Jason Nash had booked a trip away to Rhodes with his family to celebrate his mum’s big 60th birthday, but his best laid plans were ruined when the flight was canceled with no representatives from TUI on site to help out
A dad taking his family to celebrate his mum’s 60th had to call it all off after being met by “carnage” at the airport.
Jason Nash, 37, had arrived at Bristol airport with plenty of time along with his wife, two young children aged five and ten, and his mum, who had not been on holiday for years.
The trip to Rhodes was organized for his mum’s 60th birthday as she had not been on a holiday for years, reports SomersetLive.
The family arrived well ahead of their 4.10pm flight on Saturday May 28, reading about how busy it was ahead of half term and the Jubilee Weekend.
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Mr Nash said they got through security smoothly but noticed there was an hour and 45 minute delay on the flight board.
Other TUI flights were also seeing delays at the airport.
“The times for the gate to be announced came and went and people were starting to get a little bit restless asking for information and they couldn’t give us anything,” Mr Nash said recalling the experience.
The flight departure time was then pushed back further and with no TUI staff at Bristol Airport – they use Swissport staff instead – there was difficulty in communicating with the airline.
Mr Nash continued: “The board said ‘gate info’ for hours and eventually we resigned to the fact we wouldn’t be going.
“There was another Paphos flight due to go out at half past one with TUI and they did the same thing, kept pushing it back.”
Around 8pm a message came on the tannoy to say they would be leaving later that evening but Mr Nash then claims staff at Bristol Airport were unable to offer any more information.
Passengers then received an email from the airline to say the entire holiday was cancelled.
In communication sent from TUI to passengers, TUI apologized claiming that the “significant disruption” had been caused by “a combination of factors causing significant operational disruption”.
It also stated package holidays – flights and hotels – were also cancelled.
The airline added it will be issuing full refunds and a £200 voucher as a way of apology along with the mandatory £350 compensation in accordance with EU regulations.
Mr Nash said there were other TUI passengers on different flights with young children, people who were due to go to funerals and even a wedding party whose wedding had to be called off after the airline canceled their package holiday.
He said: “The bride and groom were in tears because they were missing their wedding.”
A spokesperson for TUI apologized for the cancellations and said the delays were a combination of factors causing significant operational disruption.
“Unfortunately, we felt the impact to customers holiday was too great and took the difficult decision to cancel the flight.
“We contacted affected customers as soon as we became aware of the change and all customers will receive a full refund within 14 days.
“We understand how disappointing and frustrating this is and we do apologize for any inconvenience caused.”