TUI Belfast passengers left ‘stranded’ as flight to Spain delayed over technical issues

Passengers were left “stranded” at Belfast International Airport for a second day on Monday after their flight to Spain was canceled due to technical issues.

The group was due to fly out of Northern Ireland on a TUI flight to Malaga at 6.20am on Sunday morning.

Instead, they were still stuck in Belfast for a second day waiting for their flight after being told the plane they were originally due to depart on was “damaged”.

Read more: Hundreds of passengers stranded in Greece as flight to Belfast delayed for 48 hours

Friends Denise Campbell and Mandy Foster, both 56, from Carrickfergus have been at the airport since 3am on Sunday morning.

“We have been told that our flight will depart to Malaga from Belfast at 5pm tonight, then that was pushed back to 7pm and now it’s supposed to be 8.45pm. That still means we’ll miss two days of our week-long holiday, “Denise told Belfast Live.

“We have been put up in hotels everywhere around Belfast but people are absolutely distraught. We have disabled people here, families with children who have special needs but the majority of passengers are elderly.

“We have all been up since around 2am on Sunday and when we got here we were keeping an eye on the departure board for information, which was due at 5.30am. It was just saying to proceed to the gate but there was no gate number .

“That went on and when one of the passengers asked a member of staff what was happening, they were told that the flight usually departs from a certain gate so some people started to head that way.”

Denise added: “Nothing was happening though and there was no TUI representative around. It took an hour and a half for a member of the airport staff to tell us that there was a technical issue in England with the plane so we would be delayed.

“The majority of us ended up staying in the Maldron Hotel at the airport overnight while others were put up in other hotels around Belfast. The hotel staff have been great and so accommodating but we had to check out at 12 noon on Monday.

“We’re still not sure what time our flight is going to leave at tonight, if at all. It has just been awful as for most of us, it’s our first holiday post-pandemic. ”



TUI Airlines

In a statement, a TUI spokesperson said: “We’d like to apologise to customers traveling on flight TOM1722 from Belfast to Malaga which was unable to depart as planned on Sunday 22 May due to technical issues.

“We have sourced a new aircraft for passengers so that we can take them away on holiday as soon as possible and we do understand how frustrating delays are.

“We have offered all impacted customers overnight accommodation, transfers to and from the airport and have been in regular contact with them, advising them of their new departure time as soon as we could.

“Customers on this flight are entitled to compensation in line with regulations and we have proactively sent them information on how to submit a claim.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Separately, hundreds of people were left stranded at Belfast International Airport after an easyJet flight to Portugal was canceled.

Flights to Bristol and from Gatwick were also canceled.

In a statement, easyJet confirmed its flight to Faro was canceled due to earlier delays which it said resulted in the “crew reaching their maximum working hours”.

The airline apologized for the inconvenience and said customers could transfer to an alternative flight or receive a refund.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Council is reminding those impacted by canceled flights in and out of Northern Ireland of their consumer rights.

Richard Williams, Head of Transport at the Consumer Council, advises: “Passengers who have been affected by canceled flights should be offered a full refund within seven days, or re-routing via alternative transportation at the earliest opportunity by the airline.

“Our advice to passengers is to seek the travel option that best suits them when they are arranging alternative travel with their airline.”

He added: “Passengers should be aware that they may also be entitled to compensation due to their flight being canceled. To claim compensation, passengers can complete an online form on easyJet or TUI’s website.

“If passengers remain dissatisfied with the airline’s response, they can get in touch with the Consumer Council by calling 0800 121 6022 or by emailing [email protected] and we will take up the complaint on their behalf.”

Consumers can find out more about their passenger rights by downloading the ‘Plane Facts’ guide for free at www.consumercouncil.org.uk.

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