Mother and son miss out on £1,500 Tui holiday after armed police escorted them off flight

Ready to fly to Costa Adej in Tenerife with her nine-year-old son Toby, Kelly Clarke was expecting to fly to the sunny island at around 5.50pm but faced a nightmare

Kelly Clarke with nine-year-old son Toby
Kelly Clarke with nine-year-old son Toby

A family missed out on a £1,500 holiday after being escorted off a plane by armed police.

Kelly Clarke wanted to fly to Costa Adej in Tenerife with her nine-year-old son Toby.

They were scheduled to fly to Sun Island around 5:50 p.m. on May 30.

But when they arrived early, they faced a “carnage” in the terminal.

The couple encountered long queues for restaurants and said there was nowhere to sit.

Manchester evening news reports how they finally boarded their flight three hours after the original departure time.

The travelers had to endure “scalding hot” conditions on board for another three hours – with one young boy even vomiting from the stress, Kelly claims.

The family’s TUI flight was initially delayed by one hour, but soon escalated to three hours


Kelly Clarke)

The family had to wait more than an hour at the baggage claim


Kelly Clarke)

Armed police officers eventually boarded the plane and escorted all passengers off the plane, she says.

They faced even more delays when they waited in baggage claim for over an hour.

Passengers were eventually told their flight had been canceled and that another would be available the next day.

The family then paid for a 2am taxi home before returning to the airport the next day – only for the nightmare to repeat itself.

Kelly, 42, said: “It was just absolutely ridiculous – (ground crew) loaded half the bags and disappeared. The pilot said they left us.

“We got through passport control and baggage and waited at the baggage area for an hour and a half. There was a woman trying to take care of us all and saying there was a flight tomorrow.

“The next day we arrived at the airport at 1pm and went through it again with delays, nobody knew what was going on. We were at the gate for two and a half hours and we could see the luggage next to the plane, nobody loaded it. Everyone watched from the window.

“We saw the luggage being driven away and I thought that was it. You’ve let us down again. All were not happy. Children were heartbroken; they cried. It was awful.”

Empty shelves greeted the couple at the airport terminal


Kelly Clarke)

Kelly claims TUI offered passengers another flight for the next day – but she refused to take the risk and worry all night. “They said it could possibly happen tomorrow and we’d have another night of no sleep,” she continued. “I said I won’t do it. There was no point in going away for three days.”

Wedding photographer Kelly has since been offered £350 delay compensation but is still awaiting a refund from TUI for her package holiday, which cost around £1,500.

“I still haven’t heard from them at all,” she added. “I can’t reach TUI at all.”

A spokesman for TUI said: “We would like to apologize to customers who were delayed on Monday 30th April.

“We know last minute delays are incredibly disappointing and we work closely with baggage handlers and airport partners to get customers on holiday.

“We have been in contact with affected customers, offering accommodation and meals where required and advising them of their new departure time as soon as possible.

“The start of the semester break was an extremely busy period that put the entire travel industry under pressure, with staff shortages, supply chain issues and general operational disruptions adding to the challenges.

“We can assure our customers that this was an exceptional situation and most of our flights are now operating as usual. We apologize again for the inconvenience caused.”

A spokesman for ground services company Swissport added: “We know people are really excited to go on holiday again after long flight breaks during the pandemic.

“We are truly sorry for the experience these passengers had on this flight and we are investigating the specific circumstances to understand what went wrong.

“The return of post-pandemic travel demand is positive news, but the current peak travel season is exacerbating resource challenges in the recovering airline industry.

“We are working hard to address our resource issues and have hired 2,800 new colleagues since the beginning of the year.

“We will continue to work with our partners to find solutions to this industry-wide problem.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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