Mama’s 13-month-old baby left the TUI flight home “screaming without food” in shock

Debbie Holden, from Doncaster, has revealed how her TUI holiday turned into a nightmare when on her return to the UK she was stuck at Malaga airport for 46 hours with her baby ‘crying’ for food.

Debbie Holden has opened up about being dumped "leaving" at Malaga airport on a TUI holiday
Debbie Holden has shared how she was ‘abandoned’ at Malaga airport while on a TUI holiday

A mother has told how her 13-month-old baby was ‘crying’ for food at Malaga airport as they waited for a flight back to Manchester after being ‘abandoned’.

Debbie Holden, from Doncaster, said their holiday with TUI was fine until May 25, when they were due to fly home from southern Spain, and it was a further 46 hours before they could leave.

When they got to the airport, they were told the flight was canceled and they were being taken to a hotel, he said Manchester evening news.

“We were initially told our flight would be delayed to land in Manchester so it would be too late for us, then it was changed to a technical error before being canceled due to an operational issue,” Debbie said.

“At the airport there wasn’t a single person to talk to who knew anything about what was going on. We were then told we would be transferred to a replacement hotel in Malaga while they worked it out.

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Debbie said she struggled to feed her daughter because of the wait at the airport


Debbie Holden)

“They literally left us in this hotel – there’s no other way to put it. We were dropped off the bus and just let out in the scalding hot sun to queue. I had to beg for them to let me in so my daughter wouldn’t get burned because we didn’t have sunscreen or anything.”

Debbie said she had had no communication from TUI regarding her flights back to the UK for a while while she was staying at the hotel.

“We got a text message just before 9pm the next day that they couldn’t fly us back that day but would pick us up just after midnight for a 4am flight,” she continued.

“I wasn’t particularly happy about that as I would never choose this flight time for my little girl, but I just wanted to go home at that point.”

At 1 am on May 27 at the airport, she faced the problem of feeding her daughter a second time after security personnel took her oat milk.

She said they were stranded in Malaga for 46 hours


Debbie Holden)

“I wasn’t exactly sure how Kendal was going to eat or drink, so I packed her some milk,” she said.

“She’s allergic to milk, so oak milk should be her diet. I tried to explain it to them but security just threw it in the trash.”

Debbie was hoping to find a shop in Departure to buy food for her baby, but everything was closed – and on top of that the flight was delayed until 6.30am.

“My little girl was screaming, I can’t even describe what it was like,” Debbie recalled.

“She was hungry, but I couldn’t feed her. The only option I had in the machine was water, chocolate milk, or a can of Monster. I was so close to giving her that milkshake but I couldn’t do that to her, it could have made things worse.

Debbie said the holiday had been perfect until they returned to Malaga airport


(Getty Images)

“Eventually I managed to find a Wamos Air employee who called a lot of people and finally got me back to safety. They apologized for taking my milk and said it was a mistake.

“They searched the dustbin for the milk and gave it back to me. It was locked so it hadn’t been opened but I would have taken anything at the time just to make my baby happy. Kendal had literally cried herself to sleep at this point, but the milk was enough to give her the breakfast she needed on the flight.”

The flight, operated by Wamos Air, left Malaga just after 7am and then returned at Manchester Airport. Passengers had to wait an hour on board while waiting for footsteps to arrive.

Debbie said the only food they could get was a bottle of water and a small packet of chips until they got to the terminal.

There were further delays at the airport before they finally left for Manchester


(Getty Images)

In the baggage hall, Debbie claims she was first informed that there was no staff available to get her luggage off the plane and they had to fill out forms to take it home.

She said a staff member then made an announcement that her luggage would be on the carousels in “ten to 15 minutes” before they arrived about three hours later.

“It was a complete nightmare — it was just one thing at a time,” Debbie explained. “There was just a lack of communication. Nobody knew what was going on. How can you leave people stranded in a foreign country with no information or guidance?”

Debbie said TUI offered her £350 in compensation but she still wants answers. “I don’t think the compensation really undoes the damage they’ve done,” Debbie added.

A TUI spokesman told MEN: “We would like to apologize to customers traveling from Malaga to Manchester on flight TOM2301, which was unable to depart as planned on Wednesday 25 May due to operational issues. All affected customers were offered social vouchers, accommodation and meals while we worked through a new flight schedule.

“We were in regular contact with customers and informed them of their new departure time as soon as possible. The flight to Manchester departed at 06:27 local time on Friday 27 May.”

The Mirror has reached out to TUI for comment.

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