Tui said it was ‘incredibly sorry’ to customers who were affected by recent disruption (Picture: MEN Media)
An eight-year-old girl was left in tears after her family’s ?8,000 dream holiday turned into a 32-hour delay nightmare.
The Tynan family, from Stockport, were supposed to fly to Crete from Manchester Airport on May 29 but when they arrived they were met with scenes of chaos.
Kate Tynan boarded the flight on time with her husband and two children but they then sat on the runway for almost four hours without moving.
As the plane sat on the runway, a pilot announced the Tui flight was waiting for bags to be loaded due to a shortage in baggage handling staff.
By the time the bags were eventually loaded, the aircraft crew could no longer fly due to flight time limitations.
Kate, 44, Ben, 45, Noah, 10 and Martha, eight were then escorted off the plane and back to departures, where they claim they were left for two hours with no information.
Kate eventually received an email to say the flight had been cancelled and rescheduled for the following afternoon.
The family collected their bags and went home to Marple.
The Tynan family described the situation at Manchester airport as ‘shambolic’ (Picture: Kate Tynan/MEN Media)
The Tynans returned to Manchester Airport the following day, arriving early to give them the best chance of boarding the flight.
They claim they were told there would be a dedicated check-in desk for their flight – but there wasn’t.
Despite staff having ‘no idea’ about the rescheduled flight and it being oversold, the family managed to get checked in.
After numerous delays, the family finally boarded their new flight.
While onboard, a co-pilot began loading baggage onto the aircraft as there was no ground crew to do so, they said.
Kate, 44, Ben, 45. Noah, 10 and Martha, eight eventually made it to Greece but later than planned (Picture: Kate Tynan/MEN Media)
The flight took off almost three hours after its scheduled departure.
But that wasn’t the end of the family’s woes – when they arrived in Heraklion one of their suitcases didn’t show up and another was soaked through after being left on the tarmac in the rain.
Kate, who runs her own wedding cake business in Manchester said she was ‘extremely disappointed in Tui’ and said the company had shown a ‘total lack of any empathy’ for its customers.
‘When the plane eventually took off, everyone cheered. I cried – I was so emotional,’ she said.
‘I’d not slept the night before worrying if I was going to have to tell my children they couldn’t go on holiday anymore.
‘We didn’t arrive at the hotel until gone midnight last night in the end. My children were hungry and exhausted. I felt emotionally drained.
‘I’m so pleased we are here but I feel absolutely awful for those families who aren’t.’
One of the family’s bags never made it to Greece (Picture: Kate Tynan/MEN Media)
Kate said after spending almost ?8,000 on the trip the getaway was ‘the most expensive holiday’ they had ever been on but their experience with Tui had ‘robbed’ them of their first few days.
‘Tui are disgusting! Total utter incompetence should be their tagline,’ Kate said.
‘They most certainly do not put ‘you’ in the middle.
‘I think it will take me a few days to feel ok about the whole experience.’
In a statement, Tui said it was ‘incredibly sorry’ to customers who have been impacted by the recent disruption’ to its operations.
‘We understand that last-minute delays and cancellations are incredibly disappointing and we would like to reassure our customers that we are doing everything we can to get them on holiday as planned,’ the company said.
‘Whilst every delay and cancellation is regrettable, the vast majority of our flights are operating as planned, with more than 26,000 customers taking off yesterday on holiday.
‘We’d like to apologise again for the inconvenience caused and we thank customers for their understanding.’
A spokesperson for Swissport, a ground handling company, apologised for the Tynan’s experience and said it was ‘looking into the specific circumstances to understand what went wrong’.
‘The post-pandemic return in travel demand is positive news but the current peak travel period is exacerbating resource challenges across the recovering aviation industry,’ it said.
‘We are working hard to address our resource challenges and have hired 2,800 new colleagues since the start of the year. We will continue to work with our partners to find solutions for this industry-wide issue.’
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