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The plane was already delayed after it “bounced hard off the ground” at Bristol Airport before it took off again on June 7. An emergency 7700 code was then sent so it could land urgently elsewhere.
The plane eventually landed in Birmingham where passengers then had to wait another two hours on the runway. According to Wales Online, this then lead to some passengers getting so angry that police were called to remove them and monitor the situation. A passenger also went into labour during the two-hour wait at Birmingham.
Naomii Thomas, 36, and who was on the flight, said: “My understanding is that because the plane was too heavy the runway wasn’t long enough for him to stop in time,” Naomii explained. We hit the floor really harshly, like a crash landing, and then literally about a second later we were straight back up again.
“I’m quite used to travelling so I know that sometimes you can hit the ground and it can be quite rough, but this was a noticeable bump and I didn’t feel safe when we went back up again. You could see everyone was starting to panic then. The guy in front was having a panic attack, the lady behind us was asking her husband whether he thought the plane was safe.
“Everyone was kind of just looking at each other wide-eyed, some obviously panicking thinking there was something wrong, others were nervously laughing in a sort of confused way.
“We were sat there (at Birmingham) for two hours. My understanding is all the planes scheduled to be dealt with in Birmingham would be priority and we weren’t because we were already delayed considerably.
“People started kicking off and the police were called on. One family started arguing with another, I don’t know what about exactly – but one of them got escorted off by the police and some of the police stuck around after that.
“A woman then went into labour and they called paramedics onboard. Unbelievably one of the women escorted off the plane minutes before was actually an A&E nurse.”
TUI apologised for the “inconvenience caused to customers onboard” and said the “safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always our highest priority”.
Delays in airports across Europe have been widely reported this month due to a lack of staff to deal with demand.
Gatwick Airport has announced that it is now reducing the number of flights this summer because of staff shortages.
Naomii, a council worker from Cardiff, said: “I’m really annoyed mainly because none of the reasons given for the delays, such as sickness and Covid and not contracting enough staff on the flights or in the airports, were unavoidable. All of them should and could have been planned for and yet they were still booking flights knowing they weren’t in a position to honour some of them, or in our case not in a position to provide a good enough service.
“It has made me cross. It’s poor planning, bad management, and taking people’s money with no regard for providing an expected level of quality in return.
“I have reservations about flying with TUI. We’ve emailed them three times in relation to compensation since landing and each time we’ve had a standard response saying they can’t locate the flight. We’ve had no communication as to whether we’re likely to get it or not, but we believe we’re owed more than a grand. I know others who were on the plane who are in the same boat.”
A spokeswoman for TUI said: “We can confirm that TOM245 from Sal, Cape Verde, to Bristol was diverted to Birmingham on June 7 due to weather conditions at Bristol Airport. Our crew offered all possible support during the flight before everyone was safely disembarked.
“We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers onboard.
“The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always our highest priority and we’d like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding.”
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