TUI 13-hour flight delay made gran walk away from £1,200 holiday


Lesley Horner, 62, expected to be jetting off to Palma, Majorca, before travelling on to Cala D’or, as part of her holiday abroad. However, she says she was shocked after arriving at the airport to find out that her flight had been pushed back by 13 hours.

After five hours of waiting in the airport lounge, she decided she couldn’t take it anymore and left – walking away from a £1,200 holiday. 

Lesley said: “My main thing is I’m angry about it, plus I would be scared to book again now that this has happened – I’m just numb. It makes you feel uncertain about everything – they throw you to the wolves once they’ve got your money. On the way out, the terminal was full of people – I just looked the other way and thought ‘I’ve got to get out of here.”

According to the Liverpool Echo, Lesley, from Brighouse, West Yorkshire, booked a last-minute break on May 5, and was looking forward to spending ten days in Cala D’or. She arrived at Doncaster Airport at 4am on Wednesday, May 11 expecting to be on the plane to Palma, Majorca, at 6.15am.

However, once she’d checked in, she discovered her flight with TUI had been delayed by 13 hours as the only plane they had available was stuck in Tenerife. TUI said the plane was delayed due to a technical fault – and they were unable to find somewhere for the stranded passengers to stay, so asked them to go home or stay at the airport.

Lesley claims passengers were only told about the delay after everyone had checked in, and that most of the holidaymakers were over the age of 60. She says they were told they would be taken to a hotel until the flight was due out at 7.20pm. However after waiting for a few hours, there was no sign of the hotel, she said.

They were then informed they could go home and come back for the flight or go to the airport lounge where they would be given vouchers for food. However, after five hours of waiting around, Lesley decided she couldn’t face waiting for another six hours until the flight was due to take off.

She said: “After five hours I’d had enough and couldn’t take anymore – by the time I got to Palma I wouldn’t have slept for over twenty-four hours.

“They said they would arrange to take us to a hotel, put us up, and bring us back when the flight was due out around 7.20pm – I sat around for a few hours but that didn’t materialise.

“Then they told us we could go home and come back for the flight or go to the lounge and we would be given some vouchers for food.

“However, the lounge was purely for passing through and there was nowhere to relax – after a certain amount of time we left the terminal and as I suffer from anxiety, I became anxious – I think it was the build-up of stress. I missed the holiday which cost me just short of £1,200 and another £120 to park. I haven’t been able to speak to TUI on the phone. I’ve been on hold for hours and the app for requesting refunds has been having technical problems so I can’t use that.”

A spokesperson for TUI said: “We’re very sorry to hear about Ms Horner’s flight to Palma which was delayed due to a technical fault.

“Unfortunately, due to operational issues, we were unable to source hotel accommodation on this occasion and gave the option for customers to travel back home or stay at the airport with additional welfare vouchers.

“We will be contacting Ms Horner directly to express our apologies and resolve her complaint.”


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