‘It’s a farce’: Couple cancel holiday after Tui reschedules journey more than 40 hours after original departure

A husband and wife who ‘really needed a holiday’ after personal tragedy illness have had to ditch their break after ‘chaos’ at Manchester Airport. The pair not only saw their Tui flight delayed, then canceled – but were then told they could only fly out to Spain at 11:30pm tomorrow night.

Phil and Dionne Royle, both 46, were due to fly to Malaga this morning (Wednesday, May 25) for their trip to Fuengirola. It would be their second trip in less than a month, but both — from Ashton — had good reasons for wanting a break, Phil said.

“We really needed this holiday,” Phil told the Manchester Evening News. “I lost a friend to suicide, my best mate [recently]. My wife has been ill, she ended up spending four nights in hospital [last time we were away].”

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They were flying with Tui, and arrived at 3am — three hours before their flight, as airport staff advised. However, despite being there in good time, they never left British soil.

Phil continued: “We were due to fly at 6am. People got on the plane, then they got people off because there was a problem and it would be a couple of hours for a part.

“Then that part did not work, but ‘sit tight and we will update you’ [was the message from Tui]. That was four hours after. There was nothing to say other than where you could get vouchers, nothing on proposed times or contingency plans.”

Despite the issues, Phil understands that unforeseen circumstances can play havoc with schedules. The self-employed plasterer went on: “Things go wrong, but you would think they would have a policy in place to let you know.

“Everyone has been told to make your way to go to gate 10 to be released, and go back through passports. We have no information on when we will fly. It’s a farce. We just have to wait. It is just that communications from Tui has been non-existent. It has been a long day, over 10 hours.”

Phil also said frustrated passengers had ‘started kicking at the doors to release themselves’ in the terminal. “There’s a feeling of being trapped. They feel like they were held to ransom,” he explained.

A short time later, Phil informed the MEN that the couple had chosen to cancel their trip and take a refund from the company, as they were advised by Tui their new flight would leave at 11.30pm on Thursday – more than 40 hours after they were supposed to jet off.

As the flight usually takes around three hours, it would mean the duo would not land in Malaga until 3.30am Spanish time on Friday morning. Phil said the pair are set to make a loss on the trip, as they would be claiming on travel insurance, incurring an excess.

In response, a spokesperson for Tui apologized for the delays. A statement said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers on flight TOM2300 from Manchester to Malaga which is delayed due to technical issues. Customers traveling on the flight tomorrow have received overnight accommodation with meals and refreshments.

“They also have the option to amend or cancel their holiday if they no longer wish to travel tomorrow. The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is always our highest priority, and we would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding at this time.”

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