesperson for TUI said: “We would like to apologise to Mrs Corso and her family for their experience. Unfortunately, due to operational issues we took the decision to cancel Mrs Corso’s flight to Kos on Wednesday, June 1.
“We contacted Mrs Corso as soon as we became aware of the change, offering the option to cancel their holiday for a full refund. We understand how frustrating and disappointing this will have been and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.” They added that they had sent a communication advising her of her cancelled flight with a link for her to arrange compensation and sent a further link for compensation the following day.
They said customers were advised they could make a claim from 72hours after their flight was due to depart on https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/contact-us/flight-delays. They said customers affected by flight cancellations had been sent a link to make a compensation claim, and that customers should receive their refund within 14 days.
A spokesperson for Bristol Airport said discounts were available via advance booking on the airport’s car parking offers, adding: “Regarding car parking this would be because the customer was using the car park without the advantages of discounts with car parking being booked in advance. As a Rewards member discounts are available by booking in advance on the various car park products we have available and other offers available when travelling from Bristol. On a separate note the customer would be advised to check their travel insurance, as this may cover additional costs incurred depending on the travel insurance acquired.”
easyJet was also contacted by LancsLive for comment.