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A family-of-three claim the pilot and flight crew told passengers they needed a rest. Passengers on board the TOM269 flight from İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport to Manchester Airport were asked to depart the plane and transfer to a hotel until the flight could be rescheduled.
The flight had already been delayed until yesterday morning (July 6), prior to the announcement that the crew needed to rest, reports Manchester Evening News.
One passenger, who asked not to be named, said the flight back to Manchester had already been delayed by more than four hours before they were told they would not be departing Turkey as planned.
The passenger, 40, said: “The flight was originally planned to leave at 12:50am, but we didn’t get ready to take off until around 5am. When we finally got on the plane, we were told to sit down as quickly as possible as there was a 15-minute slot we needed to make.
“The pilot then went on to the tannoy and said that he and the crew needed to rest due to tiredness. They explained we needed to leave the plane and we’d get transferred to a hotel and TUI would be in touch with us.
“Nobody could believe it. Everyone thought it was a joke because we’d already been delayed by four hours. People were shouting, there were people panicking and shouting. There were children crying and screaming, everyone was stressed out. It was absolutely crazy.”
The passenger, who has epilepsy, said people were also told to hand in duty-free goods purchased at the airport and were given a ticket to claim back their products when they returned for their flight, which was rescheduled for yesterday evening.
The man, who is travelling with his wife, 33, and their four-year-old son, said TUI took all passengers onboard the flight to the same hotel but said they felt they have not been properly updated with information regarding their flight.
Speaking before the rescheduled flight, the passenger, who lives near Halifax, said: “We’re stuck in 40 degrees heat with no idea on what’s happening. We’ve not been told when we’re expected to fly back. All I’ve had is an email from TUI offering us a £150 holiday voucher.
“My wife has lost out on two days of work and my child has missed his transition day at school to meet his new teachers. We’ve been left at a hotel in the middle of a highway.
“I’m trying not to get too stressed out because of my epilepsy as it can send me into major seizures, but not knowing what is happening is the worst. If we knew what the plan was, we could make a trip out or do something.”
The passenger said the flight cancellation was the latest in a series of setbacks for them regarding their trip – having originally planned to go to Egypt instead of Turkey.
“We were due to fly out to Egypt on June 22 but they cancelled the holiday two days beforehand because they said the flight was non-existent,” he explained.
“We rebooked to go to Turkey on June 21 for 14 nights instead and were delayed by two and a half hours leaving Manchester.
“I won’t ever go with TUI ever again and I’ve spent a lot of money with them in the past. It’s been an absolute shambles, I’ve never known anything like this in all of my life.”
TUI has apologised to customers affected by the delayed flight and said it has offered all passengers a gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience.
Passengers have also been sent information on how to claim compensation.
A TUI spokesperson said: “We’d like to apologise to customers due to travel on TOM269 from Izmir to Manchester on Tuesday 5 July, which was delayed until the following day.
“This was due to an initial delay on the outbound flight which led to the crew being out of hours for the return.
“We kept customers updated throughout and provided overnight accommodation, meals and refreshments as needed.
“We understand that last-minute delays are incredibly disappointing and would like to reassure customers that we will never leave them stranded overseas.”
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