A flight from Birmingham Airport to Cape Verde was delayed by 26.5 hours as passengers were left thirsty and “drenched with sweat” on the plane without air conditioning
(Image: Laura McCabe)
Vacationers had to “sweat” for four hours in a TUI plane without air conditioning waiting for a takeoff that never came.
Passengers flying from Birmingham Airport to Cape Verde on Saturday lost a full day of their all-inclusive holiday after the flight was delayed 26.5 hours due to “technical and operational issues” on board the TOM704.
After being held on the plane in BHX for several hours – and each apparently offering just half a glass of water to drink – the families were told to disembark as the flight could not take off until the following day. Birmingham live reports.
The airline TUI has apologized to customers and said crew members offered “every possible assistance”, including water supplies. But when they returned to the airport this Sunday after being accommodated by TUI at a nearby hotel, passengers faced another three-hour delay.
Stuart Stupar, 48, from Market Harborough, was traveling with his partner Sarah Burton, 41, on a seven-day all-inclusive package holiday.
He said: “Just before we got to the airport for our 2.20pm flight we got a text message saying it had been delayed to 3.30pm which we didn’t think was too bad. We boarded just after 3pm but then we sat on the plane for ages – it kept turning on and off and on and off again.
“The captain came over the Tannoy and said there was something wrong with the power supply and therefore there was no air conditioning. People were visibly sweating, I mean drenched in sweat, it was scorching hot. Then children screamed.
“People asked for drinks but we were told they couldn’t open the bar. Eventually the crew came over with half a glass of water for everyone – that was all we got.
“After about three and a half hours they opened the back doors of the plane, it was so hot in there. We were told a couple of times that the aircraft would be repaired in 30 minutes, but just before 7 p.m. we were told the problem could not be resolved while the cabin crew was still able to fly.”
Photo only via Getty Images)
Get the latest news in your inbox. Sign up for the free Mirror newsletter
Stuart said passengers were told they would be picked up for a 1.40pm flight the next morning – but then received another message when they arrived at the airport that the departure had been pushed back to 4.20pm.
“We were given a £10 voucher to use at the airport, which gives you very little,” Stuart said.
“We couldn’t get a Burger King or a hot meal with it. The night before we had dinner and orange juice or water with food at the hotel but the rest of the night we had to pay for our own drinks – considering we were all all inclusive it was £11 for a glass of wine at the hotel .
“We’re only here for a week, so this has eaten into our vacation. We were supposed to get here Saturday night around 7pm but we didn’t get here until 11pm on Sunday night.
“If we hadn’t been late two days in a row, it wouldn’t be so bad. In my opinion we should be compensated for a canceled flight and delayed flight the next day.”
Another passenger, Laura McCabe, 32, who was traveling for her husband Marc’s 40th birthday, said: “When I say it was warm on the plane, people had to fan themselves. It was so hot, kids were crying, parents were having to undress their kids.
“The captain kept telling us he was confident we would be airborne in 30 minutes. The passengers got pretty fed up with it – it got to the point where every time there was another announcement, people just laughed.
“Sometime after 7pm we noticed our bags being taken off the plane and then we were told we were not flying anywhere – that TUI is sorting out accommodation for us which is fine, some issues cannot be rectified.
“But it was the false promises that irked everyone and the fact that there was no fresh air, no air conditioning and only half a glass of lukewarm water. When we got off the plane there was no TUI representative in sight. We did I don’t know where we went.
“When we came back to check in the next day, we were told the flight had changed from a 1pm flight to a 3:30pm flight and then it became 4:40pm, but we didn’t transfer first 5:40 p.m.
“Once again there was a lack of communication to tell us what was going on, it was amazing.
“We have three young children at home and this is the first and last holiday we will be without them – it is my husband’s 40th birthday so this is a once in a lifetime treat for us which required a lot of planning with the grandparents for us can do that. We’re only here for seven days, so we kind of lost two nights because of that.”
Laura, from East Yorkshire, said she had already claimed compensation for the delay but added: “It’s not necessarily about the money for us, it’s more about the stress it caused.
“There were tears in the eyes at the airport because many people cannot often afford such luxury holidays. It’s heartbreaking.”
A TUI spokesman said: “We would like to apologize to customers traveling from Birmingham to Sal on flight TOM704, which was unable to depart as scheduled on Saturday 21 May due to technical and operational issues.
“Our crew offered every possible assistance during the flight before everyone disembarked safely.
“All affected customers have been offered accommodation and meals and we have been in regular contact with them, advising them of their changed departure time as soon as possible.
“The safety and well-being of passengers and crew is always our top priority and we would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding.
“Customers on this flight are eligible for compensation as per regulations and have already been provided with information on how to make claims.”
TUI said it was not allowed to open the bar while the plane was still on the ground but that water was being delivered to customers.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sweating-tui-passengers-stuck-plane-27088260 "Sweating" TUI passengers sat in the plane for hours, waiting for take-off, which never came