A grandma said she missed out on her £ 1,200 holiday after her flight was delayed for 13 hours – and she was told to wait at the airport.
Lesley Horner, 62, arrived at the airport early expecting to be jetting off to Palma, Majorca, before traveling on to Cala D’or, arriving in time for lunch. However she was shocked to find out her flight di lei had been pushed back by 13 hours – and she wouldn’t be in the city until after 9pm that evening.
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. 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 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.”
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.
She said passengers were only told about the delay after everyone had checked in, and that most of the holidaymakers were over 60. 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 twenty past seven in the evening – I sat around for a few hours but that didn’t materialize.
“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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