Travel chaos: UK 'worst affected' says Simon Calder
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Holidaymakers travelling home from a trip to Turkey were met with unexpected mayhem when their flight was first delayed, then diverted to a different airport.
Passengers saw their flight home from Turkey delayed by a whopping four hours.
Next, the TOM713 from Dalaman to Norwich was diverted to the Midlands.
The frustrated passengers arrived at Birmingham Airport at 3am on Saturday July 9.
They were reportedly met with another four hour wait for their luggage to be unloaded and for transport back to Norwich.
The police were allegedly called to calm tempers.
Passenger Catherine Arnold recalled the incident to Birmingham Live.
She said that a flight attendant told passengers that they would be diverted as it was too late to fly into Norwich.
When trying to collect their bags, she described the situation at the airport as “horrendous”.
She also noted an absence of staff to help them between 3:20am and 7am, however TUI did apologise to flyers via a text message.
Catherine recalled one traveller struggling to hold her baby and “begging” for her pushchair.
Without the pushchair, the child ended up sleeping on the floor, she reported.
Despite the long wait, there was not much travellers could do by way of eating either.
Apparently the only food available was from a vending machine which just took coins and small notes.
To make matters worse, the ATM machine was reportedly only dispensing £20 notes.
When a TUI rep did turn up at the airport, customers were told there would be coaches waiting for them to take them home.
However, Catherine said that only six taxis were waiting outside.
She ended up walking through her front door at midday, when she previously estimated she’d be home by midnight.
But there was one couple she felt even more sorry for during the chaos – a pair in their 60s.
Catherine revealed the man had late-stage cancer, and that they eventually decided to order their own taxi home because they could not wait any longer.
TUI did offer an apology and a £150 voucher to spend with them but Catherine stated she would not be travelling with them again, calling the gesture a “kick in the teeth”.
A spokesperson for TUI apologised to those affected by the delay and diversion, they told Birmingham Live.
They explained that passengers are entitled to compensation as well as a further gesture of “goodwill”.
An investigation will be carried out into the cause of the disruptance.
However, the spokesperson did explain that bad weather caused the initial flight delay, which meant it did not meet Norwich Airport’s curfew.
Express.co.uk has contacted TUI for further comment.
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