The family struggled for weeks to get daughter a passport, only for TUI to cancel the holiday

Leanne Dooley, her partner Ken and their two children Lily and Poppy were furious after receiving an email at 2am that their long-awaited holiday to Lanzarote had been cancelled

Leanne Dooley, her partner Ken, and their two children, Lily, 12, and Poppy, 10, were set to take their first family vacation
Leanne Dooley, her partner Ken, and their two children, Lily, 12, and Poppy, 10, were set to take their first family vacation

A family of four is furious after weeks of struggling to get a passport for their daughter – only to have their holiday canceled days before the flight.

Leanne Dooley, her partner Ken and their two children Lily, 12, and Poppy, 10, were due to take their first holiday to Lanzarote but were left disappointed after travel agency TUI told them their flights had been cancelled. Liverpool ECHO reports.

The family were due to fly on June 7 but Leanne, 35, said she was contacted less than a week in advance by TUI, who told them their holiday plans had been canceled just after 2am today.

After this news, the excitement about the children’s first-ever vacation was shattered, leaving the whole family devastated.

TUI passengers at Manchester Airport faced “miles-long” queues at check-in as families travel abroad for the May half-year break

Leanne, from Widnes, said the trip was “massive for us as a family”, adding: “Now the kids are absolutely heartbroken. Because they are upset, it upset me too.”

The cancellation is the latest in a string of holiday disappointments for the family. They originally tried to book a vacation to Mexico before the pandemic, but it was canceled after Thomas Cook collapsed.

After another TUI trip was canceled due to the pandemic, the family looked forward to finally going on holiday.

Leanne, who has had some health issues, said: “This holiday would be for us as a family to help us overcome the stress we are going through.”

“Mile-long” queues snake around Manchester Airport

“Hundreds” of TUI passengers received a text message from the holiday giant that their trips had been cancelled


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But the last few months have been plagued with worries as the family waited for their 12-year-old daughter Lily’s passport to be renewed. After all the necessary documents were sent on April 1st, the family got back all their passports except for Lily.

The family went through a week-long back-and-forth to get Lily’s passport approved, including an upgrade to Fast Track. Dad Ken even took Lily to the Liverpool passport office yesterday where they had to queue all day not to be seen.

Leanne told ECHO: “I dropped my partner and daughter off at 4am and by 9am she was soaking wet, freezing and crying. She was so upset and worried and scared that we would leave her behind.

“Everyone we spoke to was rude and told us to expect a phone call or email but then we never hear anything back. It’s not good enough from the passport office – we don’t know what to do anymore.”

Cancellations at Manchester Airport due to ongoing operational disruptions



A spokesman for HM Passport Office told ECHO: “Since April 2021 we have made it clear that people should allow up to ten weeks to apply for their passport to accommodate the increased demand which has resulted in 5 million people have delayed their passport application due to the pandemic.

“The overwhelming majority of applications are completed within 10 weeks, with the latest figures showing 90% were completed within 6 weeks. But we cannot jeopardize the security checks and people should apply well in advance of the trip.”

Leanne said, “I hate when things affect kids like this, and I don’t just mean my kids, there are a lot of people in the same position and it’s just awful.”

The mother-of-two and her family are among more than 34,000 people whose midterm and summer plans have been decimated by issues that have led to flight delays, cancellations and baggage problems.

The Dooley family were due to fly to Lanzarote with TUI this week


Photo only via Getty Images)

TUI itself recently canceled a number of flights that were due to leave Manchester Airport to cope with staff shortages and “continuing disruptions”.

In a statement on Tuesday, TUI apologized for the recent flight delays and cancellations, but added that due to the ongoing disruption to services at Manchester Airport, “we have made the incredibly difficult decision to move from Tuesday 31st to 30th June 2020.

“All other airports in the UK are to operate as usual. We understand how disappointing this will be for those affected; however we believe this is necessary to ensure stability and better customer service at Manchester Airport.

“We will continue to work closely with all our airport partners and suppliers to offer our customers the best possible holiday experience.”

According to TUI, affected customers will receive a full refund for the cancellations.

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