Families “abandoned” in Turkey after a Tui flight failed to take off four hours late

A Tui passenger says his family was “abandoned” when his Tui flight home from Turkey was canceled, causing children to “cry and scream” at Izmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport.

Tui canceled flight TOM269 to Manchester after passengers boarded the plane just before 5am on Tuesday morning – almost four hours later than it was supposed to depart.

But instead of the long-awaited takeoff, seated customers were informed that pilots and crew needed rest after a long shift and were unable to complete the flight, causing an uproar on board as “stressed” passengers cried and screamed.

After hours of waiting at the airport and on the plane, all travelers had to disembark and were taken to a hotel near the airport.

The passenger, who asked not to be named, told the story Manchester evening news: “The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 12:50 a.m., but we didn’t get ready until around 5:00 a.m. When we finally got on the plane we were told to sit down asap as we had a 15 minute slot to do.

“The pilot then went to the tannoy and said that he and the crew needed to rest due to fatigue. They explained we had to get off the plane and would be taken to a hotel and Tui would be in touch with us.

“Nobody could believe it. Everyone thought it was a joke because we were already four hours late. People were screaming, there were people who were panicking and screaming. Children were crying and screaming, everyone was stressed. It was absolutely insane.”

The passenger, who was traveling with his wife and four-year-old child, said he and his wife both missed work due to the delay.

“We’re stuck in 40 degree heat and we have no idea what’s happening,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“We were not told when we were likely to fly back. All I had was an email from Tui offering us a £150 holiday voucher.

“My wife lost two days of work and my child missed his transition day at school to meet his new teachers. We were left at a hotel in the middle of a freeway.”

As an epileptic patient, he added: “I try not to stress myself too much about my epilepsy as it can lead to severe seizures, but not knowing what’s happening is the worst. If we knew what the plan was, we could go on a trip or do something.”

He said the family has already experienced travel chaos, with a first holiday booking to Egypt being replaced by Turkey.

“We were supposed to fly to Egypt on June 22, but they canceled the holiday two days before because they said the flight was non-existent,” he said.

“We rebooked to Turkey for 14 nights on June 21 instead and were two and a half hours late leaving Manchester.”

He said: “I will never go with Tui again – and I’ve spent a lot of money on them in the past. It was an absolute shambles, I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life.”

A Tui spokesman said: “We would like to apologize to customers because we had to travel from Izmir to Manchester with TOM269 on Tuesday 5 July, which was delayed to the following day. This was due to an initial delay on the outbound flight which resulted in the crew being out of hours for the return flight.

“We kept customers informed throughout and provided overnight accommodation, meals and refreshments when needed. We understand that last minute delays are incredibly disappointing and want to reassure our customers that we will never leave them stranded abroad.”

Meanwhile, summer holidaymakers are faced with far higher fares and fewer travel options as the unprecedented scale of British Airways’ summer cancellations becomes apparent.

The airline grounded a further 10,300 short-haul flights yesterday between August and October, in addition to earlier precautionary cancellations.

The latest cuts mean the airline will have grounded almost 30,000 flights during the summer season.