Heartbroken children are missing out on a £5,200 TUI holiday as the trip is canceled while they wait in line

Two children were devastated as they waited to board their flight after their first holiday since TUI canceled the pandemic

Anna Saunders with husband Matthew and children Eva and Jack
Anna Saunders with husband Matthew and children Eva and Jack

Two children have been heartbroken after their £5,200 family holiday was canceled while they waited in line.

Anna Saunders, 41, booked a week-long short break to Cyprus from Stansted Airport with her husband Matthew, 44, and two children on Saturday.

It was the first time they had escaped since the Covid-19 pandemic, but they were dealt a bitter blow when TUI announced via a devastating text message that their holiday had been cancelled.

The family were initially told their flight was delayed, but they soon discovered the entire trip had been canceled for “operational reasons”.

Anna said her children Eva and Jack, aged 13 and 10, were devastated to lose a holiday that had already been postponed once before.

Instead, they are now staying this semester in a friend’s trailer in Cromer, Norfolk. Anna, a real estate worker, tells Wales Online : “My children were heartbroken.

“Explaining to a child that they are not going on holiday after they have passed through the airport is quite difficult. I would be wary of booking with TUI again.

“It wasn’t what we expected. They must have known they couldn’t go on vacation. Not telling us the flight was canceled until we got to the airport is just gross.”

Anna Saunders husband Matthew and son Jack are waiting to collect their luggage at Stansted Airport


Anna Saunders / SWNS)

Two children were left devastated as they waited to board their flight after their first holiday since TUI canceled the Covid pandemic


Anna Saunders / SWNS)

In a text message, TUI offered Anna’s family a full refund, compensation worth £350 per person and a holiday voucher worth £200 per person.

Anna, from Bedfordshire, said the family have taken TUI on holiday on a number of occasions without major problems.

But she said TUI’s handling of her flight on Saturday damaged her confidence in the travel company.

“We’ve booked a week’s hard-earned holiday but you can’t compensate for that. You can’t compensate heartbroken children,” added Anna.

“We haven’t heard from TUI and there hasn’t been a refund yet.”

The family’s all-inclusive holiday to Paphos, Cyprus was originally planned for October 2021 but had to be postponed as Eva caught Covid in the run-up. Anna said she was aware of delays in queuing at Stansted Airport and the family arrived nearly four hours before their flight departed on Saturday.

Text from TUI to Anna Saunders husband Matthew about their flight delay and cancellation from Stansted Airport on Saturday


Anna Saunders / SWNS)

Text sent by TUI


Anna Saunders / SWNS)

There has been travel chaos at Great Britain’s major airports in the past few days, with some holidaymakers missing flights due to long waiting times.

“We arrived in Stansted at 12.30pm, our flight was at 4.10pm and there was no evidence of any problems,” said Anna.

“We had received a text message from TUI in advance saying ‘We look forward to seeing you’. There was a bit of chaos at the check-in desk. A few flights were checked in, but not enough staff.

“We were there for a good two hours. The snake moved very slowly. After that we went through security and had to run to the gate.

“There was no indication of a problem with the flight. People lined up to board. As we waited, we received a text message saying it was an hour late. We asked the staff and they had no idea what a was a bit weird.”

She added: “Then two hours later they announced that the flight was completely cancelled. Everyone was devastated but figured we could get a flight the next day.

“We went to get our luggage and then went back to the gate. We spent another hour and a half in line.

“Then we got a text message that the entire holiday was cancelled. The other passengers were calm, but we were all shocked.”

A spokesman for TUI said: “We would like to apologize to customers who were unable to travel on Saturday 28 April Unfortunately canceled due to operational reasons. Customers affected by flight cancellations will receive a full refund for their vacation within 14 days.

“The May half year holiday is always an incredibly busy time with many customers wanting to get away and we understand they have been looking forward to these holidays for a long time.

“Unfortunately, while flight delays and cancellations are rare for us, the sudden increase in holidaymakers combined with various operational and supply chain issues has meant that a small number of our flights have been impacted. Our teams have worked tirelessly to support affected customers by communicating directly and providing accommodation and transfers where needed, as well as meals and refreshments.

“We continue to work closely with our airport partners to monitor the situation and offer our customers the best possible holiday experience. We would like to thank them for their patience and understanding at this time.”

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